freelance work....

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Tennessee Landscape, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Tennessee Landscape

    Tennessee Landscape TPF Noob!

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    How does a freelance photographer get his feet off the ground....ie..how do you sell you photos to magazines and newspapers, and how do you get into those sporting events to take the pictures....

    for reference, I have not sold the first photo yet, so I need basics to get prepared to start selling...
     
  2. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Magazines are tough. Newspapers too (unless it's your local weekly).
    And the pay sucks!

    I'd start with shooting little league sports and develop a rapport with parents and coaches. Then offer to become the official photographer and to post pix for sale on Shutterfly.

    PM or email me for details.

    (BTW, I'm particularly interested in you because you're in Seymour. I grew up in Knoxville, graduated from UT, and have a couple of old friends who live in your neck of the woods.)
     
  3. Tennessee Landscape

    Tennessee Landscape TPF Noob!

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    Sent you an email.........
     
  4. judson

    judson TPF Noob!

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    Hey, it's nice to see someone else from Tennessee here. I'm just outside of Nashville.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    The main thing is a strong portfolio. Once you have that then start contacting art directors in your area and make sure they see your work. It is all about good business and marketing. Come up with a game plan and follow it.

    Love & Bass
     
  6. AlexParlett

    AlexParlett TPF Noob!

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    Freelance start is a vicious circle. You need a good portfolio, but most of the time, its hard to get press access to closed events solo, when you will not be representing the photo in anything.

    Best thing, is do you best, get together a strong portfolio, decide whether you are going to specialize in one medium (this i would suggest to start with because that way you arent running about trying to get into too many events.), at least for a physical portfolio, then also get an online website set up with perhaps a more general portfolio.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I first started freelancing I was a little intimidated that I would not be hired and about what was required. At the time I sent out resumes to everyone in town and much to my surprise got tons of responses. I was offered to be put on many lists as a stringer. In the end I accepte 3 of them 1 was sports focused and I did not end up having th right gear for it at the time and the other 2 I took and kept for quite a while till I switched to wedding photography and at the time I invested in medium-format gear so was not able to continue. At the ime I had a 2 year degree from a local school and a small portfolio but the main thing I had was the ability to have flexible hours and start out working for peanuts. The real way to make it is to be able to work for peanuts but have gear like you are making millions. If you have a halfway decent body (mabye a backup too) and some fast glass. Personally I think an absolute requirement would be a 70-200 2.8 of some sort (whatever brand you use) and the rest of your glass is not as totally important and of course a flash. But I gues the basic point is if you are confident in your abilities and have a decent book don't be afraid to stick your toes in the water but by all means do not be surorised if you fail strictly because you do not have the gear.
     
  8. Renair

    Renair TPF Noob!

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    Well I have become quite successful in this field by chance and perseverence. Get a website so people can view your work www.clikpic.com and also get business cards to hand out to people. www.vistaprint.com

    Through this way I would scour the papers for upcoming movie premiers and news events, ie protests etc or local sports. Once at a movie premier there were no photographers around, a PR person asked was I a paparazzi, I said yes (he he) and I met the stars, took shots, free booze and then they gave me a news agency in the UK to send the images too.

    They loved them, asked to see other work which I had on the web and from their I got signed with them and regularly attend premiers - award shows and other showbiz events. This month alone I have the Meteor Irish Music Awards, the 5th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards and the Jameson International Film Festival and the Irish Premier of U2-3D The Movie!

    Another thing is go to events where other Press Photographers hang out and usually you will find a PR person their and give them your card and get put on a mailing list....

    Hope all this helps....
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And make sure you lok at the above guy's sig...
     
  10. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's not easy going the freelance route!!!
    Tearsheets.. tearsheets.. tearsheets!!!
    I started by building up some tearsheets ( proof of publication)
    Even if it was sending images to my local newpaper and not charging . High school sports are a good place to shoot. Get with the school and tell them you would be glad to give them a CD for having a good place to shoot. Then send 1 or 2 to your local paper.Thats what I did. Make sure you ask for a credit line. ( Photo by: your name!) Then I Got a few weather images in a magazine, then a few in a book. The Weather Channel bought some for there show "Storm Stories".. they saw the ones in the book.

    I built up enough tearsheets ... sports & spot news that I started sending them to PR people at concert venues trying to get permission to shoot concerts, got quite a few turn downs, but did land a Farm -aid concert Gold mine! got enough big time stars to start getting other big time stars. Now those tearsheets have lead me to recieve permission to shoot at Dover DL. NASCAR. !! From there who knows!
     
  11. Tennessee Landscape

    Tennessee Landscape TPF Noob!

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    Wow, Lot's of good feedback.....Thanks too!......

    UPDATE.....I just landed my first Media Pass...( without having press credentials yet ).....The Knoxville Ice Bears ( minor league hockey ) gave me a media pass for the rest of the season..... I know I don't have the big glass, and will probably look like a dweeb next to the other guys who do, but I'm going to get in there and take the best pictures I can right now.....I play hockey, so I follow the game very well, hopefully that will play into my hands.....

    I also plan on getting down on the sidelines for some high school sports, then it's on to building that portfolio!

    Thanks for all the input, please keep it coming..............
     
  12. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well knowing the sport is definately an advantage and would give you some nice images. I would not rule out having the "big glass" have you ever considered rental??? I did a search in the town you posted and this place http://knoxville.citysearch.com/profile/9428120/knoxville_tn/digital_camera_rental.html is listed as having rentals. If it is wrong I would not give up you ought to scour you local shops to see if anyone can help you. This is a great way to get exoerience with the "big glass". You just need to remember if you hve plans you get into this business you will absoulutely need some "big glass" or you will not make it.
     

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