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? And are you tired of the daily grind, 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 can bring you in a little extra money. But moving into freelance photography as a fulltime 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’re going to have to make an investment in your equipment before you’ll be seen as a legitimate photographer.

It’s not just the camera, either. You’ll need the basic accessories to get you started, like lighting and computer editing software.

As you’re getting started, it can be tough to come up with the money to buy brand new equipment. Don’t let that deter you from getting started in your freelancing career. Look into certified refurbished cameras and accessories to get you going!

2. Get Business-Minded

Many entrepreneurs are passionate about their work, but not so 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, and as such, they’re expected to have an eye for visual aesthetics. Your website is a reflection of your ability to create beautiful art.

When you set up your site, every aspect, from the font to the photos you showcase, needs to be carefully selected. 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 have an idea in mind of 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 some form of payment before the work is done.

Cash is great, 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 a 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, now you have to decide how you’re going 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 there first. It’s better to go a mile deep in one or two places and get confident. You might find that you get enough leads and referrals that 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 the time to follow up with each individual 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 for before appointments, and surveys.

7. Keep Up With the Changes

Photography is a field where technology and innovation are always changing the landscape. It can be dangerous to decide you’re a pro and you already know everything.

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 gives you a great opportunity for networking!


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!