The Busy Photographer

Being a freelance photographer isn’t all fun and games

I’m sitting here on a Tuesday morning feeling a little confused by this whole photo industry thing. On the one hand it’s a fun, challenging and often rewarding job to have, but on the other it’s the cause of a lot of unwanted stress.

Yes, I know we all get stressed out in our jobs from time to time, and I appreciate that this feeling is probably going to pass. But as I sit and ponder for the billionth time when my clients are actually going to sort their shit out and pay me, I’m left wondering what I’m actually getting out of it.

Right now, two very large clients are taking their time with the payment process. One keeps using the wrong bank details (despite several emails to clarify the correct ones) and the other is withholding funds until certain paperwork is signed off. And believe me, that’s just the start of the problem.

And then there’s the physio I’m having. So far I’m two sessions in to it (if you exclude the four useless ones I had at another practice where the guy just yawned whilst rubbing my neck for 15 minutes) and actually starting to feel the benefits. The practiciner tells me that my shoulders aren’t straight, and that my neck vertebrae are so out of line that she can’t believe I didn’t go to her sooner. She continues to press and prod in all sorts of areas, and it hurts. A lot!

But last week I gave my first ever Talk on photography, to a room full of curious snappers. The theme was all about Marketing and Promoting one’s photography services, and it dawned on me somewhere towards the end that I actually knew what I was talking about.

As I constantly reminded the audience, I have no formal- or University training on business or marketing, so everything I have learnt is self-taught. I make mistakes like everybody else, but as I looked at my list of failures and successes I realised that all-in-all things have improved massively.

So where, or who, do you turn to when the shit hits the fan and your bank balance is looking dangerously low? Well, I’ve had a lot of comfort from other really successful photographers, such as Joe McNally, who tell their own stories of late payments and dodgy knees. Knowing that I’m not the only one; I’m not alone.

Which led me to my next bright idea: The Busy Photographer Periscope-cast (if that’s even a word). Basically the idea was to start broadcasting a live video, with episodes given a title and number, and just start discussing all the necessary topics that most photographers usually skip over. Help, not hype.

Admittedly I’m not the best live broadcaster on the planet (I get a little stage fright) but I’ll do my best to stick at it and continue to provide honest insights in to what really goes on when we photographers aren’t taking pictures. I hope you’ll tune in.