Networking Tips for Freelance Photographers
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Build your portfolio
  2. Join photography associations and clubs
  3. Attend photography workshops and conferences
  4. Connect with other photographers on social media
  5. Offer your services to local businesses
  6. Collaborate with other freelancers
  7. Network at community events
  8. Ask for referrals from past clients
  9. Make use of online freelance platforms
  10. Follow up with contacts

As a freelance photographer, expanding your professional network can feel like a daunting task. But don't worry, I'm here to help you navigate this journey with a few simple, yet effective, networking tips. These tips are designed to help you grow your network, broaden your reach and, ultimately, land more gigs. So, let's dive in and explore these tips for networking in photography as a freelancer.

Build your portfolio

First and foremost, you need a solid portfolio. Think of it as your visual resume, a showcase of your skills and unique style. It's what sets you apart from other freelance photographers, and it's usually the first thing potential clients or collaborators look at.

So, how do you build a striking portfolio? Here are some pointers:

  • Quality over Quantity: It's better to have a few exceptional photos than dozens of average ones. Pick your best work that captures a range of subjects and techniques.
  • Show Your Unique Style: Your portfolio should reflect your unique perspective. Are you into street photography, portraits, or landscapes? Make sure your portfolio reflects that.
  • Keep it Updated: Refresh your portfolio regularly with your latest work. This shows you're active and constantly improving your craft.
  • Include Client Work: If you've worked with clients before, include those photos (with permission, of course). This not only adds credibility but also shows you can handle professional assignments.

A well-crafted portfolio is one of the most effective tips for networking in photography as a freelancer. It opens doors, starts conversations, and creates opportunities you might not have otherwise had. So, invest time in building and refining your portfolio. It's your ticket to a wider network and a flourishing freelance photography career.

Join photography associations and clubs

Another sure-fire way to expand your professional network is to join photography associations and clubs. You may be wondering, "Why should I join an association or club?" Well, let me tell you, the benefits are plenty.

  • Knowledge Sharing: Associations and clubs are treasure troves of information. You get to learn from seasoned professionals, pick up new techniques, and stay updated on industry trends.
  • Networking Opportunities: These organizations often host events, workshops, and meet-ups, which are perfect for making new connections and strengthening existing ones.
  • Exposure: Many associations and clubs also organize exhibitions or contests. Participating in these can help you gain visibility and recognition in the photography community.
  • Access to Resources: Membership often comes with access to resources like tutorials, webinars, magazines, and even equipment rentals at discounted rates.

Keep in mind that joining an association or club is not just about what you can get from it, but also about what you can contribute. As you share your knowledge and skills, you'll strengthen your reputation and position within the community, which can lead to more networking opportunities. So, go ahead and explore the various photography associations and clubs out there. It's a smart move for any freelance photographer looking to expand their network.

Attend photography workshops and conferences

Ready for another tip on networking in photography as a freelancer? Try attending photography workshops and conferences. These events are not just for developing your skills—they're also perfect for meeting like-minded individuals and industry professionals.

  • Skill Enhancement: Whether it's a workshop on portrait photography or a conference on the latest post-processing software, there's always something to learn. This new knowledge can give you an edge in the competitive world of freelance photography.
  • Networking: From casual chats during coffee breaks to formal networking sessions, these events are filled with opportunities to make meaningful connections. Remember, the person sitting next to you could be your next client or collaborator!
  • Industry Insights: Conferences often feature talks by industry leaders. Their insights into current trends and future developments can help guide your business strategy.
  • Vendor Exhibitions: Many conferences also have vendor exhibitions where you can check out the latest gear, software, and other photography-related products. Who knows, you might stumble upon a tool that can take your work to the next level!

Remember, the key to getting the most out of these events is active participation. Don't just sit in the corner with your notebook; engage in discussions, ask questions, and most importantly—introduce yourself and your work. You never know who might be impressed by your passion and talent!

Connect with other photographers on social media

Let's dive into our next tip for networking in photography as a freelancer: harnessing the power of social media. It's no secret that platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn have become essential tools for photographers. Here's how you can use them to your advantage:

  • Follow and Engage: Start by following accounts of other photographers whose work you admire. Don't stop at just hitting the follow button—engage with their posts. Leave thoughtful comments, ask questions, or share their work if you find it inspiring. It's a great way to start a conversation and get noticed.
  • Share Your Work: Regularly post your photographs and behind-the-scenes content on your own account. This not only helps you showcase your work but also gives others a glimpse into your creative process. Remember, authenticity often resonates with people, so be yourself!
  • Join Photography Groups: There are numerous photography groups on Facebook and LinkedIn where members share their work, discuss different techniques, and even post job opportunities. Join these groups and participate in the discussions. It's an excellent way to learn, network, and find potential clients.
  • Use Relevant Hashtags: When posting your work, make sure to use relevant hashtags. This can increase the visibility of your posts among users who are interested in those particular topics.

While social media can be a powerful tool, remember that building meaningful connections takes time. So, be patient, stay active, and most importantly, enjoy the process of connecting with other photography enthusiasts around the world.

