Freelance Photography: A Newbie’s First Journey

This past week I landed my first-ever freelance photography gig!


Well, technically, I’ve had others. I’ve done small-time paid photo shoots for people ever since I was in high school. However, this one is special. This is my first gig for someone entirely out of my social circles.


The opportunity: product photography.

Specifically, photographing some kitchen products that will be featured on the landing page of their company. The request for a photographer was put out in the Praxis Workplace group recently. Within 30 minutes, I found myself scheduling a call with my new contact. Now, I have the job and half of the money in my bank account!


The scariest thing about picking up freelance work: putting in the bid.

Pricing is completely nerve-wracking to me. I don’t want to ask for too much because I don’t feel like I have enough paid experience to charge professional rates. I don’t want to ask too little because that could hinder me from being taken seriously. When in doubt (and I clearly was!), ask for advice. Here is some of the advice I received this week:


“How much value does your work provide to him? What is the value per photo? If he were to do this himself (time, expertise, equipment) what would it cost him?”


The perfect price is one where you feel like your client is getting a deal but you are happy to work for it, and your client feels like you’re a little expensive but you do great work.”


“$20-$25 an image at least.” [for a business]


Connor Jeffers


“If you’re going to try to price at 20-25 per image (250 for the project total) I would make my ask between 325 and 400.”


Derek Magill


Creating the bid: keeping it professional.

I’m not sure if this aided me in landing the job or not, but I decided from the start that this project would be a test of my professional abilities. That would include everything from phone calls to emails to documents. I spent a while researching how to write a photography proposal. I found this article from Pinhole Pro to be the most useful to my endeavor. In the end, I constructed a document that looked like this:



I used that same document as a template to construct a receipt, as well.



How is the rest of this project going?

We will soon find out! In the near future, I should be getting an update about the status of the demo products that will be shipped to me. I am really excited to get started on the photography part of this project! So far, I’ve been surprised just how much time one can spend securing a freelance gig. I’ve spent at least a couple hours at this so far.


If you have any questions about this experience, feel free to ask!

I am definitely not a seasoned expert at picking up freelance work, but I’ll gladly give you a deeper look into a newbie’s perspective on the matter.

4 responses to “Freelance Photography: A Newbie’s First Journey”

  1. Derek Magill Avatar

    So awesome — glad this worked out! Great post.

    1. Sarah Avatar

      Thank you! Excited to see where things go from here. Thanks for making the introduction for me.

  2. Victoria the Justice Pirate Avatar

    awww Congratulations. I did freelance for 13 years. It was fun. I hope you have success and a great time!!!

    1. Sarah Avatar

      That’s so cool! Did you do photography or some other type of freelance?

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