There is no doubt about it, putting everything into writing is your best protection as a freelancer. Having a contract benefits both you and your clients.
A contract-protected work saves you a lot of trouble in that:
- It establishes your pricing in clear figures. Some photo experts charge a flat rate while others put a price on their hours.
- It defines your deliverables visibly. Both you and your client understands what you can and will offer with the project.
- It marks a delivery date. If you need to work extra or extend your hours, you can specify that there will be an additional cost.
- It protects your time through a start and exit schedule plus you can specify a nonrefundable deposit.
- It establishes you as the official photographer of an event. Everyone can afford high-definition pictures now with their phones and cameras. Make sure you get the access, angles, and recognition you need as the exclusive photographer of the day.
BONUS: Tips on Marketing without Spending a Fortune
One of the most common blocks that many freelancers face when starting out is the fear of failure before they start. What if no one would recognize them? What if it takes years for their craft to take off?
All these doubts can be blown away by laying down the groundwork of your marketing plan piece by piece.
Here are guiding questions to help you get the word out:
- Who are your target clients?
- Where can you find your prospective market?
- What is the best way to approach them?
- How can you engage your target market? That is, what can you do so that when they need a photographer’s services, they think of you?
Platforms for Marketing:
- Word of mouth – post on your own social networks or get referred by family and friends. This may be the oldest way of marketing, but it is also one of the most powerful ones. Why? People are likely to take the word of family and friends than commercials they see on TV.
- Free Seminars – one of the smartest ways to build a network, gain experience, and learn. Plus, adding a certification on your portfolio won’t hurt.
- Creating Your Own Website – talk about hitting not just two but multiple birds with one stone. Having your own website means having a niche where you can display your past works, put up client testimonials, advertise, display your services and fees, and acquire a platform where potential clients can contact you.
- Sports Clubs, Garden Centers, Wedding Shops, etc. – this depends on your craft. Do you capture exciting sports moments? Do you have a flair for highlighting the beauty of nature in pictures? Do your photographs make people swoon over blushing brides, dashing grooms, and wedding cakes? Get affiliated with organizations and places where your services are needed.
Here is another helpful resource to help you run your own business, now that you are a freelance agent: Guide to Running Your Own Business.
Knowing how much freelance photographers make per hour from different parts of the world, in different points of their career help you assess your own talent fee.
Have you been charging what your photography skills and experience are worth? If you are not sure, get a contract which helps you put into place essential pay, rights and obligations matters that not only protect you but make you look absolutely professional and polished in the eyes of your prospective clients.