Wouldn’t you love the idea of being able to sell your photos? Being able to make money doing what you love doing is something that’s everybody’s dream. But not everyone becomes a national geographic photographer overnight or start getting thousand dollar commissioned projects every weekend. One needs to take small steps towards his goal. Here are some real-world tips on how to be a freelance photographer and more specifically on the art of negotiating with your client.
Being a Freelancer doesn’t Mean You Have to Work for Peanuts
It is important that you know your worth. How to be a freelance photographer and a successful one at that, when nine out of ten clients would want to pull down your price hearing that you do this part-time? “Oh he is a freelancer, he does not have to be paid high.” Don’t be shy to ask your worth. But more importantly, know your worth.
I learned a valuable lesson from a senior of mine when I was a freelancer, much like you, just starting out in photography. He told me never to commit a price in the first meeting with a client.
Even if she is trying to get a commitment, ask for some time to get back with a price. This will give you some valuable time to consult, research and make your calculations and then commit a price. This is much better than making a commitment in haste only to discover later that you have quoted less than the market price or worse still, more!
You have the same Gear as a Pro to do the Standard Work
Another reason is you must have spent a fortune on your gear, despite the fact you are only a freelancer and your quality of work is in no way inferior to what a pro does. So, why should you come cheap?
Dealing with the Question – “We don’t have the Budget”
Of course, they do. They just don’t feel that you are worth as much. It could even be that they are trying to see how desperate you are to get the job. No matter what, draw your line and stand by it. Once you pull down your price it is going to be difficult later on to revise it for future assignments. The question more important than how to be a freelance photographer is how to make clients realize the value you bring in.
Do you offer something that no one else does?
One way to take the negotiation beyond the obvious pricing bit is to focus on the value that you bring to the table. Convince that you offer something unique. Let’s say your client is looking for time-lapse videos for a travel campaign and you happen to love doing it. There is an obvious match. If you have a portfolio of time-lapse videos showcase it to make your candidature strong.
Related: How to Become a Travel Photographer