There is a familiar say "slow and steady wins the race", well that's what my father kept telling me and though he never had any business of his own, he did deal with many to understand the basics. It is been 10 years and I guess I have done enough mistakes and took enough chances to be good enough to share what I have learned with you.
My childhood dream was not to be a creative artist rather I wished to join the national defense. I am born outspoken and situations down the line have made me a rebel. I at times feel I am floating in an ocean and the water is taking me places without my wishes and yet make me hit the right rock to keep the passion alive. Ok! no more emo talks and let's get straight to the point and I am pretty sure you all are eager to understand how to be better at freelancing. I before share the 101 steps let me clarify every freelancer has its own journey, conscious and subconscious, all the below are from my due personal experience. You are free to stop here or feel free to read ahead and I hope you get a few pointers good enough to incorporate.
You don't earn in the initial years
The reality of earning a handsome amount against a day or few days job is not something you will see in the initial years, it took me 5 years to be well aware enough among producers and clients who considered me for the job. When I started back in 2014, I was more concerned about brands I can work for and quoted enough to cover my rent and a few basic needs. Quality variation in the portfolio was my main intention. Survival remained a question for long.
As time passed and I came across people who helped me to grab better clients with quality budgets. Every industry runs around many people who have their own specific specialization, one needs to reach out to have a team in mind to be capable of a bigger assignment.
Getting personal with work
It is in human nature to be very personally attached to its craft and skill and it becomes the whole of you. I have personally taken so many work rejections and made myself enough crazy. It took me years to understand that there are many other factors untold than our work befitting the job. Anger, having various highs and lows and getting desperate is something you are going to go through and how you deal with it will matter a lot. I have made sure to turn up with one image a day and sharing it over media platforms to be seen many who may or may not consider me for a job. Passive presence makes a lot of sense.
If you think understanding your better half in a relationship has taught you everything about how one behaves and why one behaves then you have not yet started with the basics. I have learned so much how people react and how they react as against when dating a person.
Negotiation is a skill you learn along the way or hire someone good enough to do so on your behalf but let's be practical, how many can hire someone and how practical it is to have one. Negotiation has not to be done with every possibility, you need to learn and understand when to negotiate and when to be under the clause of "Non-negotiable" how much to cut down and when to step your foot down. I encourage people to observe how local businesses negotiate and learn to understand the terms they put it down.
I have read enough, seen enough and been myself one of them who do depend on folks for survival. I reside in Mumbai in a not so pocket-friendly corner, and I do go little out of cash from time to time. I don't have much to say about it except it is ok, do justice to the money and cut down your expenses where ever possible. We Millenials need to understand the concept of saving and the sooner you get into the better are chances you handling any crisis with ease.
An unstable social life
There is nothing more dangerous than being lonely on the path of becoming a freelancer. It so happens the best of the people who made big in life are often lonely. We humans and we tend to live in a tribe, as a communal animal we need to have a basic human interaction on day to day basis. Sadly there is a truth many are able to handle it well and many tend to sink into depression. As we grow people get their priority sorted and tend to live in their own world. Having a schedule is important above everything and I can't stress enough to the fact you will be your own friend down the line.
Hii, I am shovona, a freelance commercial photographer who resides in the economic hub of India, Mumbai. As an artist, I undergo the above almost every day and I am here to support others to let them feel cool about anything happening in life.
Feel free to contact me for any portrait, corporate, food, product photography related queries or just drop a hi! at