How to Become a Freelance Photographer (In 7 Steps)

Are you tired of the office grind? If you’ve passion and desire, then you may switch to freelance photography. A couple of months of practicing may turn the impossible into reality.

Can you trust what your eyes reveal? Yeah! It’s definitely possible but challenging. Proper guidelines make this journey easy and quite favorable to you.

In this context, I’m going to share my own personal journey regarding how to become a freelance photographer.

I’ll include all the steps that you need to follow. So, let’s get started.

What is a Freelance Photographer?

What is a Freelance Photographer

A freelance photographer is a self-employed photographer who works for themselves.

When you are skilled enough with your certain freelance photography niche you can work as a freelance sports photographer, freelance travel photographer and a photographer for newspaper or any popular magazine.

They actually don’t work for a particular organization or studio.

The demand for freelance photographers is rising because of no dependency and flexibility.

Currently, Various job holders are switching to this career or using it as a side income.

There are many opportunities to create from this option, like creating your own agency, selling photos to stock websites etc.

Does it still seem to be a dream? It’s high time to make a decision. Never let down your dream. Convert your dream into reality.

7 Easy Steps To Become A Freelance Photographer

To become a freelance photographer is not hard but tricky. There is little difference between freelance and traditional photographers.

As a novice, it’s easy to fall into a trap. Don’t worry,  I’m here to assist you.

Here are the 7 blueprints that help you to achieve your goal smoothly:

Step-01: Developed Your Skill

“Learn before Earn”. If you don’t want a temporary income, you must be skilled. It’s better to get certified by any renowned organization.

Choose your freelance photography types and get skilled.

You can go for these different types of professional photography niches are as follows:

Moreover, I prefer physical institutions rather than online courses.

You have to master all the technical aspects of your camera, like lens types, framing, angle, lighting, exposure, etc.

Invest your time in shooting psychology. You must have knowledge of the environment and shooting quality. Thus, you can shoot better photos.

After certification, it’s essential to build a portfolio. A portfolio represents you and your skill level. This will help you to reach your potential clients.

The more unique and quality portfolios you’ve,  the more chances you have to convert a client.

Step-02: Define Your Business

Now, it’s time to make a platform that actually defines your business. It can be a banner, Facebook page or any physical platform.

If you don’t have the ability to set up any physical place, then a Facebook page or other social platform is compulsory to do it.

Make a banner including your services,  like wedding photography and other events. It must be attractive.

One thing you should never miss is the price. Research the current market and listed all the prices.

Don’t make your service too expensive or cheap. Make it the middle.

Lastly, develop your brand identity, representing your unique style and personality.

Step-03: Developed Your Network

As a newbie, it’s important to develop your own network. Follow other professionals and see how they send proposals to their clients.

I highly recommend attending annual or monthly events that are organized by the photographer community.

Learn from your mistakes and develop your own creative style.

Join all social media platforms like Facebook, Quora, Reddit, and LinkedIn groups. Try to share your knowledge by posting on this group.

Besides, post on your profile that are related to photography. These actions indicate to you which industry you belong to. It is very beneficial to get clients fast.

Step-04: Master the Art of the Deal

Conviction fuels the power to convince in business. No matter how much good service you have, if you can’t convince your client, you can’t sell.

You should spend your time writing cold emails, offer letters, business proposals, etc.

Similarly, learn how to compose contracts that defend both you and your customers.

Don’t forget to negotiate your payments confidently and stick to your service rate. In this case, I recommend making a package and including all of your services.

Keep at least 3/4 categories for different budgeted people.

For example, beginner packages, business packages, standard packaging, PRO packages, etc. This action will increase the chances of sell.

Step-05: Invest time in Editing

Editing helps you to boost your photographic career to the next level.

You should learn how to use editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator etc.

Besides, photo editing, you can also learn how to edit a video. In this regard, you can learn Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve, etc.

You have to learn to adjust colors, contrast, and sharpness.

These enable you to solve exposure problems, lens misshaping, or disfavored elements in the frame. As a result, you’ll get more polished images.

Step-06: Build Your Community

To achieve long-term success, building a community is a must. To do this, you can arrange a meeting with the photography enthusiast.

You can discuss a variety of tactics with them. “Sharing is caring”. So,  never neglect this option.

Another best way to do it is a virtual network. You can create groups and invite the photographic enthusiast.

After that, you need to post at least once a day.

Send invitations to freelancers and business owners. It creates a bridge between the entrepreneur and the photographer.

Don’t forget to write blog posts, create tutorials, or speak at events. It will increase your brand value.

Step-07: Consider Paid Reach

If you have a pretty enough budget for advertisement, then definitely go with paid ads.

You can run your ads on a variety of platforms like Facebook, Bing, and Google ads as well. Paid ads save you time to get huge real traffic online.

In this regard, you can learn server tracking and other paid courses on “Paid ads”.

Don’t have enough budget to do it? Well. Then, you can spend your time learning SEO(Search Engine Optimization).

However,  it requires a huge amount of time but has benefits as well. You’ll get free organic traffic without spending a single buck.

To get more clients or traffic, a website is a must. So, develop your own website, optimize it, and get more clients.


How do I start as a freelance photographer?

To start a freelance photography career, you need to be skilled first.

Take a certificate from any renowned center, develop your portfolio, and start an internship under a professional.

Then, make sure your online presence is online and build a community.

Keep your focus on development not on money first. Don’t lose hope and keep trying.

What qualifications do you need to be a freelance photographer?

 To become a freelance photographer, an academic background is less important.

However, a minimum degree is required to communicate with your clients.

But, technical qualification is required. You should earn a certificate which represents your skill and another prospect.

Add all the certificates and documentation to your website and social media.

Is freelance photography a good side hustle?

The answer is both “Yes” and “No”. You’ll get enough freedom and get an extra income from it.

Moreover, you can express your artistic vision and specific goal. Similarly, it is the best way to generate passive income.

On the other hand, the main disadvantage is unstable income.

From the very beginning, it’s difficult to get clients and remote jobs. But, it can be overcome with proper marketing and strategies.