Whatever type of photographer you are, running your own business is likely to be one of your main ambitions. CTI Career Search reports that over half of all photographers are self employed with relatively few employed in traditional 9-5 jobs.
Due to the nature of a photographers work it is likely that you may work long or irregular hours. Indeed, a relatively small amount of your time might actually be taken up taking photographs as you search for new business, post produce your work and manage the administration involved in a self employed business, And, your schedule is likely to vary wildly and you may be busier at some times of the year than at others.
Here’s our five step guide to how to become a self employed photographer.
Decide what sort of photographer you are
Firstly, you will have to decide what sort of photography you want to specialise in. You will have personal talents and interests which should inform your career choice. If you are unsure, try out various different types of photography until you find something that you have a passion and aptitude for.
Improve your photography skills
However good a photographer you are, you can always improve your technical skills. If you want to be a scientific photographer or a photojournalist you are likely to have to consider a degree course. If you plan to be another type of photographer you can improve your skills though courses, through consulting textbooks or by reading photography magazines and journals.
Keep up to date with your knowledge
As a photographer, it’s important that you are always learning from other’s work.
Consult magazines and photo websites in order to keep up to date with the latest
technology and techniques.
Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from other photographers on your work. Learn from the criticism of your peers.
Build a portfolio
As a freelance or self employed photographer it’s vita that you build up a good
portfolio of your work. Include the very best of your work and you can then consider
submitting examples of your work to competitions and to magazines.
Learn about running a business
If you’re planning to become self employed, a lot of your time will be dealt with the day to day running of your business. You’ll have to deal with issues such as:
• Marketing – How will you market your business and attract new clients?
• Tax – You will have to keep records of income and expenditure in order to submit your Self Assessment tax return every year
• Payroll – If you employ staff you will have to comply with employment law as well as setting up a payroll