Find fields & stores near you!
Find fields and stores
Zipcode
PbNation News
PbNation News
Community Focus
Community Focus

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-28-2014, 06:53 AM #1
SHOOT KILL WIN
 
 
SHOOT KILL WIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: BFE
 has been a member for 10 years
SHOOT KILL WIN is an NCPA player
SHOOT KILL WIN plays in the APPA D4 division
SHOOT KILL WIN has perfected Level 1 in PbNation Pursuit
From Hobby to Freelance?

I have been a photographer as mainly a hobby for the last 7-8 years. I just graduated with a graphic design degree, but kept up with photo classes and some side stuff. I am now looking to make some money at doing it on the side.

I am here to ask those of you who freelance what you wish you would have known starting out your freelance business. I don't need much advice about gear or how to take photos, but more of the business side. Such as how you go about charging or things you may not have thought about on shoots until you were in the scenario. Even just a personal 2 cents.

Thanks in advance.
__________________
Old Feedback Model
SHOOT KILL WIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sponsored Links Remove Advertisement
Advertisement
Old 07-28-2014, 10:23 AM #2
outkast kid
 
 
outkast kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Philadelphia
outkast kid is a Paintball photographer
Keep things simple. Remember that the client doesn't always know what they want until you show it to them. Keep track of your money - expenses and profits. If you're going to get serious about freelancing, set up a sole proprietorship at the minimum and get equipment and personal liability insurance. Don't keep your prices low for too long. It's never a bad idea to throw some images at other people and see what they think if you're unsure about a particular frame or editing. Try to scout a location/venue for a shoot before the day-of at a similar time. Buy gaff tape. Don't shoot paintball. Try to have a backup of as much of your stuff as possible. Be prepared for the worst possible shooting situation.

/block of advice
outkast kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 05:51 PM #3
FoidPoosening
www.ArmoryPaintball.com
 
FoidPoosening's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: NJ 08822
Annual Supporting Member
FoidPoosening donated to help Peyton Trent
FoidPoosening is playing at Living Legends VI
FoidPoosening supports Bob Gurnsey
FoidPoosening supports our troops
FoidPoosening has achieved Level 6 in PbNation Pursuit
FoidPoosening is Legendary
FoidPoosening is Boss
As far as business advice goes, AVOID the sole proprietorship, get an LLC with some legal protection for yourself so you can't be raked for everything you own.

Besides that, it'll allow you to establish a consistent name and you can write off other things such as gas/mileage driven to gigs, etc.

I myself am not a freelancer...yet...but I've heard on many photography forums that the best place to start is your local community. I have a friend that contracts himself out to local families to shoot their kids' high school varsity sporting events. He charges a flat fee to get out there ($50 or $25 or $100 or whatever depending on number of kids/event) and then sets up the proofs on a website. Families pick photos they like and he charges $1 for each photo too.

If you have a local imaging/printing studio in your area, you can partner with them too if you get to know them. I know that might sound like competition at first, but if you do something that they don't do then a mutually beneficial relationship could happen.

get creative. Exchange your services for products or items or other service if you can get a favorable agreement.
__________________
Check out my Company: ArmoryPaintball.com

Despite six classes and two jobs this year, I keep ArmoryPaintball.com going because I love paintball! A sincere thank you to all of my customers all over the world for the continued business. :)
FoidPoosening is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 10:22 PM #4
outkast kid
 
 
outkast kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Philadelphia
outkast kid is a Paintball photographer
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoidPoosening View Post
As far as business advice goes, AVOID the sole proprietorship, get an LLC with some legal protection for yourself so you can't be raked for everything you own.
Two words: liability insurance. LLCs are much more complicated to set up, often much more than a single photographer needs and usually require hiring a certified accountant or lawyer. As a starting freelancer, an LLC is complete overkill.

Also, charging a dollar per photo is not doing very good business. There's no value in cutting yourself short.
outkast kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2014, 05:19 PM #5
reddogphoto
BECAUSE ST:P
 
reddogphoto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Quote:
Originally Posted by outkast kid View Post
LLCs are much more complicated to set up, often much more than a single photographer needs and usually require hiring a certified accountant or lawyer. As a starting freelancer, an LLC is complete overkill.

