How I Became A Freelance Photographer.
It wasn't until a few of you had DM'ed me on Instagram asking about my relationship with Photography and how I now work for myself that I realised I've never really spoken about it! Well, I may have mentioned it but I've never gone into depth. So to the people who asked me, this is for you. Feel free to comment or head over to my Twitter/Instagram and I'll try my best to help if you're going through similar issues as me. Obviously, this is my own personal experience and the same might not work/happen for you but I just hope this can provide you with some useful information!
would you believe me if I told you it was a complete accident?
Yes, I blindly fell into the world of freelancing. No major game-plan or preliminary research. I basically never left my work experience - but I get paid for it now so we all good. I got hired on a freelance basis so working 'as and when' and I already had a social media presence (extremely important btw) so other people wanted to hire me and it's just continued exactly like that. I was then able to leave my part-time job working in a boutique and now I work solely for myself. Something I'm still getting to grips with, something that still scares me and something I'm learning to love.
HOW IT BEGAN: EDUCATION & finding WORK
It all began when I did Art as a GCSE, I liked Art but it wasn't something I was amazingly good at so feeling my frustration my art teachers introduced photography to me. We were lucky because we were allowed to incorporate it alongside our other 'arty' work, my dad had a Canon camera and a few lenses and that's how it began. I then moved onto studying Photography at A-Level where I was briefly (and I mean brief) introduced to Lightroom and Photoshop. My work developed and progressed. I did some bizarre shoots back in those days, getting my friends to sit in a shallow (and cold!) bath for me, smothering my younger sister in make-up and once it was fake tan. I'll show you someday... Maybe...
I then applied to Ravensbourne, received an unconditional offer and spent the next three years commuting to London from my family home in Kent. If you've been following me for a while or even know me, you'll know that I hated University and I'm pretty sure it hated me back. I did what I had to do to get through, I left with little confidence and no knowledge of photography as an industry.
I left University in around June/July of 2017, excited to never go back but scared because at this point I never wanted to pick up my camera again and I had no clue what to do next. I decided I was going to intern and do as much work experience as I could in hope that I would find something I love. I was still working in my part-time job at this point and was allowed 2 weeks off to do some work experience (thanks Sophie! Be sure to look at bod & ted's Instagram).
My dad actually found me the work experience at the studio for Associated Press and as you already know, I never left. Learning that my dad was gonna make me do this work experience in a Photography Studio where I'll have to assist and potentially take photos, made me nervous. But those two weeks opened my eyes, meeting women working as photographers made me realise that, that was exactly what I wanted to do. My art teachers, my A-Level teachers and my tutors were ALL men. I grew confident and I actually learnt more in the two weeks of being there than I did in the 3 years of University.
WHAT I DO NOW
Fast forward to now, I graduated with a 2.1 in December of last year and now I'm 3 months in of being self-employed. I'm still learning, finding my feet but this time around I'm earning a living. I'm at the very beginning of my career, It's daunting but I can't imagine doing anything else right now. I try to remember that I'm young and I don't have to have it all figured out just yet so if freelancing is something I don't do forever then I'm ok with that.
My work is mainly for online/digital purposes with a touch of print from working with Associated Press. But the work is different every day, sometimes it's for Instagram and others it's just for a client's 'About Me' page. I could be shooting in Tunbridge Wells, I could be in London or I could be working from home. If that couldn't sound anymore exhausting, I'm now dipping my toes into social media and trying to help small businesses build more of an online presence just as I have built mine. Don't forget I'm a frequent Instagram Story post-er so if you'd like to join in or find out more about my daily life head over to my Instagram and say hey!
Phew and that's my story so far.
These pictures were taken on Portrait Mode on my iPhone. Did you notice?