Finding freelance photography jobs online can seem more challenging than finding writing or graphic design jobs. But with the right job search strategy, you can find plenty of amazing work. The key is knowing where to find the best opportunities so that you can really hone in on those rather than wasting time aimlessly searching. Below, you’ll find a whopping 36 different places to find photography gigs, broken into easy-to-digest categories.
Step 1: Visit Freelance Job Boards Frequently
With freelance job boards, you get a specialized focus on contract jobs. These work well for the virtual photographer, as there’s rarely a way to filter by location. So, if you want to focus your search to online opportunities, this is the place to start.
Spotlight: Journalism Jobs
As you know, photojournalism is a specific specialty of photography. In order to grow in that career, you need to build up a strong portfolio of news-related work. Journalism Jobs makes that a lot easier.
How It Works:
- Sign up for an account on the site, then use photography queries to narrow down the results.
- As a member of the site, you can save the jobs that stand out to you the most. When I would be on the job search, features like this made things much easier. I’d spend a part of the evening scouring for jobs, then apply to them the next morning.
- Once you find listings that resonate with you, apply to them. It’s that easy.
Additional Freelance Job Boards:
- People Per Hour: A curated job board of freelance jobs
- Get Photography Jobs: A curated list of jobs categorized by state
- FlexJobs: Find telecommuting jobs from around the world
- Freelance Photographer Jobs: Explore curated opportunities from around the web
- Journalism Jobs: If you want to break into photojournalism, look here
- Photography Jobs Online: Submit your photos and get paid
- Upwork: Odesk and Elance joined forces to create this freelance job platform
- Photographers.co.uk: Connect with local employers looking for photographers
- Freelancer: Show off your skills and win projects
- Virtual Vocations: Telecommute opportunities all in one place
- Freelance Photo Jobs: Another curated site full of available jobs
- Guru: Showcase your work, pitch projects and connect with great employers
- Fiverr: List your skill and build a portfolio of projects while getting paid
- Photography Jobs Finder: Search for jobs and upload your resume
- Greatlance: Beat out other freelance photographers on this job board
- Cruise Ship Jobs: Want to start doing travel photography? Get a job on a cruise ship
- Photography Jobs Central: Find excellent opportunities for photography employment
- The Creative Loft: Hundreds of photography jobs listed everyday
Step 2: Build Relationships with Companies that Need Photographers
Another fun way to find freelance photography jobs is through individual company websites. Some of these look for volunteers, while others require a lot of experience. There are plenty of other websites out there that aren’t promoting their opportunities. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your search and proactively reach out to the companies you’d love to work with. As with applying for any job, make sure your pitch (and your portfolio) is very tailored to their brand and content so they can immediately grasp where you fit in and what you could contribute.
- Dating Headshots: Take pictures in your studio for online dating profiles
- Airbnb: Capture homes in unique ways for available rentals
- Obeo: Use your skills to take photos for virtual real estate tours
- Oyster: Travel to nearby hotels and photograph them extensively
- National Geographic: A great opportunity for photojournalists
- US Navy: They look for photographers to capture Navy events
- Go Abroad: Break into travel photography by working here
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Volunteer to capture moments with grieving parents
Step 3: Search General Online Job Boards
Photography careers aren’t always launched from having your portfolio discovered, though an up-to-date portfolio is always worth maintaining. Sometimes there are freelance jobs on these boards, other times you could convince employers to hire you as a contractor. And maybe you’d even enjoy a more traditional photography career. These can be very profitable in your job search, even if they aren’t as specialized.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Indeed. You’ll find everything from entry-level positions to contracts to full-time photography positions.
How It Works:
- Sign up for the website and upload your resume. This will make it easier to apply for several different jobs each day. Once you’ve signed up, it’s time to start searching.
- Type in your search query. You want to search for words that would be in the job title, such as: Photography, Photo Editor, Photo
- After you made the search, you can narrow down the results by additional filters (e.g. salary estimate, job type, location, company).
Additional General Job Boards:
- Monster: Find tons of freelance photography jobs
- LinkedIn: Combine your awesome LinkedIn profile to let your resume shine
- Craigslist: Discover gigs and jobs using your local classifieds
- CareerBuilder: Add your resume and find opportunities without sending applications
- Job.com: Find local freelance photography jobs
- TheLadders: Use their tools, insights and connections to land your dream gig
- Simply Hired: Identify photography jobs and get alerts for new opportunities
- US.jobs: The US National Labor Exchange has hundreds of listings available
- Glassdoor: Look for jobs and get an inside look on the hiring company
Tell Us Where You Find Freelance Photography Jobs!
Photography careers can take several different path – just like any industry. Landing the right gig is just the thing you need to start heading in the right direction. Continue your job search on a regular basis so that you’re never depending too much on one client. I use time tracking to make sure that I’m not spending too much (or too little) time on the freelance quest.
Do you have a favorite strategy for finding gigs? Comment below with your best spots!
This is an archived post from the FreshBooks Blog and was originally published in April 2016.