Learning how to get into photography is not a challenge. Being a freelance photographer is an inspiring and often flexible way to use your skills to create amazing works for others. Unfortunately, open positions aren’t as heavily advertised as the jobs in other categories, such as freelance writing, design, or development - you might find it more difficult to find the right client to craft a proposal template for or send a quotation or invoice to. That doesn’t mean there isn’t work available, however. Knowing the right places to look for jobs is an important factor in building and sustaining a career in photography.
Here are some of the most popular – and promising – destinations for finding photography jobs from all over the world.
One of the easiest, low-pressure avenues to selling your photography work is through stock photography sites. These companies will purchase pictures from most any high-quality photographer within a number of in-demand categories, including business, tech, nature, and abstract. The guidelines for vetting new photographers, as well as what each photo submission requires, will vary by the company. Be sure to visit each company’s photographer guidelines to get the most up-to-date information on what they are buying, and what prices they pay. In general, however, most accept photos with a minimum size of 1600 x 1200 pixels in raw or RGP JPEG format.
This website takes new submissions from photographers after a quick application and some sample photos. You may choose to upload photos or videos (either will get you qualified and you can then continue to sell both formats, as well.) You will also need to provide proper identification to prove who you are, either with a valid state ID or passport. Deposit Photos makes submission even easier if you happen to sell photos on another stock photography site; simply submit a link to your other site’s portfolio for quicker review. The site currently pays 34 -42% of the price of photos to its contributors. It also has a per-photo pricing plan that pays up to $.35 per photo downloaded under a qualified subscription plan.
After completing the required tutorial, you can start submitting photos right away. All accepted photos are then eligible to be purchased by customers, with the photographer getting a fee that average 30% of sales. The more photos you upload, the higher your chances of earning!
This popular stock photo site requires you to register for a free account before submitting photos, but their requirements for submissions are laid out clearly for all contributors. The site claims to use three criteria for accepting photos, reviewing each technically, aesthetically and commercially. They pay out higher for photos that are listed exclusively with their site, and they pay $.20 per accepted upload (up to a maximum of 100 uploads) in addition to their tiered royalty payments.
With one of the fastest approval times in the industry, it’s possible to get started making money from Canstock within a few days. Just submit three sample photos, and once approved, you can continue uploading up to 20 photos and releases at a time. Earnings range from $.50 - $1.00 per photo, and photographers who refer their friends make referral commissions, as well (up to $50 per referred photographer.)
Not into selling stock photography? There are more traditional ways to make money that come up all the time. These sites offer freelance photographer listings regularly. Check each periodically so that you don’t miss a job!
This job board lists opportunities in news, media, and digital content. While the photography positions aren’t as plentiful as the reporting positions, they are more likely to be on a freelance basis. Use the search field to type on “photographer” and then narrow by location. You can also choose “remote” or “all locations” to get a listing of opportunities that can be done anywhere.
This lesser-known site has a dedicated photography section that gets updated two or three times a week with new jobs. Older jobs stay active until they are filled, however, so don’t feel like you can’t apply if they are not very recent. Unlike traditional job boards, People Per Hour requires you to register on the site before sending a proposal. You can see an approximate amount that employers and clients are willing to pay, however, keeping you from wasting your time creating a proposal if the budget isn’t in line with your freelance goals.
A job board aggregator, this site doesn’t always list just photography jobs. In fact, it’s common to see non-photography jobs mixed in that contain the word “photography” somewhere in the job description. For the most part, however, it’s a reliable source for jobs by state, with opportunities ranging from full-time employee positions to temporary freelance gigs. Use it to get ideas of companies who regularly hire photographers, and use the list to prospect on your own throughout the year.
This job search engine only lists jobs that can be done remotely, so it’s ideal for freelancers looking for work in areas that don’t usually have on-site photographer jobs. It doesn’t have more than a handful of listings at a time, however, so bookmark the site to check back regularly.
Designed just for creative professionals to find work, this has a higher number of photography jobs than other sites. You must register for a free account on the site to get access to the job listing details, but once you do, there are dozens of jobs updated daily. Note that many of the positions are traditional employment arrangements – not freelance – so you’ll need to read through the description of each carefully to know if it’s for you.
This bid-for-work site functions much like Upwork. You’ll create a freelancer profile, bid on jobs, and accept work that matches your price and project requirements. It’s a rather competitive way to get work, but it also offers many new listings each day. The more jobs you do, the higher your ranking, so those who do well in the beginning can earn a professional reputation and bid for better jobs.
Still looking for work? Try these other sites:
If you're just starting as an amateur, you might also be willing to check Jotform's guide on how to become a photographer.
Any reputable freelance photographer should have a public portfolio available to showcase their best work. Be sure to link to it from your resume, cover letter, and profile on marketplace and gig sites. You should regularly update this portfolio with new work as you create it.
Many photographers also find that they get repeat work from their best past clients. You can increase your chances of this happening by making sure you over-deliver on your work for a long career in photography! Happy customers are also likely to share your name with colleagues. After each successful job, let your client know that you enjoyed working with them, and that you are appreciate of referrals. Before long, you’ll have customers coming to you (instead of having to apply on job boards.)
Finally, feel free to take on new jobs that are a bit outside of your expertise at a lower rate, if needed. The added experience of these jobs can improve your skills and give you much-needed clips for taking on higher paying work in this new niche.
Start managing your freelance photography business with Bonsai, sign up for a free trial today.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?