Photo Contest Insider Blog


Finding Work as a Photographer

July 5, 2016

As a photographer, paid photography work becomes your bread and butter – in other words, what helps you to earn a living doing what you love. As with any creative or freelance job, finding work can sometimes be difficult or uncertain.

Thankfully, we’ve narrowed-down 5 of the most effective ways that you can find or attract paid photography work. Once you have enough paid work to keep you happy, you can put your income woes to the side and concentrate on what you feel the most passionate about – taking amazing photos!

Job Search Sites:

If you haven’t used a job search site to look for photography work before (i.e. you’ve been waiting for clients to come to you), then you’re missing out! There’s a wide array of these types of job search sites available, with some even being targeted specifically to photography work.

The first site we’ll look at is actually a wider job search engine, known as Indeed.com. When you search for a specific term, it brings you job listings from a number of job search websites. To perform a search, simply go to Indeed.com and type ‘freelance photographer’ or ‘photographer’ into the search bar. You could even be more specific and narrow your search term down to the specific genre of photography you do, such as ‘commercial photographer’ or ‘fashion photographer’. See what job listings come up and hopefully some take your fancy!

Craigslist is another great online destination for uncovering photography work. You have the option of searching for the kind of work you want, as well as simply looking through the classifieds or advertising your photography work on the services page.

Other job sites worth noting include freelancephotographerjobs.com and getphotographyjobs.com. Both of these websites allow you to search for photography jobs in your specific location.

Need some tips for applying to these jobs? Here are some below!

  • Always read the job advertisement carefully before applying
  • Make note of the requirements they are asking for – do you meet these?
  • When the company is listed, do some background research – look up their website or follow them on social media to get an instant feel for the kind of work they offer.
  • How do they want you to apply for the role? Do you send a resume and cover letter? Do they want links to your portfolio or any other attachments?
  • Where, or to whom, do you send your application to? It’s important to address the correct person and to ensure your application is sent to the right email address.

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 Approaching Companies / Brands / People:

It might sound daunting, but you can also contact companies, brands or other people and simply ask them if they require your photography services. We go into a little more detail about this in our article ‘How to Become a Professional Photographer’ in the section titled ‘Start pitching your services via email’.

The rule of thumb when approaching others and offering your photography services to them is that you want to make sure first that your style of work matches their own aesthetic or brand perfectly. You’ll also want to ensure that your portfolio is up-to-date, your online presence only features your best work, and that you have some testimonials from previous clients to highlight how professional and talented you are as a photographer.

Post Social Media Shout-Outs:

As a professional photographer, you’ve probably spent quite a bit of time investing in your social media presence and gaining followers of your work. When it comes to finding work, social media can also be a great option, as it’s so easy to simply advertise your services, availability, and pricing for all of your fans to see. To create urgency (and convince any fence-sitters to finally hire you for your photography services) you can mention in a ‘shout-out’ or status that you only have a limited number of sessions available and you are now looking to fill these.

Another great way to attract work via social media is to offer discounts or other special packages that will truly win potential clients over. See what other photographers offer for inspiration!

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Word-of-Mouth:

While the best way to attract positive word-of-mouth endorsements from previous clients is to be the most professional, friendly, and flexible photographer that you can be, there are also some ways to further encourage this.

Firstly, make sure that you give all of your clients your card (or even a second one as a spare) so that they have your information handy if they wish to pass it on to a friend, colleague, or family member. Secondly, you can also mention to your client that if they know of anyone else looking for photography work, you’d love to help out. Thirdly, you could also offer an incentive to clients if they post about your photography on their own social media – perhaps a discount code for future work, or even a special bonus set of images.

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Join an Agency:

Some photographers might feel a little bit put-off by the idea of joining a photography agency, and perhaps rightly so. It can be great to feel as though you are whole-heartedly in charge of your own work, but for some photographers, joining an agency to try and make more money from their photography is right up their alley.

Shutha.org has provided an insightful but brief look into the process of working with an agency, stating that the relationship would look something like this:

  • Find out what you can about an agency and make contact
  • Apply to be represented by them
  • Finalise a contract with them
  • Supply images regularly
  • Notify them when you upload with an email or link to a gallery
  • Receive sales reports and payment from the agency
  • Continue to regularly supply relevant and updated imagery

For more information about photography agents, agencies, and stock photo agencies, you can visit here.

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There you have it – 5 of the most effective ways in which you can find work as a photographer. Photography might seem like a competitive line of work, but once you master the art of attracting work as a photographer, it sure is rewarding!