THIS. As a side note from someone with extensive b2b experience with my day job, LLCs have lost a lot of credibility as too many people thought "limited liability" meant "if my business falls on its *** and I close it, I don't have to pay my debts", which couldn't be further from the truth. a DBA/sole proprietorship shows you're willing to back your business.
__________________

My name is Ted and I produce photos. Sometimes I get a decent one.
5px
http://reddogvisuals.com
reddogphoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 09:27 AM #6
SHOOT KILL WIN
 
 
SHOOT KILL WIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: BFE
 has been a member for 10 years
SHOOT KILL WIN is an NCPA player
SHOOT KILL WIN plays in the APPA D4 division
SHOOT KILL WIN has perfected Level 1 in PbNation Pursuit
Thanks guys. This is helpful, seriously. I am not inexperienced by any means. I have been shooting for 8 years and don't plan to sell photos for $1 each. I know I'm just beginning the profit side of photography, but I have the gear and experience to charge real money.

It sounds like a sole proprietorship is the way to go. A couple of you mentioned other photo forums. I have visited a couple but they seem, meh. Maybe I'm just used to the fun nature of PbN. What are some of the better forums y'all recommend?
__________________
Old Feedback Model
SHOOT KILL WIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 10:23 AM #7
outkast kid
 
 
outkast kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Philadelphia
outkast kid is a Paintball photographer
photography-on-the.net is good for lurking and the b/s/t section. Unfortunately though, a large majority of the people posting their work would make the rate the photo above yours thread on here look worthy of national geographic. If you can get past the crap though, there are some great photogs to keep an eye on.
outkast kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2014, 03:13 PM #8
proto_oli
INERTIA
 
proto_oli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Puerto Rico
proto_oli plays in the PSP
proto_oli supports DLX Technology
I was going to write a long post... full of "wisdom" and whatnot.. but this is a much shorter post with what I consider being some of the most important aspects of freelance photography.

- Your most valuable tool as a freelance photographer (other than your gear) is your cel phone.. and having business cards to hand out. If you are serious about freelancing.. always have your phone with you and pickup every single call you get, no matter what time of the day it is.. if you cant take the photo gig, have a backup for your potential client, point them in the direction of another, responsible photographer.

- Keep invoices.. so you can keep track of your expenses and cash flow from clients.. how much are you owed and such.

- Always have redundant gear... If you cant afford another DSLR.. atleast have a point and shoot in hand.. same goes for every piece of gear.. your gear can, and will fail you. Be prepared.

This is how I mostly go about charging my clients... my base fee is
$350 for the first two hours, and $75 an hour after.

Now... We know a headshot doesnt take more than 1 hour.. so I usually negotiate with the client. What will determine my fee is who my client is, and what will his headshot be used for.

Last and not less important.. have contracts.. have your clients sign your contracts and agree to your terms. Specially if you're called by.. say a restaurant tha wants to have their food photographed for a new menu.. Charge your base fee, but charge a "Usage" fee, since those images will be used to "attract" more clients, and make more money.. have Terms of Use Contract.. You make your own rules in your contracts... but basically have them sign a Terms of Use so that those images can ONLY by used in the Menu, if they want to use them in billboards or large posters, they need to pay a fee for that specific use.
__________________
PR AllStarz
proto_oli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2014, 10:37 AM #9
ProtoBaller1991
Come to VLN my child
 
ProtoBaller1991's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chicago
ProtoBaller1991 donated to help Peyton Trent
Get an internship and network.
__________________
OG-Seven Deadly Sins
I do tv show things
320gb External Hard Drive F/S
My Instagram
ProtoBaller1991 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 09:09 AM #10
SHOOT KILL WIN
 
 
SHOOT KILL WIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: BFE
 has been a member for 10 years
SHOOT KILL WIN is an NCPA player
SHOOT KILL WIN plays in the APPA D4 division
SHOOT KILL WIN has perfected Level 1 in PbNation Pursuit
proto_oli some fantastic points there. thank you. thats more along the answer i was fishing for when posting this thread, i appreciate it!
__________________
Old Feedback Model
SHOOT KILL WIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
Forum Jump