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How To Be a Freelance Photographer? To be a professional photographer, it is no longer necessary to build your own fancy studio and make a lot of initial investment.

By Debroop Roy

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To be a professional photographer, it is no longer necessary to build your own fancy studio and make a lot of initial investment.

If you have what it takes to click the right moments at the right time and feel the need to make it a paid job, here's a detailed guide to help you start it up.

A Good Camera Setup

You may be clicking decent pictures with your existing camera but to do it for others who are paying, you would need to do a little more. If they are paying, they would expect the highest quality and for that, you need a camera that can take crisp, high resolution photos and videos. Once you have a camera, the next step is to buy at least two to three lenses: one wide angle, one prime and a telephoto lens. These should cover all technical bases.

Portfolio

Despite managing to make a mark with friends and family, you need to build a good looking portfolio of work if you are doing it full-time. For videos, use Vimeo as it doesn't have ads and considering the smaller community and competition, you get a better chance of getting noticed. For photos, you can build your own website while also keeping a separate website to list all your work.

Marketing

With so many out there, how do you really sell your craft without paying a hefty sum? Use social media to maximum effect. Instagram has been a boon for several artists and photographers.

Costs

A camera setup will cost you upwards of INR 1 lakh if you are a beginner while building your portfolio website, unless you are using a free site builder, should cost you anywhere between INR 5,000 to INR 10,000 depending upon your requirements.

For marketing, if you want to get that extra traction, use ads on social platforms. This should ideally be INR 4,000 to INR 5,000 per month if you are just starting.

Once you have a good presence as a photographer, you may also expand your offerings to include editing. For that you would need a good computer, which can cost upwards of 70k and thereafter license some good editing software like lightroom which comes with cloud storage and can cost about 10k a year.

Earnings

As a freelancer, you can charge hourly, daily or even on a per-project basis. It is extremely important that you know the value of your work.

You can charge less initially but as you have more work to show for, bump it up. For a beginner, INR 2,000 per day of work is recommended. For video editing, an additional INR 2,000 to INR 3,000.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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