What is an Independent Photographer?

If you have a passion for photography and would love to make a career from something you really enjoy, then you are probably wondering how to break into the photography market. There are two main options available to you. The first is to work for someone else, perhaps a company that specialises in something like commercial photography, and other forms of advertising media. Or, you could choose to work as an independent photographer.

If you want to be your own boss, then the latter is probably the career path you should be looking at. Here we look at what an independent photographer really is and some of the things you might want to consider before making your final choices.

Freelance by another name

Essentially, an independent photographer is someone who works on their own. They are their own boss and therefore free to select their own photography jobs or even just take photographs that they love in the hope of being able to sell them either through their own website or a photo sharing platform like ClickASnap. They are often referred to as freelance photographers. You can often find photographers who work in this field photographing sports events, weddings and also doing family portraiture. They will usually promote their work on social media platforms and through sharing their portfolios in order to grow their business.

How does this work?

Being independent is completely different from being employed and brings with it a range of responsibilities that you will need to consider. Marketing, scheduling, taxes and any legal issues are all things that you will need to take control of yourself rather than them being dealt with by someone else at the company you work for.

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When you are starting out you will need to make a name for yourself, promote your business and even seek out potential clients via family and friends. This can be hard going for many people. Word of mouth will be vital when it comes to growing the business so you will need to be prepared to put in long hours.

How much money can you make?

The amount of money that an independent photographer can make will vary and is entirely reliant on the photographer themselves. It will depend on a number of things such as what type of photographs you take, how much you charge, whether you need to rent studio space or have a space you can convert, and even your location. Someone with more experience and an extensive portfolio showing their work could expect to make more than someone just starting out. It is important to price yourself right in your market; too much and nobody will come to you, too little and you may not be covering your own costs.

For those freelancers who choose to share their work online using online photo sharing sites, the amount of money you can make can really vary. This will all depend on the popularity of your image on the site, the quality of your image and how many users subsequently download it for use.

Why might you become independent?

When you work as an independent photographer you will be in charge of your own schedule, so if you are looking to fit this in around other commitments like family then it can be a great choice. Likewise, you can also choose an area of photography that really interests you and specialise in that field. It might be weddings, pet photography or even photographing babies – you choose.

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Unless you don’t want a studio base then you don’t have to have one. You can edit photographs just about anywhere, and if you specialise in outdoor shoots or ones where you go to your customers then there is no need for a dedicated space.

In short, if you want to be your own boss and only take photographs of things you love and are not afraid of hard work then this may well be a good option for you.