It’s been crossing my mind for a while now to write a few thoughts about my first six months working freelance (I can’t believe it’s been that long!). It’s been an amazing time and already I can see how I’ve developed as a photographer, along with gaining a deeper understanding of the industry and what it is I am trying to achieve. It’s been a steep but enjoyable learning curve and here are a few thoughts to share about my experiences so far.
First Time: There is also no greater buzz than the first bit of money you earn for yourself. My first was a cheque for £50 and it felt like a £100,000! Equally the first time you go on a shoot is pretty scary too!
Confidence: It takes quite a lot to decide to make the step from keen amateur to professional, and whilst I can see how far I’ve already come, it’s also a question of deciding what direction and how far I want to take this into the future. It’s exciting! Equally there are an awful lot of people out there who I admire, and I use them as inspiration to just keep perfecting and honing my craft.
Money: I’ve been lucky/careful enough to make sure I had enough behind me to make sure that I didn’t have to be desperate about paying for food etc. in the first few months of trading, although, that said, I have certainly had to budget etc. hard and need to get the business going in the long term. Definitely, it has been worth saving prior to going self employed to ease the first months of trading. There is also nothing like needing money to live for motivation to get working! It is certainly very different not knowing when the next pay check will be coming.
Structure: I had thought that having spent my whole working life working 9-5 that I might find it hard to structure my days, what I now find is that I tend to work around jobs, i.e. they take priority and then the rest fits in round this. This often means I end up working weekends, evenings but then I have a lot more time during the day to bake bread, catch up on housework etc.. I find when I do work this is more intense and productive than previously when I was working in an office! One recent job, I worked four + days shooting over 6000 images, then a subsequent week to process, edit and refine down to 600-800 images! Longest days ever, which I loved! There are times where I do need to remember to take a ‘weekend’ even if it is a weekday – One of my early freelance pleasures was a ‘Friday night’ meal with wine on a Sunday night!
Listen: When I first put forward my plans to friends and family, I was overwhelmed with how positive everyone was for me, a massive confidence boost! I, even now, try to listen to all advice people kindly give me and certainly use the internet as a massive resource to aid my development. A few kind people have given me some great advice which has really helped with the ups and downs of my first few months trading.
Just do it!: I don’t regret for one second the choice I have made and glad I decided a time to leave work so that I didn’t keep putting it off. Already I have had so many more experiences than I would have, I’ve been lucky to share some special moments with new families, see many businesses, photograph chefs up close, meet a lot of interesting people and I’ve also learnt to make bread on the side! I’ve got out of a 9-5 routine (useful for the long days and nights that shoots sometimes entail), and generally had a lot more time to get to know the wonderful city I live in!
You really know you’ve found your passion when you work long hours for days on end and you just want to get up and keep doing the same!
Thank you to all of those who have given me useful advice, compliments, constructive criticism, ‘likes’ or a follow, support and to those who now have my work on their websites/walls, perhaps even desktop backgrounds. I really couldn’t have done this without you!
I’m really excited about where 2015 will take me and my photography and hope you will enjoy following my photography journey. I’d love to hear comments about either your own freelance journey or any areas of photography you’d like to see from Lucinda Price Photography in 2015!