Business Opportunities: Tips to Become Freelance Photographer

Photography is a vast world. There are many different types of photography and many different kinds of people that enjoy it. It’s a hobby that be relatively inexpensive or one that you can invest a lot of money on. Photos are so special because they give us memories of times and places and events in our lives. We can hold onto these memories forever with a photograph.

As much as people love photos, many people love taking them even more. Whether it’s a mother who takes photos at every of her children’s moments in life (first smile, first step, first spaghetti meal) or maybe it’s the father who never forgets his camera for a football or basketball game, or maybe it’s the young girl who loves nature hikes with her camera; these people are not exceptions. They all have an eye for those special moments and they all appreciate the camera’s ability to capture that moment and freeze it in time forever.

What is Freelance Photography?

What if you love photography so much you wish you could do it for a living? I mean, you actually get paid for your photographs! But you work solely for yourself, selling each photo or series of photos individually. You don’t have a boss. You work sometimes on assignment and you may sell to magazines. That is freelance photography.

Freelance photography may be your entire career or it may start out as something you do in your spare time but begin making money from it. It’s just like freelance writing in this sense that many people turn it into a career and enjoy the freedom of working essentially for themselves on their own time and making money doing something they love doing anyway.

How to Build a Portfolio

To start getting jobs as a freelance photographer, you need a portfolio. A portfolio will show samples of your work. Even if you have never had photographs published or publicly displayed, you can start a portfolio of your best work and then add onto it if you win photography contests or start receiving paid work.

How to Get Jobs

As we mentioned, building a portfolio is the first step in submitting your work for pay but when it comes right down to it, it’s the quality of the photo that will determine if you get paid for it. Some people have more of a natural talent for taking great pictures than others but it is a skill that anyone can learn. There are schools dedicated to the art of photography and you can even get a degree in it. If you are just getting started, you can look into classes provided by your local community center or community college. Some cities have photography groups that meet to share photos and tips. There are also many groups online dedicated to photography and freelance photography.

You need to view as many famous photographs as possible. Take a look at what is getting published and compare it to your own photos. This allows you to compare and learn from other’s work. It takes more than just point and shoot to get a great photo. You need to learn about focus, lighting, colors and backgrounds and much more.

Once you start learning about photography and creating a portfolio, you can start submitting your photos to contests and magazines. Get a list of photography markets and start submitting to ones that accept your type of photos. Don’t expect to make it to the big times right away. Few people actually achieve this but you can start small and eventually make your way into a nice living from freelance photography.

Looking for information about Photography?
Go to: ‘ASA Photography’ is published by Colin Hartness – An excellent resource for Photography! Check out more Photography articles at:

5 Responses to “Business Opportunities: Tips to Become Freelance Photographer”

  1. nocomment says:

    Thank you for all of your great freelance photography input. One thing you should add though, is their salary….

  2. Autumn says:

    I think there needs to be more elaborating on what exactly meets the standards of a portfolio. Should it be 8×10’s or 4×6’s? how about 5×7’s?

    How do you tell the difference between a fraudulent contest ( for example, a run off of and a legitimate contest.

    What sort of rights do you have and lose to your photo once it’s submitted to a magazine?

  3. mike says:

    well it depends. the size can be whatever. remember yuo can blow up a photo, if it is enough resotion. traditionally, you could blow up a picture as big as you want. if its a photo that someone wants to buy to show something special it can be thousands of dollars and a full size of 40 x 30 inches or larger.

    for a portfolio do whatever is manageable for you. its a creative field, so its like whatever. peopel will be impressed by the photos, not the format. an 8 x 10 portfolio with ways to switch off the pics is good. and with smaller piockets in back for standard 4 x 6 or 3×5 images is good since so many pics are that size normally. you may have that one good photo that is on that size as its original, so yes preserve that.

  4. business opportunities says:

    lol! Be an excellent photographer first and I’m sure you’ll receive enough income!

  5. carol says:

    I loved the info that you gave, it helped a lot. for now i am putting together a bussiness plan and starting with step one. you gave some great tips that i could use. thank you. Im not going to be a freelance, i plan on doing wedding, and outside senior high photos. also i thought it would be a good idea to take photos of people and their pets. any ideas or advice you could give me would be great. thank carol

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