How do you find work?

Get­ting paid to take pic­tures is the dream, but you’ll need to find some­one to stump up the cash first

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Go­ing out to find work is one thing, but the goal is to have clients come look­ing for you. A rep­u­ta­tion for de­liv­er­ing high-qual­ity im­ages on time and to bud­get is key to get­ting com­mis­sions through word-of-mouth. “I get all my work through rec­om­men­da­tions,” says Alex Bai­ley. “It’s one of those strange quirks. In the early days I did ev­ery­thing I could to make the phone ring, but for the past ten years or so I have done lit­tle other than to keep my web­site up to date – and the phone never stops ring­ing. I’m not com­pla­cent about my suc­cess, though, and make an ef­fort to keep my work look­ing fresh and adopt new styles and ideas all the time.”

If you’re just start­ing out then you’re un­likely to have built up enough word-of-mouth work to

Never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of the in­ter­net, and es­pe­cially so­cial me­dia. A lot of my re­quests come from peo­ple who’ve seen my work on­line… I send im­ages to a li­brary and an agency, but most of my bet­ter sales have been via di­rect con­tact

Richard Peters, wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher

sus­tain your busi­ness, and you’ll need to con­sider ad­ver­tis­ing. As we’re all aware, the in­ter­net has been a game-changer as far as mar­ket­ing is con­cerned; it’s not so much about knock­ing on doors to show your work as it is about ping­ing the in­boxes of the right email ac­counts. While some pros be­moan the plum­met­ing price of stock im­ages and the ‘steal­ing’ of low-res im­ages on­line, there’s no get­ting away from it: if you want

to sell shots, you need to have your best work avail­able on­line.

“It’s im­por­tant to put to­gether a good web­site,” agrees Mark Pain. “It’s the shop win­dow for your skills and is now the first point of con­tact for fu­ture clients.”

Mark sug­gests that you should try to de­velop a style all of your own. “That’s some­times what a client is look­ing for,” he says. “With 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, I’ve built up a body of work that clients are at­tracted by, but you have to keep rein­vent­ing your­self to re­main fresh. For in­stance, I’ve re­cently started to shoot full 360-de­gree ac­tion im­ages of sports for the first time.”

In­ter­net vis­i­bil­ity doesn’t cost the earth – in many cases it’s free. Flickr, 500px and Behance are great places to start. A so­cial me­dia pres­ence is im­por­tant too, but only if you can com­mit the time to keep it up­dated. Get­ting a web­site doesn’t have to be expensive, ei­ther. There are plenty of free or low-cost pho­tog­ra­phy-friendly themes for the Word­press blog­ging plat­form that can get you started. These days you don’t need a de­gree in CSS to be able to cre­ate a slick on­line port­fo­lio, but an abil­ity to write en­gag­ing blog posts cer­tainly helps – and can open up op­por­tu­ni­ties for paid work, too.

“I started a blog to write about the var­i­ous aspects of wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy,” re­veals Richard Peters. “In do­ing so I also be­gan get­ting re­quests to write for others too. That pushed my work to­wards an even big­ger au­di­ence and it built up from there.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.