London & Lagos Based Fashion, Commercial & Advertising Photographer » News and tips for creatives, models and anyone interested in Photography, art, travel or anything creative.

Being a freelance artist.

Freelance artists/photographers must be the luckiest people.  Not only do we get to work when we want. We also get to choose what jobs or commissions we are interested in.

That’s basically fun masquerading as work right?

WRONG

At least once a week I listen to either a friend or someone I meet randomly how easy and fun it must be being a photographer. I personally know of several photographers who got into the business just because they thought it would be easy money while having fun. What a surprise they were in for. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most freelance photographers are one man businesses and anyone familiar with with business would know what that means. For those who don’t, it means you pretty much work none stop. Unlike a larger business which would have an entire team (From the cleaner manager and everyone in between; receptionist, accountants, legal, workers, managers etc.), the photographer is everything. He answers all phone calls and emails, Shoots and retouches, takes care of the legal and accounting bits, manages and promotes the image of the business and much more.

So something that was once a fun hobby which seemed to be your ticket to an easy and fun trip to the bank suddenly becomes a nightmare.

Then there’s obviously the fact that unless you’re one of the more fortunate freelance photographers or artists, you’re not going to make enough money from the the type of work you love to accept ONLY those jobs. So, you either live the life of a strugling artist or you go out there and find a compromise accepting commissions you might not love but don’t mind. Once you go down that road you’re faced with the problem of finding the right balance between what you love and what you need to do to survive. But that’s a topic for another day.

For today, all I’m saying is being a freelance photographer is fun but tough. So if you’re going to become one, then at last make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.david otokpa.com logo

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  • November 10, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    Shayla Wallace - Hello there,
    My name is Shayla Wallace. My photography teacher requires me to do an online interview. I was wondering if i can ask you a couple of questions. I would great appreciate it. Pleace contact me back. Thanks! I wont take up too much of your time 🙂

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