Being a photographer seems to be an easy job but trust me it really isn’t. You need to have a real passion for capturing moments through the camera and a lot of patience. In the past, photography was not so saturated but today the business has completely changed. You need to have some entrepreneurial skills to kick start your photography career and earn money out of it.
It’s all same in the case of sports photography. To become a freelance sports photographer, You need to start with experimenting and get better day by day, until you get to choose your clients. Even though it’s not as simple as it used to be, with social media platforms you can become a freelance sports photographer in many ways.
- Start an Instagram page and build an audience
- Start your own website
- Teach tutorials on youtube, etc….
Today, there are thousands of options available for photographers. Whichever platform you choose, there are some general steps that everyone has to do.
So, here are 10 steps that will help you to become a freelance sports photographer and also monetize your work.
Steps to become a freelance sports Photographer
1. Start with small sports events
Start with small sports events, as they don’t charge that much. You will get to observe the game and develop your skills. Attend as many sports events as you can and develop your own style. As they say, practice makes us perfect.
Experiment with different sports. Take pictures of those games that people don’t often attend. It will bring versatility to your work. Experiment with different settings, many people do this mistake of depending on auto mode while taking pictures. Doesn’t matter how good your software is, manual pictures will always be better and you will have to learn it today or tomorrow.
3. Be creative
It is very possible that in the beginning, you will take pictures like the one you saw before. But with practice and consistency, you will develop your own style. Until then, try to be creative every time. don’t forget to learn to edit. Editing is as important as taking pictures. There is much good software available for editing. Choose any one and get your hand over it. Photoshop is always recommended.
4. Choose a platform
To become a freelance sports photographer you need to have a portfolio. But before that, you must choose a platform. Some people are good with social media and others are not. Depending on your preferences, choose a platform for your portfolio. Instagram and WordPress website is the best combination that many freelancing photographers use.
5. Build a portfolio
Now that you have shot many pictures at different events and you have also edited them perfectly. Its time to build a portfolio. Start posting pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Build your own website and make it handy. Include your achievements. Make sure that the best of your work gets enough attention.
While creating a portfolio keep this in mind that, this portfolio is going to be the reflection of your overall work and potential clients are going to hire you depending on your portfolio. So, it is very important to make it attractive and simple at the same time.
6. Network and build contacts
To become a freelance sports photographer, the key factor required is your capability of networking. Reach out to people and listen to their views. Find a community with other freelance sports photographers who share ideas and collaborate. Collaboration can teach you things that nothing else can.
Your contacts are your best chance of marketing and also your best chance for new offers. So, make sure you also learn this art of networking.
7. Take feedbacks
Taking feedbacks and working on them is important for any kind of photographer. Many times we feel that the photograph is really good when it’s not that great. Overestimating your own work may stop you from growing, so its always great to take feedback. Not every feedback is worth working on but some of them are and they are really important.
8. Educate yourself with the market
As mentioned earlier, to become a freelance sports photographer you need to have some entrepreneurial qualities. Understanding the market is one of those qualities. When you know where the market is going, you can understand where you’re standing and you can work efficiently. the understanding market is like seeing the bigger picture and if you really want to be a part of that picture then you need to be able to see it first.
9. Find mentors
Not everything can be solved by dedication. Everyone needs guidance. Finding a mentor really helps you to grow faster and in a proper direction. It will also help you to meet newer people and provide a chance to impress them with your work.
10. Keep getting better
To become a freelance photographer, there is not a single perfect way. Just like any other freelancing career, you need to keep working and get better at it. Let your work speak for you. There will be ups and downs in the beginning but it could manage to implement these 10 steps effectively, then your dream is not so far from reality. The most important thing that you need to become a freelance sports photographer is consistency and growth.
To become a freelance photographer, you need to get a camera and start attending sports events experiment with different sports and get your hand on the camera settings.
Learn the art of editing and give your captures a final touch. Choose a platform and create a portfolio there. Make sure that your portfolio is attractive and simple at the same time. Network with different people. Find your tribe. Collaborate to learn more. Find mentors. Keep growing and getting better at your work. Let your work speak for you.