Freelance Photography: How to Begin Your Career

Photography is a vast world. There are many different types of photography and many different kinds of people that enjoy it. It’s a hobby that be relatively inexpensive or one that you can invest a lot of money on. Photos are so special because they give us memories of times and places and events in our lives. We can hold onto these memories forever with a photograph.As much as people love photos, many people love taking them even more. Whether it’s a mother who takes photos at every of her children’s moments in life (first smile, first step, first spaghetti meal) or maybe it’s the father who never forgets his camera for a football or basketball game, or maybe it’s the young girl who loves nature hikes with her camera; these people are not exceptions. They all have an eye for those special moments and they all appreciate the camera’s ability to capture that moment and freeze it in time forever.- What is Freelance Photography?What if you love photography so much you wish you could do it for a living? I mean, you actually get paid for your photographs! But you work solely for yourself, selling each photo or series of photos individually. You don’t have a boss. You work sometimes on assignment and you may sell to magazines. That is freelance photography.Freelance photography may be your entire career or it may start out as something you do in your spare time but begin making money from it. It’s just like freelance writing in this sense that many people turn it into a career and enjoy the freedom of working essentially for themselves on their own time and making money doing something they love doing anyway.- How to Build a PortfolioTo start getting jobs as a freelance photographer, you need a portfolio. A portfolio will show samples of your work. Even if you have never had photographs published or publicly displayed, you can start a portfolio of your best work and then add onto it if you win photography contests or start receiving paid work.- How to Get JobsAs we mentioned, building a portfolio is the first step in submitting your work for pay but when it comes right down to it, it’s the quality of the photo that will determine if you get paid for it. Some people have more of a natural talent for taking great pictures than others but it is a skill that anyone can learn. There are schools dedicated to the art of photography and you can even get a degree in it. If you are just getting started, you can look into classes provided by your local community center or community college. Some cities have photography groups that meet to share photos and tips. There are also many groups online dedicated to photography and freelance photography.You need to view as many famous photographs as possible. Take a look at what is getting published and compare it to your own photos. This allows you to compare and learn from other’s work. It takes more than just point and shoot to get a great photo. You need to learn about focus, lighting, colors and backgrounds and much more.Once you start learning about photography and creating a portfolio, you can start submitting your photos to contests and magazines. Get a list of photography markets and start submitting to ones that accept your type of photos. Don’t expect to make it to the big times right away. Few people actually achieve this but you can start small and eventually make your way into a nice living from freelance photography.

After Work Drinks, Everyone?

As the days get warmer and beautifully longer, there is always an increase in the amount of alcohol that office workers consume. The allure of a beer garden is just too hard to resist when the sun is beaming down. After all, you never know when it will be this sunny again so of course you must make the most of it.Problem being that a stark increase in drinking inevitably leads to a stark increase in hangovers, carryovers and many other ghastly things from the night before. Whilst prevention is better than the cure there’s not much you can to do to curb your workers drinking habits. In this situation it seems that pre-empting is the only cure.Whilst a few naughty workers will pull a sick day, plenty more will still come into work despite the fact that their productivity and general usefulness is at an all time low. Dig through your office supplies to see what things can help snap your workers out of their alcohol daze.Hydration is paramount to beating a hangover. Water coolers or water filters are ideal ways to make sure workers have as much access to the liquid gold as they need. Do not over look another key refreshment – coffee, the caffeine will surely give them a much needed kick start in the morning. A few emergency packets of biscuits should also be on hand for a sugar boost. Offices can be unbearably hot in the summer, especially when trying to recover from the night before. Invest in some good quality fans and instruct whoever arrives first to turn them all on, thus creating a cooling environment for when the stragglers arrive.The day after a heavy night drinking is probably not the best time for your workers to be on the phone. So use this opportunity to encourage them to catch up with filing and any other tasks that are usually ignored. By the end of summer you could have yourself the most impressive and organised files in the country. The glare from a computer screen can also be unbearable when you’ve got a headache. Treat your office to some anti-glare screens to help employers work to the best of their ability.This may seem like a lot of extra effort to attend to the hangovers of our workers. However when you consider that hangovers cost the economy around 2.8bn each year due to productivity loss, it seems a small price to pay.

How Do You Monitor Your Social Brand?

It’s essential for you to establish your presence in different social networking sites. This is where most people are currently talking and connecting with others, so you would be amiss if you don’t use these different platforms for engaging your audience.

Word of mouth marketing is more important than ever yet is also a double-edged sword. It has also become vital to your personal brand that you monitor what’s being said about you. Social brand monitoring needs to be an essential part of your personal brand communication plan.

There are many reasons why monitoring your brand can help you in your career or business.

Here are some of them:

1. It helps you understand how your brand is perceived

As a personal brand, it is essential that you know how your audience views you. If the feedback is mostly positive, then you must be doing something right and you seem to be on the right track.

On the other hand, if the feedback you’re getting is mostly negative, then you need to start reassessing. Your reputation is suffering, which is not going to be good for your personal brand. It’s essential that you understand how people perceive you, in order to make changes and improve your brand.

2. It helps you stay ahead in your industry

Monitoring your personal brand, related keywords, and your competitors can help you stay ahead in your industry. It keeps you up to date about the current trends, so you know how to keep your skills and knowledge sharp and dynamic. You don’t want to get left behind as others move forward and embrace what’s new.

3. It helps you make informative decisions regarding your brand

Personal brand monitoring helps you make informative and educated decisions regarding your brand. It gives you a more targeted outreach, and helps you learn what would best engage your audience.

4. It helps you know your audience, your connections

With social brand monitoring, you can learn about your audience’s demographics, and gain insights on what your audience wants. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to enhance their experience and deliver a more targeted message.

Monitoring your personal brand in social media helps you respond to your fans and followers, and really know who they are – not just who you ‘think’ they are. You can learn what engages them, and what doesn’t.

5. It helps you facilitate and filter what’s being said about you

By monitoring your social brand, you can respond to what’s being said about you and try to filter that message. The worst thing you can do is ignore any issues that comes up regarding your brand – you need to address them as soon as possible. That early intervention can prevent something that is small from becoming an issue.

Brand monitoring is essential

In the dynamic and highly competitive world of today, to achieve success, you need to be aware of your reputation. Learn your strengths and weaknesses so you can become a better personal brand.

You see, conversations about your brand happen whether you listen to them or not. So it is in your best interest to find out what people are saying about you.

Here are some tips to help you monitor your brand:

1. Use Twitter Search and Twitter management tools
Twitter Search is a great way to find out who’s talking about your brand and what they’re saying. Use it with a Twitter management tool such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite so you can continuously monitor what people are saying about you.

2. Use the Google Email Alert System
It’s easy and convenient to sign up for Google Alerts so that every time someone mentions your brand or keyword, Google sends it straight to your email inbox so you learn about it.

3. Use SocialMention
Another excellent tool for monitoring your social brand is SocialMention. It monitors more than a hundred sites directly, so you can quickly know who’s talking about you and your brand. You also have the ability to click on the link where your brand is mentioned, enabling you to answer or enter into a conversation with them.

4. Use Brand-Yourself
This is a great free tool that shows you were your search results are when people Google you and what links of information are already out there about you. My favorite part of this tool is that it’s an organic Google Search that you are working with – not a custom search with a link to that search. You are getting feedback and insights when people actually search you on the web. We’ll be discussing this tool more in future posts and on the twitter chat I moderate, #brandchat, this coming Wednesday, March 28th.