OT? Freelancing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by indierthanthou, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. indierthanthou macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #1
    Just an idea that I had. How difficult would it be to get an assignment or maybe sell some photos without any formal training or anything, just by actually using your equipment and learning on your own? I don't mean a fulltime job or anything like that, just occasional work for extra cash on the side.

    What about getting paid to edit other people's photos? Is there any real market for that?

    Don't get me wrong, I am not interested in photography for the money, far from it, something in another post sparked my curiosity.
     
  2. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #2
    That greatly depends on many factors, but from my experience it's not that difficult. Of course, if you get a simple job don't expect top bucks (my first freelance gig got me a free burger and juice :p), but if you enjoy doing that, always be prepared to give out your card, just in case.
     
  3. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #3
    I live in Michigan, in the boondocks an hour and a half north of ground zer--I mean Detroit, so I thought I might see what I could do to scrape together extra cash, but really I am in it for the fun. How would I go about doing it, though? Keep a portfolio of photos in my car, with cards, and show them to people who ask, or just let my friends know of my hobby and let word of mouth get it around?
     
  4. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #4
    For me, it was a series of circumstances that lead to my freelance stuff. I take a whole lot of macros as a hobby, and I printed a few of the ones I liked the most. A few friends liked them, and soon I had a mini-expo of my work on the first day of class (I was giving new students the tour of the faculty). This lead to a fellow classmate telling me that he'd like me to take a few pics of his lab work, and voilá! 2 years later, I'm taking pics of different events and making a little cash on the side. Not much, but it's enough to keep things interesting :)

    Keep in mind that my freelance work is pretty niche (mostly bug macros so far) and I do most of my work around my U's campus, so your mileage may vary.
     
  5. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #5
    That's not freelance… that's practically slavery. Maybe below minimum wage ($10 lunch for .5-1hr work?). Perhaps there were some other circumstances–an existing relation, for ex. Without knowing about those, that's too cheap.
     
  6. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #6
    Money-wise, it was almost for free. But it was far from slavery. It was a combination of things. I did it for a friend, my equipment wasn't spectacular (a 3.2 Mp camera) so the print size was limited, and a bunch of other things. But that job got me the one thing you can't buy: recognition. After I upgraded my camera gear, that very same person that bought me a burger two and a half years ago got me a series of very well paid jobs with newspapers, magazines and scientific publications. Plus, I have an extensive resumé as a scientific photographer thanks to him, and I get to go to summits, entomological congresses and a chance to do research, all without paying a dime.

    As I said, the money is almost nonexistent (with that particular person), but the experience gained and the academic doors that were opened far surpassed what I could have charged. So I can't complain!
     
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #7
    'Making money out of photography' is a fine ambition. Unfortunately, the money tends to go the other way. ;)

    You need to be pretty focused (excuse the pun) and determined. The fact that you are looking for ideas on an internet forum suggests you are neither. Sorry... just the way I see it...

    I know people who are making a bit of money from photography. Most of them have found a niche... Such as... shooting competitors at amateur sporting events and giving them the opportunity to buy prints. Such as... photographing/copying artists' work for their portfolios. Such as... restoring old, faded, yellowed, creased prints on Photoshop. Such as... doing product and pack shots for small businesses. Such as... Selling stock pix through online agencies (Alamy, etc).

    My suggestion would be to become proficient in photography first, before thinking about making money. I make (some of) my income from photography, and it really isn't easy. Plus, I have to compete with lots of pople who want to make 'a bit of money' from their photography. So my pix have to be that much better.

    Think of 'how to make money from photography' as a hurdle: a hurdle that separates the people who have drive, skill and ambition from those who just have some vague idea. :)
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    Assignments and commercial jobs are difficult for most part-timers as the clients want things shot when they need them, not when you're available.

    Portraits and fine art can be done- fine art is the easiest in terms of fitting in a schedule. Look at Larry Berman's Art Show Photo stuff for that. Portraits take more gear to do well (strobes, softboxes...) but can be good depending on your area, how much space you have and how your eye is. Events are also sometimes an option for part-time work, as lots of them tend to be night and weekends.

    The only time I've seen anything significant Photoshop-wise is working graphic designers in design firms.
     
  9. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #9
    That makes more sense.
     
  10. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #10
    Sorry, I should have posted that earlier. When I was starting out, I got screwed over by a professor here at my U. I definitely learned my lesson!
     
  11. indierthanthou thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #11
    All good suggestions. I have no current desire to make money, since I am completely new and don't actually own any of my own equipment. Thanks for all the help!
     

Share This Page