What it is like being a Freelance Photographer Lancashire?
The best (and worst!) bit about being a freelance photographer is that you have no boss. This is the dream for most people, no boss breathing down your neck, but it is also a tough prospect as you are the master of your own destiny and you also need to put food on the table! It does take a lot of work to be a successful freelance photographer, make no mistake, you cannot just snap a few images here and there and expect to be booked out all the time. You have to learn to network and spend a long-time contacting people to try to get jobs, especially if you are just starting out in the industry, trying to get a break can take quite a while. You must keep trying, grinding it out and keep taking images even when you are not working. Now that social media exists, more and more people can access your photography which means you are able to get your name out into the business, you never know who might see your images. This is the best advice I can give if you are passionate about becoming a freelance photographer, keep going, do not let knock backs set you back on your path. It can be incredibly daunting setting out on your own, you find yourself sitting alone, hoping jobs will come in and the first few years maybe very lean, you never know, you may get incredibly lucky and catch a break early, but don’t count on it! Life is not always that kind!
After 30 odd years taking professional photos, you still learning things about the job as new situations crop up all the time. From the change of film cameras to digital, the internet as a marketing tool and more recently, social media and the rise of the smartphone. Today it is possible to make a living taking photos with just a smartphone, albeit a difficult task, but it is possible to become “an influencer”. This was obviously not my route into the business, I have had jobs at newspapers and magazines but most of my time has been as a Freelance Photographer and it certainly has had its ups and downs, this last year being incredibly hard as there have been a very, very limited number of jobs across most of the industries you would be involved in as a photographer. For me, the lack of sports and PR jobs has caused a massive crash in jobs coming in, but things are picking up slowly, you have to be as ready as you can be to deal with things like this within the photography industry!
I have done countless different contracts from PR photography, product photography, automotive photos, portraits. Pretty much any type of photography you can name.
My favourite however is probably sports photography, going to the matches and soaking in the atmosphere, even if there have been no crowds for the last while due to COVID! It is still a great feeling walking into the stadiums and getting to watch the games. I even get to shoot the mighty Bolton Wanderers occasionally!