A photographer can be part of many job opportunities if they are well-experienced with their scope of work. Some people might take small jobs like taking stock photos, or maybe become part of a big media agency, but what is common to look for in the industry is photography work-for-hire.
It does not only involve photography, but there are also numerous work-for-hire jobs in other careers, and they all have the same pattern: an employer wants your services, and once you are done, they get the rights to your products.
In other words, you work as a freelancer, and all the pictures that you take will be owned by the employer, and therefore, the company. As grim as this sounds, there are some pros regarding photography work-for-hire, but you need to consider its cons too.
What to Expect with a Photography Work-for-Hire Job
Getting a work-for-hire job can take some time depending on the time season. Employers who need photos to promote their brand or to use for advertising purposes might look for freelance photographers who can offer what is required.
So, after you apply online or in person and you land the job, you need to listen to the client’s requirements and deliver it on time. However, the job can vary depending on the client, you might take pictures of different objects, or go on a field trip to take pictures of the environments.
You will also have to take into consideration deadlines. If you receive a flexible deadline, then you have multiple instances to take photos and choose the perfect ones to present, but with a tight deadline, you will need to provide results quickly and adjust your schedule.
Nonetheless, it is still a profitable job and you can gain experience in the process. But it does not mean that you should opt for work-for-hire jobs, you have to consider the advantages and disadvantages that come with it.
Pros of Photography Work-for-Hire
As we said before, you can get jobs that involve you traveling to other places and taking pictures of environments, landscapes, events, and others. It is a great way to experience a different point of view instead of jobs in your local area.
Aside from having fun and meeting new people, you can also learn and gain experience from these work-for-hire jobs. There are multiple factors that you need to pay attention to when taking photos outside, like the wind or lighting, so you can perfect your technique through trial and error.
If you are wondering if you have to work 24/7, well you could, but you can be more flexible with your schedule since you are a freelancer. You can decide when you want to apply for a job, and once you land it, you determine when you are doing the photoshoots.
Of course, you need to be careful about the deadlines. So, even if you choose when to work, do not slack off and leave it until the end of the deadline.
Great way to build business relationships
Doing photography work-for-hire is also useful to meet with different businesses and people. It is a great way to establish relationships and have new partners that will hire you when they have a new project.
That way, you can build trust with these people, and it will take you less time to get a job. Another advantage is that, even though you cannot use the pictures, you can put in your curriculum where and who you have worked for.
Profitable and sustainable
What’s better is that you do not have to worry about getting a low payment in return, that is, if you find a profitable job application. Most work-for-hire jobs tend to pay once the work is done or through weekly or monthly payments until the deadline is met.
Do not randomly choose to apply for a job, look through the specifications, and if it is profitable, then sign up. That way, being a photographer can become pretty sustainable.
Expensive equipment is not required
Who says that you need to have top-notch photography equipment to work? As long as you know how to capture the pictures required with the best angle, lighting, shape, and approach, you are all right to go.
You can even work with your phone! But of course, businesses will want high-quality pictures, so you will have bad luck if your equipment is in bad condition or from the oldest generation. So try to meet in the middle; not too cheap and not too expensive.
If you are in luck, the employer might provide you with equipment for you to use. However, you will need to be careful to not break it.
Cons of Photography Work-for-Hire
On the contrary, to have a good schedule, your deadline for the work-for-hire job can be intimidating. Some businesses want their pictures as soon as possible, so you have to provide them quickly.
Even though you can choose your hours, you must follow the requirements. If not, then you might lose connection with them. That would harm your image for future projects.
You cannot divert from the topic
And speaking of requirements, you have to do what your employer wants for the pictures. Normally, regarding photography work-for-hire, you cannot change the topic of the session. Meaning that you do not have to choose another object, landscape, etc.
You have little creative freedom and you must obey if there need to be any changes. Always comply with what the business has to say, but you can still use some techniques to amplify the beauty of the photos.
All the material belongs to the employer
As we already said, all the pictures that you take will belong to the business you are working for. So do not try to use the material for your own purposes, like for a website or promotional visuals.
If you want to show your work, then use the experience you gain from the jobs and come up with attractive ideas. After taking some photos, you can add them to your portfolio, providing your next clients with a presentation of some of your sessions.
Starting can be rough
Even though we said that work-for-hire jobs can be sustainable, it will be hard if you are not a professional photographer or are just starting. Without any background in other jobs, you will find a difficult time landing a job quickly.
That means you have to look for jobs that offer less money. You will gain experience and something to add to your VC, but it may not help you to sustain your daily expenses.
Random weather changes
The last thing that photographers want is for the weather to change drastically, especially if you are traveling and taking pictures outside. In a few seconds, the sun can turn into a bunch of clouds, which can result in wasting hours or a full day until it is sunny again.
We recommend that you watch the weather forecast before you go out to work. You are saving time and money if you prevent the weather outcomes.
Build a Strong Portfolio and Obtain Photography Work-for-Hire Jobs
What is essential to these jobs is to build a portfolio alongside your CV. Show for who have you worked for, and provide some pictures as examples of what you can deliver. Make sure to use every asset that you can think of, and always think of quality instead of quantity.
You might think that work-for-hire is not for you or is something that you did not expect, but we can assure you that it is a great way to start. You will find yourself in a learning environment, useful for future references if you decide to work for a media agency.
So, give it a shot, apply for some jobs, and use these pros and cons as reviewing material if you need help choosing a photography work-for-hire project.