It seems that photography business is a very competitive area these days, but there still is quite a lot of work for freelance photographers. And the reason is that those jobs are sometimes too small for photography agencies. Also many companies prefer to pay a freelancer rather than hiring a full-time photographer.
Due to the nature of the business there is almost no risk hiring a freelancer. Portfolio of work can be seen online and prior to making an agreement companies already know who they are dealing with. This makes the process easy for everyone. But in order to be hired you first have to let the world know that you exist. So, advertising yourself is crucial.
The beauty of freelancing is that you can actually do that along with your full-time job. And some people manage to get all their income solely from freelancing.
There are different types of freelance agreements, such as being paid per assignment or per picture. You can negotiate with your client whatever suits you both.
Here are some examples of freelance photography areas that you may choose to step in. And nothing stops you from working in all of those if you have enough time.
Stock photo sites
Resources like Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Gettyimages, Fotolia and many others allow you to have a gallery of your photos for sale. You will get paid each time a photo is bought by someone. This is not really a hiring agreement, but rather a passive income generator. These sites don’t pay much, but the beauty of this is that once you upload your images you don’t have to do anything else. These sites require a “test” submission of a few photos before granting you contributor’s status. Once you have passed the test you’re good to go. Remember – with stock sites large number of uploads is the key. The more you have for sale, the better chance is that something will get picked. Some photographers like Yuri Arcurs make six-figures on stock photography only.
This is another popular freelance area. Competition here is rather high, but payments are way larger than in other smaller areas. Positive side is that you need one or two days for the whole project that is well paid. On the negative side you have lack of contacts. You really need to be well advertised to make a living with just wedding photography, however, some additional income can be made in this area.
Public events coverage
In this area you can get paid by picture. Many photography and news agencies will be willing to pay a fortune for a perfect shot if you were lucky to get one. Large events are covered by many photographers, so competition is tight. But all the images they shoot will be different, so you may be the lucky one to get yours sold. Events coverage also may help you to get advertised and sometimes even famous.