Photographers are more valuable today than ever. We live in a world where content marketing is king for any business. But wait; that does not mean that you should undervalue your work as a photographer. Believe me, I know that it is hard to negotiate prices when it comes to your work as a photographer. If you are working as a freelance photographer you should read this article.
The video talks about two incidents in which I had to express my rights as a freelance photographer. One in which I had to send a company a (DMCA) takedown notice and the other was a negotiating process that went bad for me. I want you to learn from my experiences.
A DMCA Notice or also Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a process in which the copyright owner can send to an infringer as a warning before taking further action. In my experience, the business took my images within 24 hrs. This is generally the first step one should take. It is a scare tactic that has worked for me and it may work for you. Here is an example of one that I have sent to the company that used my photos on their website.
When working with other businesses, it is critical that you know your rights. Many of these new e-commerce stores that are hiring freelancers may not be educated on copyright laws. This is where you can have in your contract that you retain all rights to images and are licensing usage to the client that you are working with. Often times today people think that because they are purchasing images from you that they are purchasing the rights to the images as well when that is not the case. They are actually purchasing derivative copies of your work and as the artist, this is where you have full control over your pricing if a company wants to buy out your images. Keep this in mind when working with business clients who plan on booking you for a gig. Here are some things that you should consider when working with a business as a client.
1. The scale of the production? (what are all the factors that it will take to execute the job?)
2. How many images will the client be needing?
3. What will the images be used for?
The scale of the production can greatly affect the cost that goes into the shoot. That is why this is one of the most important things that you should consider. This will help you give the client an accurate estimate and remember that this is the expenses that the client is paying for. This is not come out of your pocket. Your Creative fee is tacked on top of this and this is what you get paid for the job. This is also considered the booking fee.
Depending on the shoot, the client may not know how many images they need but sometimes they do. Or they may have an idea that they have. This gives you a target to shoot for.
The usage of the image is key when factoring in your pricing. Since you are licensing the images for the client to use. The values of the images can range differently. For example if the images are only going to be used online. Some things to think about are the number of views or how large their audience is. If the client is printing brochures and marketing material, you have to think about where will they be distributed and how long that particular campaign will be going on. If online and print the price will greatly vary. I can’t tell you an exact for this because every photographer may charge something different when licensing their work. This is something that you have to think about your self worth as a photographer. What I can tell you though is that you do not want to sell yourself short. Also if a client wants to buy out full rights to any of your images you should charge a premium.
In conclusion, I want to restate that you should know your rights as a photographer and not sell yourself short at any cost. You are valuable in this industry and do not let anyone tell you different
The power of marketing/advertising is really expensive and can be a bit overwhelming for photographers starting out. There is no doubt about it though that it is one of the major keys to success in the business. Whether you like it or not you will have to learn how to market yourself if you want to succeed in this business. You have to put yourself in front of the eyes of the people you would like to work with.
Traditional forms of marketing are not cheap but in today’s world, there are ways around having to pay high prices to market yourself as a photographer. You can market your services successfully without spending a fortune. Here are some ways that will help you market your business at no cost.
One of the best ways to market yourself in a way of not being pushy or trying to win a client over is to simply blog. You have to be strategic about it though. A quality blog will be you sharing your own personal experience from a shoot or sharing your insights on a particular topic. This type of content should provide a narrative and enable the reader to get to know you and want to click on your website to see more.
Remember The content that you write about should be relevant to your particular niche or industry. You should also research keywords to place in your blog metadata so that it will help you rank higher in search engines so you can be found.
Social media is a powerhouse when it comes to free marketing for your business. In today’s digital age your photography business has to be on some form of social media. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or whatever social channel you chose. This is one of the best opportunities to display your strengths as a photographer. Just choose a platform where your audience is most active and create a marketing strategy that will drive your audience to become clients.
Referrals are a proven strategy that works. You are a great photographer and provide a positive experience for your client. Do not be afraid to ask for referrals from them. They should be happy to refer you to someone else given that they have had a positive experience with you. If your business is on google or yelp, you can ask for a review as well. This will not only help your rankings online and around town. You are just spreading the word about your value.
Here is an example that you can say to a client for a referral or review online.
“It was a pleasure working with you. I am happy that you love your final images. There are many other clients out there who struggle to find quality content that fits their vision and is cost-effective in producing. If you ever run into anyone you feel could use my services. I would be happy to review their needs and come up with a plan that will be equally as successful as our collaboration has been.”
Today we have techniques that not only are available at our fingertips. We are able to leverage resources at a low barrier to entry. Any image-based business can create a marketing campaign with no or limited budget. So, what’s stopping you from doing the same for your photography business?
It is hard for a photographer to turn their passion into a profession. With cameras becoming more accessible than ether thanks to smartphones. Everyone calls themselves a photographer. Also, since we are in the digital age, we are flooded with millions of photos posted online. You may argue that this has watered down the value of a photographer’s skill set.
What should we do about this situation then? Do we continue photography as a hobby and just not make any money from it? I think not. Smartphones will never take over the photography industry and there is still room for success. We just have to do a little pivoting. Skilled Photographers can still make a significant about of money if we know how to make it work.
I’m going to share with you a few ways you can earn money and turn your passion into a fine-tuned career.
You can make some money by selling your content. There are several stock photography sites like Shutterstock where you can earn some money. The key to this is to create and upload images that are less popular to gain some momentum.
Another way to earn money would be to write and sell an e-book on your knowledge as a photographer. This is a great way. You have to make sure that your subject matter is different than what’s already out there. Your own how-to guides can give your readers an insight into how you particularly do things. That would be a great start.
You can also have an exhibition at an art gallery. This is a great way to have your work viewed and sold at a good price to art enthusiast.
There are many people out there who are simply just seeking knowledge about photography. If you are professional photography ( I’m sure you are) You can earn a substantial amount of money by just teaching others. Many photographers have workshops and sell video training to generate some income. A great way to start would be to teach one person and then grow an audience. You will see how your knowledge will help generate income for you.
Let’s face it, photography equipment is expensive. Not everyone who is interested in equipment can afford the high-end gear. You have the camera, lighting, C- stands, diffusers, etc. You can rent it out to others who are seeking to learn photography. You can charge for the day and those who love photography would love to rent from you.
If you have a photo studio. This is a huge plus for you to earn a substantial amount of money. You can rent your studio out to other photographers who don’t have a studio to take photos of their clients.
Advertising is another great way of making money as a photographer. This can be hard in the beginning because you have to leverage the power of social media to get others to see your content. This is a numbers game. The more people who see your images, the greater the chance of them buying them.
Starting your own photography blog can be another successful source of revenue for you as a photographer. You can share your tips and tricks that you have learned throughout your career. You can also do reviews on equipment and software. YouTube would be a great option. It would essentially your blog content but in video form.
Was this information helpful? Well, let’s get to work. Let’s start to make this money. You will face some challenges at first but once you get in the game, you will be rolling in the dough.