Framing The World Through My Photographs
For my professional experience I decided to work as a freelance photographer, because when I finish my degree my ultimate goal is to own my own photographic studio. Therefore I saw this module as an opportunity to experience what it would be like to run my own business. Alongside freelancing my peers and myself were involved in setting up an exhibition to exhibit our work created during our picbod module, I helped with fundraising for the exhibition, as well as the exhibition as a peer group we also decided that we would create a newspaper documenting the module, I was a photo editor for the newspaper.
Being a freelance photographer has allowed me to experience managing my own business. Including finding my own work, which involved using social media sites to build a network of professional contacts. Through using social media to communicate with clients and other professionals I gained confidence in working with new people, models and make-up artists. As previously I had only worked with my own peers and people that I am comfortable around. Working with a vast variety of clients has taught me that there are many that are professional and unfortunately some who are not. For example, I worked with one particular make up artist who even though the shoot was for herself turned up to the studio over three hours late after insisting she would do the make up before she arrived in the studio she still had not completed it an hour later, this particular shoot had taught me how to be patient, calm and still remain professional in difficult situations. However I have also built up trust with particular clients which has given me many opportunities and abled me to work with this client a number of times working to my own briefs as well as hers.
During the picbod module my peers and I created different roles to work under. I was part of the fundraising and marketing teams. As part of the marketing team I took control of social media as, as a group we felt this was the best way to communicate and reach people outside of the university environment. Setting up the exhibition and creating the newspaper Picbod 14 involved a lot of team work which has ultimately helped me as a freelancer and when working with models, makeup artists and hairstylists you are one big team working together to create the finished product.
WHAT I HAVE DONE
Throughout the module alongside freelancing and Picbod I have also assisted a few of my peers with their work as well as stepping in front of the camera for a friend. Both have helped me become a better photographer. As by stepping in front of the camera I have learnt that not everyone is comfortable in this situation, therefore it is important to learn how to put people at ease. As for assisting Aaron and Charli, I have learnt different ways of working in the studio instead of sticking to a set up that I know works, experimentation isn’t a bad thing. In order to improve on my retouching skills I have researched appropriate website to gain more knowledge. I have undertook a few of my own self made projects .Which I collaborated with a few people from my class, these were my opportunities’ to have some fun and do what I have always wanted to do, one shoot which involved a lot of glitter was a highlight in which a fab video was created by
my peer Steve.
I have been surprised at how much I have gained from this module. My confidence has grown immensely, I feel I am able to promote my photography where I couldn’t before. I am now able to say I like what I have created and I am proud of it. I have also been surprised at how my clients have reacted to the work I had done for them and that they wanted more.
The opening night of Picbod was a big surprise as I had doubts at how well it would be received especially as it wasn’t held in Coventry. The night was a big success with over 200 people attending, and plenty more throughout the weekend.
The main thing I have learnt is the need to promote my work, network and communication without these my work won’t be seen and my future business will cease to exist. When creating my SWOT analysis at the beginning of the module I highlighted in the weakness’ that I am not very organized and have poor time management, through the duration of the module I have been working hard to improve which I feel I have done by making sure I write all my bookings down, booking the studio and equipment well ahead of time, to ensure they are available for the shoot.
As a result of working as a freelance photographer I have built up a good network of contacts in the make-up and modeling industry and have already arrange many more exciting photo shoots after this module has ended. This experience has made me realize that not all jobs are going to go to plan but I have learnt to deal with such problems in a professional manner.
I have come to realize that my business knowledge isn’t strong enough to set up my own business yet therefore I have chosen setting up a freelance business for my add vantage module next year, because after experiencing being a freelancer I defiantly know I want to have my own photographic business in the future.