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Friday, 5 March 2010

How to Find and Generate Freelance Photography Opportunities

By Kelly Gammon

If you ask most freelance photographers how they get work, you will
likely hear some variation on the same three answers: word of
mouth, referrals, and networking. Most freelancers in any field
will tell you that they typically spend as much time marketing
their services as they do providing service. But what other options
are there? This article will look at 5 ways to find and generate
more freelance photography opportunities. Let's begin.


1. Get a copy of the current year's Photographer's Market.
Photographer's Market is an outstanding resource. It is published
every year and lists approximately 1500 active buyers in a number
of different categories. In addition to providing full contact
information and valuable details about various markets, it will
definitely expose you to possibilities that you never knew existed.
Get Photographer's Market, gather a list of a few dozen potential
clients and start sending queries.

2. Set up a portfolio website, keep it up-to-date and market it
well. Include your website address in all of your correspondence,
both print and electronic. If you participate in online forums that
allow for signature files, put your portfolio website address in
your signature. If you follow other photographers' blogs, there is
usually an option, if you leave a comment on the blog, to include a
web address that can be associated with your name.

When you leave an insightful comment on posts you find especially interesting or
informative, an active link to your website will remain with your
comment, allowing others to find their way to you. They key is to
create an online portfolio and then spread the word to get people
there. Think of it as your business card for the twenty-first
century.

3. Write articles. Pick topics about which you are comfortable
writing and offer advice and guidance. How-to articles are an
excellent starting point for articles. They are simple to organize
and easy to compose from experience. Starting out you can submit
your articles to online article directories and hopefully get some
feedback.

As you grow more confident in your writing abilities,
branch out to your local newspaper, regional magazines and other
online avenues. Once you have built up a portfolio of articles,
query national magazines with article ideas. The key here is to
establish yourself as an expert and get a byline.

4. Do interviews. Once you have established yourself as an expert
in a certain area of photography, look for opportunities to do
interviews. Look for opportunities both online and offline.

Also, as you check out various job boards for photography work, be sure
to keep an eye out for individuals looking for industry experts to
interview. Once again, you are looking for ways to establish
yourself as an authority and get our name and contact information
in front of more people.

5. Teach an adult education class in photography. These are usually
non-credit classes and workshops offered through community groups
or colleges and universities. Depending on the interest level of
the participants you might even expand this is into a series of
classes covering different topics.

Teaching adult education is another way to establish some credentials for yourself while making
contacts in the community and getting your name better known. The
great thing about adult education is that the people who
participate in the classes have a strong desire to learn and are
very receptive and appreciative.

Bonus Tip: If you have a local public radio station in your town,
offer to do a 5-minute segment once a week geared toward amateur
photographers. Most public radio stations welcome programming ideas
and are often looking for new and interesting spots to attract
local listeners.

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