When it comes to self-employment, the term "freelancer" is a bit of a dirty word in the creative industry. For many, the word is synonymous with low income, little appreciation, and, for some, a lack of creative freedom. It's no wonder that many creatives — especially photographers — are increasingly going down a different route.
Being a freelancer is not all bad, of course. It suits some people more than others. After all, the projects that you work on are managed by someone else, so you don't need to worry about the production side of things. For example, if you're shooting real-estate, you don't need to concern yourself about who to employ to clean and stage the "set," that's the job of the agency, and you're just the gun for hire — you turn up, shoot, and collect your paycheck. But oftentimes, especially in the early stages of self-employment, when you don't have much experience, you don't own the rights to the work that you're producing. You create the work, but then you have to wave goodbye to it because it's in the contract that you signed. Eventually this can become quite disheartening, with many freelancers experience high levels of stress and a proportionally large number suffering from depression.
So what's the alternative if you want to stay self-employed? You create your own product.
In this video, Dave Morrow outlines the reasoning behind his entrepreneurial approach to his business. It's part of a pattern that can be all over the Internet these days. Many photographers now sell presets, tours, workshops, tutorials, etc. As Morrow says, "If you have a knowledge product, you can sell it to 10 people with the same amount of ease as you can sell it to a million people." His point being that it's very easily scalable. Fstoppers is a prime example of this approach. It goes without saying that this route isn't all candy flowers and puppy-dog money-trees, though. The initial investment of time and money will be significant, with little to no reward for a long time. But, if it's successful, then the effort will pay dividends — not just financially, but also mentally.
I'm currently in the process of setting up workshops, so this video really hit home to me and gave me some extra motivation. What about our readers? We'd love hear you thoughts on the Morrow's video. Are you tired of freelancing or do you enjoy it?