If you couldn't figure out from all my social media - I GOT A NEW CAMERA! After four years with my D7000, I figured I owed it to myself to upgrade my equipment. Aside from a D750, I also got a 50mm 1.4 lens which I cannot get over - it works like a dream! Ultimately I got the new stuff to improve my video quality, but in the end it definitely amped up my photos too. (I may or may not have been going crazy this weekend taking self portraits and photos of inanimate objects...oops.)
With my new equipment, I thought a lot about how I got to this point in my freelance career. While I may not do freelance full time, I still get a majority of my income from photoshoots and YouTube videos, and that's pretty cool. When I started out my photo business in high school, I really just did it for fun and a little extra cash on the side. Turns out, I'm doing better than expected. I get a surprising amount of photo jobs for someone who isn't well established and who does not do weddings. More than that, a lot of the people I work with want me to work with them again in the future.
Freelancing is never easy (just ask me about taxes), but in the end, I do believe it is what I want to do as a full time career. The older I get, and the more strange jobs I take, the more I want to just work for myself. I love interacting with people when I do photoshoots, and that's what I want to feel like all the time.
As of now, I have a lot of plans for how to amp up my freelancing, but I keep coming back to one idea I had a few months ago with some friends. Because I interact with a lot of bloggers and freelancers and social media users, I have come to find that a lot of money revolves around social media content. Whether that's products to promote or photos of those products, a growing number of entrepreneurs need help with visual content for their businesses. Very few things have become as powerful as one's social media presence.
My idea? I want to become a creative collaborator for small businesses - to provide them with Instagram photos or promo videos or head-shots or social media content. Monthly.
This may seem obvious, and there may already be a number of people creating Instagram content for bloggers, but the idea of working with one person from month to month to help curate a truly cohesive brand seems valuable. Often we look for consistent content, but it's difficult to do that if you switch between photographers or you change your own editing style every two seconds. More than that, it can be difficult to keep up with content on your own without someone else to help provide you with things to post.
Over the past few months, I have gotten to work with one client a lot, and she has really shown me how my idea could become something bigger. We get together once a month for one morning (about two hours) and shoot like crazy people. She'll come with some ideas for products or set-ups, and as we go we'll collaborate on ideas together. I usually do a combination of flat-lays, product close-ups, laptop/office shots, and head-shots. After one morning and 400 shots later, I send her back photos that she can use all month (or save them for later!). It's helpful to her, but it also helps me because of the consistency.
A lot of freelancers can't be full time freelancers because they can't guarantee that they'll get work every single month. Without consistent jobs, you won't have a consistent income and that means you need a day job. This idea sparked something in me because with the right clients, you could have them promise (coughcough sign a contract) to pay you a set amount every month for a year - which means you can create a steady income by planning ahead. More than that, if you set the price high enough, you don't need an obscene amount of clients.
All that said, I am nowhere near launching that as a business. We discovered the idea at the beginning of the year, probably March, and now in July the most I've done is consider pricing. I don't know how to market it, or how to write up a contract, and I still have only two clients who I know would be interested in working with me...because I already work with them on a monthly basis. It remains a distant daydream, but I hope to pursue it one day.
Nashville area bloggers and small businesses - if you want monthly content, shoot me an email! I'd love to work with you!
Until then, I'll just keep fiddling with my new stuff. I can't believe I spent $2,000, but I'm glad I did.
P.S. If you're looking for more inspo/info about being a freelancer, check out my friend Ariel's podcast! (Embed below)