Freelance Photography

Do you have a passion for being behind the camera? Are you good at getting just the right shot with the best lighting? Are you tired of the daily grind and looking forward to a day when you can set your own schedule?

If so, a career in freelance photography might be exactly what you need.

As a side gig, photography is a fun hobby that brings you extra money. But moving into freelance photography as a full-time job is an investment of time and equipment you want to do right from the beginning.

Before you jump into your new, exciting path, combining your passion with your income, check out these seven ways to be successful at freelance photography.

1. Invest in the Right Equipment

Just because your smartphone pictures are on point doesn’t mean people will want to pay you to use them. You’ll have to invest in your equipment before being seen as a legitimate photographer.

It’s not just the camera, either. You’ll need essential accessories, like lighting and computer editing software, to get you started. A bipod is one of the accessories you need to be a sports photographer.

Protecting your investment by purchasing photography business insurance, which protects your equipment against theft, damage, and loss, is essential. The right insurance coverage lets you focus on capturing breathtaking moments without worrying about potential financial losses.

2. Get Business-Minded

Many entrepreneurs are passionate about their work but need to be more excited about the business side of the job. If you ignore things like taxes and documentation, it will come back to haunt you later.

From the beginning, start your freelance career with a firm business foundation. You’ll need a reputable tool to:
  • Keep track of your schedule
  • Run your invoicing
  • Store your receipts, tax information, and other documentation
  • Organize your client communication
  • The earlier you can streamline your daily processes, the smoother your career will go!

3. Design an Impressive Website

Photographers are artists, so they’re expected to have an eye for visual aesthetics. Your website is a reflection of your ability to create beautiful art.

Every aspect must be carefully selected when you set up your site, from the font to the photos you showcase. It all forms a ‘picture’ of your professionalism and talent!

Keep a portfolio page on your site to let potential clients thumb through before you meet. This will save you both time as they know what they’re looking for and, if you post your prices, how much they can expect to pay.

4. Choose Your Payment Options

Photographers have a benefit that many freelancers don’t get. They see their clients in person. That makes it easier to demand payment before the work is done.

Cash is significant, but most people don’t carry it anymore. If you set up your site to accept online payments, you can require a deposit at the time of scheduling. Then, the rest of the invoice may be due when the person gets their photos or whatever your payment terms are.

The wider the variety of payment options you offer, the easier it is to get paid. Many freelancers accept credit cards, Cash App, PayPal, and other digital forms of cash transfer. Post the payment methods you take clearly on your website.

5. Set Up Your Lead Generation Plan

With your business ready for clients, you must decide how to attract leads. This is part of your marketing plan. Most freelancers join social media and professional platforms to get their name out in their community.

Start with a social media network you feel comfortable with and build your following first. It’s better to go a mile deep in one or two places and get confident. You might get enough leads and referrals you don’t want to spread out for a while!

6. Develop a Follow-Up System

Getting leads is one thing. Following up with them to encourage customer satisfaction is another.

The ultimate goal would be that you’re so busy doing what you love that you don’t have time to follow up with each client or new follower. But with the right software and an email address, you can set up a follow-up system to do this for you.

Email marketing is crucial in business today. Your photography software should have a way to create auto-generated introductory emails when someone signs up on your website. You can also create follow-up emails after a session, reminders before appointments, and surveys.

7. Keep Up With the Changes

Photography is a field where technology and innovation are constantly changing the landscape. Deciding you’re a pro and already know everything can be dangerous.

From the editing software you use to the types of equipment available, you have to keep up with the changes.

Consider signing up for the best photography newsletters, taking courses, or visiting a few workshops each year. This will let you stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the industry and give you a great networking opportunity!


Becoming a photography entrepreneur is an excellent way to combine your passion with a career you love! Freelancing requires an entirely new way of thinking than you had with your office job, though.

To give yourself the best shot at becoming a successful freelance photographer, keep these ideas in mind while you set up your business!