What is the most intimidating concern about building a career around your passion for photography? Fear of failure? Time lost? Yes. But do you know what is scarier and more perplexing? The wait. It is the first phase of your struggle to submit yourself to your art wholeheartedly and pitch your creation to almost every magazine and outlet hoping for an answer. You are waiting for the first nod that will eventually lay the foundation for your glittering portfolio. Till that happens, you are all nerves and knots. But what does “the wait” imply? How is it going to help you pay your bills?
Professional photographers working with celebrities and magazines (without taking the names of the stellar platforms) are the cream on the top. And getting to even the bottom of that ladder is a precarious undertaking. So, to stay motivated and keep going, you must find a way to earn a living as a photographer from the early stage. In this guide, we will tell you how you can make that happen.
Using Digital Media
The first step toward establishing yourself as a photographer entails creating a presence in the digital space. For photographers, there are plenty of platforms to garner followers – Insta, FB, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter – you name it. Next, learn to craft short stories to go along with your pictures. It is not needed everywhere, but it works well on social media platforms. Use relevant hashtags, but never overdo it. Make sure to set up professional accounts on all these platforms. The first few days would be dedicated to creating and maintaining a nice feed on digital media channels. The timing of posting is also crucial. You can use a free social media scheduling tool like Buffer to schedule your posts across different zones and measure traffic based on the timing.
Next up, create your own website, and do not forget to include your contact info. Integrate it with your social media pages. Mention the type of photography you specialize in and include a pricing plan.
It is imperative to mingle with peers and seniors in your profession. You can join one-day workshops, meet photographers on platforms like MeetUp and see what they are doing. Find out who are their clients. Ask if you can get an opportunity to work with them on projects – be it an event, or personal photoshoots. Join forums on Reddit, Facebook, or Telegram to interact and widen your network.
Now, comes the part where you manage to land your first job and get recognition for your work, which ultimately ends up generating more leads. This is the best part, so you have your equipment and enthusiasm in place. But, there is one more thing you must add to your assets Insurance for Photographers. Photographers are susceptible to facing litigation charges. A photographer getting sued by an unsatisfied client is not unheard of. Public liability insurance in these cases helps you recover the monetary loss caused by such disputes.
Optimizing your Pages and Website
You should optimize your pages simultaneously through organic means (in case you do not have the budget for inorganic optimization) to bring traffic to your website. Use SEO tools like Search Volume or Ubersuggest to look for keywords ranking high on the search engine within your niche. Incorporate them into your pages or blogs. SEO is a long process and takes time. You can delegate the task to an expert, or you can dedicate an hour or two of your day to SEO. Use Google Analytics to view the traffic on your website, hook them through newsletters. You can use tools like mail chimp to send emails to your visitors about updates and offerings.
Contribution & Freelancing
You can find freelance-based photography gigs on Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer and many such similar places. All you need to do is build a profile, showcase your experience, and work to clients, and get paid by the hour for the work you deliver. However, you must also note that these places are saturated with freelancers. Therefore, getting your profile approved or bidding on projects could be strenuous. The alternatives are working with an organization that collaborates with photographers or contributing to Shutterstock or similar platforms. You can earn a royalty for your images when a customer on Shutterstock pays for them. Signing up on Shutterstock is also an easy process.
Sidetracked and Beside Media are two other platforms that accept contributions. Most importantly, never let a couple of rejections deter you from continuing on your chosen path. Keep pitching your creation to magazines. Even after 100 rejections, there will be that one nod of acknowledgment that would add a star to your portfolio. Reach out and talk about your passion and art, and make sure you have everything in order while dealing with clients.