Hobbyists, and even professional photographers, like getting a few freelance photo jobs outside their regular working hours. The extra cash, possible line on a resume and networking often leads to more freelance jobs or staff positions. Securing a freelance photo job requires time to research your local market bases and photography needs, making contacts and proving you're the best photographer for the job.
Things You'll Need
- Camera equipment
- Tax ID
- Retail Sales Tax Permit
- Invoicing and recordkeeping software
Prepare for the possibility of a business transaction before seeking freelance photo jobs. Apply for a federal tax ID and a retail sales tax permit for the state(s) where you will be conducting business. Business clients will want to know you are a legitimate independent contractor or freelancer. Be prepared to create invoices and keep records of your transactions.
Research your local market base for freelance photography possibilities. Check local daily and weekly newspapers and companies that publish local brochures, calendars or event programs. Contact local tourism bureaus, welcome centers and chambers of commerce. They all require local photos for their publications.
Make contact with the local outlets that interest you and suit your type of photography. If a sports tournament is coming to town and you are a great sports photographer, contact the media liaison for the tournament and offer your services. If you are excellent at photographing architecture, show samples to your local tourism bureau and ask if it needs updated photos of any local landmarks.
Make a portfolio that you can show prospective clients. A website, CD slide show or even prints in a binder will showcase your talents. Getting hired for freelance work requires proving your abilities up front. Since you are not part of their staff, you need to prove your track record with images and a resume of work experience and/or professional training. In smaller markets or casual freelance jobs, word of mouth may be all it takes to secure a job.
Network with those who may hire you. Attend functions hosted by prospective clients. Read their websites, brochures and local media coverage. Be able to discuss their business with them and tell them why you can help promote their endeavors visually.
Send query letters to potential clients. Use email and U.S. mail to send a short, concise proposal. A postcard with an eye-catching image that focuses on their needs will likely catch their attention. Clearly identify what you can do for them and include several ways for them to contact you, including email, cell phone or a website to browse for further information.