In this day and age, having a 9-5 is a prison that many people aspire to escape. You find there are more and more individuals who turn to have their own business venture or company rather than working for someone else. I can’t say I disagree with this as I am one of those as well. I always had a stern belief that it’s important to get working on your own dreams before someone hires you to work on theirs. Being a freelance photographer is probably one of the best and scary decisions I ever made.
Like everything in this world, being a freelance photographer has its challenges that you will eventually face but you will also eventually overcome them as well. In this article, I will be listing a few of these challenges I have personally faced and how you can overcome them.
When you become a freelance photographer or videographer you sometimes turn into an introvert. You’re often glued to your workspace perfecting your images or videos and probably only leave your desk for a few things like food, to take a shower and probably the bathroom. The bathroom part is subjective to how intense your post production is. All jokes aside, you really start to become someone who is as not as sociable as you would probably hope to me. For me, I was already not a social butterfly so it didn’t make an impact on me as much.
Until I started to notice being an introvert can have some effect on not only your social life but with your relationship with others as well. I often found myself ignoring those who were trying to invite me to places to be social just because I didn’t want to use my energy to entertain conversations and would rather work on my craft. I was forced to come of this stage because not only was it damaging my relationship with others but it was also affecting networking skills. To overcome this I began to host editing parties whereas I would invite a few photographers and videographers like myself and we all help each other and give tips on our individual projects. This helped me a lot to see things from a different perspective and it became refreshing to interact with others who were as creative as I am.
This probably has to be one of the most difficult challenges I faced as a freelance photographer. Once you become a freelance photographer or videographer it’s hard to predict or know how much money you will be making in a specific month. This is determined by the consistency of work or projects received from your clients as well as the number of clients you do have.
Once you’ve established a particular pattern that has remained consistent over a certain period of time then you can estimate a minimum income. Inconsistent income as a freelancer made it difficult to make certain plans financially because there’s no telling if you will have the same or lesser income the following month. Overcoming this took a little time but the solution became very simple. I began to put my corporate clients who actively hired me for a project on a retainer per month.
This gave them the freedom to book a certain amount of hours per month at a set cost with the assurance that they will get their project done in a timely manner. Having done this to most of my corporate clients, it gave me a sense of comfort knowing that these contracts are in place and there is a set amount of income that will be made on a monthly basis.
As a freelancer, you’re always hustling and trying to recruit new clients. You should always be prepared to pitch an idea of sell yourself on the spot to someone who could become a client. However, this can be exhausting because you begin to feel like you’re always working around the clock. This kinda makes you understand and appreciate what people mean when they say “the hustle never stops”. To overcome this, I started to pace myself and try not to do too much to the point where I’m becoming unhappy or annoyed with the choice I’ve made.
With the understanding that time is money as a freelancer, you should always try to do as much as you can in the time you have and force yourself to the point you’re doing a project without passion and just want your client’s money. At that point, you’re no longer doing it because you have a passion for it or love it but you’re more so just trying to get some bills paid.
I am probably still a huge victim to this one. As a freelancer, you’re your own boss which means you set your own work hours and your own rules. However, some of us are not always as disciplined as we would hope to be so we end up doing a thousand other things and get distracted from doing the job or project we are getting paid to do. At this point, you begin to appreciate people who have supervisors to keep them in line. There were often times when I had a vast amount of projects to get done but then I decided to give in to laziness and slept the whole day and did nothing. If I’m being completely honest, this still happens sometimes on my worst days.
To overcome this I started to invest my time into a schedule and motivating myself on a daily basis. I made it my duty to remind myself each day as to what my dreams are and if I want to get there then I can keep sleeping or being distracted by things that are not in line with where I am trying to go. Once this is done, you will find yourself a lot more focused and driven even on your lazy days because your goals and dreams become all you need to get going.
I hope this article helped some of you who have been freelancers for years and others who are looking to become one. As a freelancer, you must keep busy working on your dream because someone will hire you to work on theirs.