Networking is important to meet potential clients, or even other photographers that can get you connections or inspire you. They are often great creative hubs where people are open to talk and discuss your work or potential ideas with you. My first networking event was for Sustainable Communities: Migrants, i found that everyone there was very interesting. It was great to see a wide range of ideas and briefs coming from people, which ranged to suit different types of photographers. Although not everyone you meet may equal work, it is still key to be friendly and act keen as they can recommend you to other clients. It is also low cost, so can be very effective if used properly. Ensure you have prepared properly for the event with a good portfolio of recent or appropriate shoots. Set goals to get the best out of the day, such as ‘meet two new clients’, you can review the RSPV list to make notes of who you want to connect with. Attend the event with Icebreakers, such as ‘Do you know many people here?’ or ‘How long have you been in the industry?’. Once the event is over, you can follow up people you met to secure the new relationships.
Book Festivals are great events which can last days or weeks. They are hubs of creatives, visiting Talks from established and up and coming practitioners from all types of photography, so you can learn from your favourite photographer or make contacts. First books/ dummy’s are shown from emerging photographers, which can be perfect for students to get their work out there and notices. Workshops take place with professionals, alongside book launches, the book fair, food and music.
Photography festivals take place all over the world. Wherever you are, you aren’t far away from a place of art which can inspire you and meet people that you wouldn’t usually be in contact with. They are great to learn new skills or see new photographers.
Tips to getting freelance work:
- Keep an up to date professional website
- Budget well to ensure you can stay in the practice
- Respond to emails / phone calls as fast as you can
- Keep lists & stay organised
- Work quickly and efficiently
- Have confidence
- Know where to look for jobs
- Keep a list of potential clients / contacts
Stock images are a great way to learn cash whilst you are establishing yourself as a photographer. Although it may not be fulfilling your passion, it keeps your photography in circulation, earning money whilst you can focus on other projects. Different agencies are more popular than others, and the rate they pay you can differ also:
- Alamy offers a 100% student scheme from which students get 100% of their profits for 2 years. This is beneficial as it means you can earn more money from your work. Many magazines, (such as the one i worked on for placement) use this as their main picture agency.
Having an Agent
Having an agent can significantly raise your chances of getting work, as qualified people are doing the job for you. But it can be very difficult to land an agent, as they don’t often take new photographers. Here are some pointers to help get an agent:
- Ensure you stand out
- Do your research, personalise your message. Find some common ground through references.
- Present a business model
- Know what kind of photographer you are. Strong brand identity.
- Share your most recent commercial success stories.
- Shows you have attended, name drop.
- Be respectful
- Have patience waiting for emails.
- Have a reasonable budget.
Linkedin is a professional way of meeting new clients through a social-media type style. It allows professionals, often in the creative industry to link together, to follow each others work and connect. With more than 21m on LinkedIn just in the UK, it is worth having an account to connect with all types of artists.
“There are more than 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.” https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin?trk=uno-reg-guest-home-about