Alex Harris is a freelance photographer, specialised in headshots and business portraits. He helps entrepreneurs and businesses improve their online visibility through photo and video. He started freelancing as a side-gig years ago because he enjoyed it. When the company he was working at was going through a major downsizing, he volunteered to quit and jump in as a full-time freelancer. He realised he didn’t want to have regrets or wonder about what if’s years down the road.
Freelancing is a learning process
His freelancing career has been a learning process. It’s a long-term game. You can’t just expect everything to happen at once. Especially if you are stuck in “analysis paralysis”, only reading about and watching others. He needed to just go for it and start implementing his ideas and trust in the long-term results. In that process, collaborating with others is very important. And of course, networking, either online or face-to-face, whichever suits you as a person.
If you are thinking about becoming a freelancer, Alex would advise you to just go for it. Why not start as a secondary activity, if it’s possible? It is so easy to do and test out your concept this way. Depending on your industry or personality, it might also be better to just go all in at once. You don’t want to look back later and wonder ‘what if’ right?
Focus on the small successes
Alex focuses on small successes. Shooting portraits of people is quite intimate, it’s one-on-one. Seeing the difference in people from the start of the session to the end, watching them drop their masks and getting a confidence boost. That equals success for Alex. He has truly turned his passion into his job.
And if you are wondering about pricing, Alex would advise not to charge by time. Don’t charge by the hour or the day. But price according to the value that you deliver, over the entire project. Start by looking around at others in your industry, how do they set prices? How does the quality of what you offer compare? And then test it out. If you feel comfortable setting a certain price, you are probably pricing too low and you should raise your prices slightly. If possible, try figuring out what budget the client has available, what value they expect you to deliver, and why do they need you.