Offer your services to local businesses

Next up on our list of tips for networking in photography as a freelancer is to tap into your local business community. Many businesses, whether they're cafe owners or real estate agents, need high-quality photos for their websites, social media, and promotional materials. Here's how you can offer your services:

  • Research Local Businesses: Start by identifying local businesses that might need your services. This could be anyone from a new restaurant in town needing mouth-watering food photos, to a local boutique needing photos of their latest fashion line.
  • Prepare a Pitch: Once you've identified potential clients, prepare a pitch. Explain who you are, what you do, and most importantly, how your services could benefit them. Make sure to include some of your best work in the pitch to give them an idea of your capabilities.
  • Reach Out: Now it's time to reach out. This could be in person, over the phone, or via email. Remember, the goal is to establish a relationship, so be professional, yet friendly.
  • Offer Competitive Rates: As a freelancer, it's important to price your work fairly. Research what other photographers in your area are charging and offer competitive rates.

Offering your services to local businesses not only provides an opportunity for steady work but also helps you build a strong network within your community. And who knows? A successful gig at a local business could lead to referrals and more opportunities down the line.

Collaborate with other freelancers

One of the best ways to broaden your network and enhance your skills is by collaborating with other freelancers. This is not just about photographers; think graphic designers, writers, and even event planners. Collaborating with other creative freelancers can open up new avenues for your freelance photography business. Here's why:

  • Expand your client base: When you work with other freelancers, you have the chance to meet their clients too. This can help you establish new connections and potentially gain more projects.
  • Learn new skills: Working with someone from a different field can provide you with a unique perspective and help you learn new skills. For instance, a graphic designer might teach you about color theory, which could improve your photography.
  • Share resources and responsibilities: Collaboration also allows you to share resources and split project responsibilities. This can make larger projects more manageable and increase your overall productivity.
  • Boost your portfolio: Lastly, the work you produce together can add a new dimension to your portfolio. It showcases your ability to work in a team and adapt to different styles.

Remember, networking isn't just about what you can gain from others. It's important to also consider what you can offer in a collaborative relationship. Be open to sharing your knowledge, and always approach collaborations with a spirit of teamwork and mutual growth.

Network at community events

Community events are golden opportunities for networking in photography as a freelancer. They allow you to connect with potential clients, meet local business owners, and get your name out there. Let's take a look at how you can make the most out of these events:

  • Be prepared: Before you attend any event, make sure you're well-prepared. Carry plenty of business cards and have your elevator pitch ready. This way, you'll be able to share your contact information and talk about your work smoothly when the opportunity arises.
  • Engage with people: Don't just stand in a corner clutching your camera. Engage with attendees, ask about their businesses, and show genuine interest in what they do. This could lead to potential collaborations or job offers down the line.
  • Volunteer your services: If you're new to the community, consider volunteering your photography services at a local event. This not only gives you exposure but also shows that you're a team player who's willing to give back to the community.
  • Follow up: After the event, don't forget to follow up with the people you've met. Send them an email or connect with them on social media. This can help turn a casual conversation into a productive business relationship.

Remember, networking at community events isn't about selling yourself aggressively. It's about building genuine relationships and becoming a part of the community. So the next time there's a local event, grab your camera and go show off your skills!

Ask for referrals from past clients

One of the most effective tips for networking in photography as a freelancer is to tap into your existing network — your past clients. They've already seen your work, valued your services, and most importantly, they trust you. Let's explore how we can harness this potential:

  • Reach out: Drop a friendly email or make a phone call to your past clients. Ask them about their experience working with you, and if they were satisfied, request them to refer you to their friends, family, or business associates who might need a photographer.
  • Offer incentives: Consider offering incentives for referrals. This could be something like a discount on future services, a free photo session, or even a small gift. This not only encourages referrals but also strengthens your relationship with your clients.
  • Make it easy: Make the referral process as easy as possible for your clients. Provide them with a simple link they can share, or even draft a quick message they can forward to their contacts.
  • Express gratitude: Always thank your clients for their referrals. It shows that you value their support and are grateful for their help in growing your business.

Asking for referrals might feel awkward at first, but remember, your services brought value to your clients, and there's a good chance they'll be happy to spread the word. So don't be shy — reach out!

Make use of online freelance platforms

Another valuable tip for networking in photography as a freelancer is using online freelance platforms. These platforms can be a goldmine of opportunities, connecting you with clients you might never have reached otherwise. Let's take a closer look at how you can make the most of these platforms:

  • Choose the right platform: There are many online platforms out there, so it’s important to choose the one that fits your needs best. Some popular ones are Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. Research each platform's strengths, user base, and payment terms before deciding.
  • Create a compelling profile: Your profile is your first impression, so make it count. Include a professional photo, a brief introduction, and an overview of your skills and experience. Don't forget to showcase your portfolio!
  • Apply for relevant jobs: Spend time each day browsing for job postings that align with your skills and interests. Tailor each application to the specific job, highlighting why you're the perfect fit.
  • Communicate effectively: Once you land a job, maintain open and clear communication with your client. This can lead to repeat business and even referrals to other clients.

Remember, each platform has its own dynamics and rules. Take time to understand them, and they can become a powerful tool for expanding your freelance photography business.

Follow up with contacts

One of the best tips for networking in photography as a freelancer is to keep the conversation going. That means, once you've made a new contact, don't let it end there. Follow-ups can help strengthen your connections, and keep you in the minds of potential clients or collaborators.

  • Remember the details: If you talked about a specific project, or they mentioned something important, note it down. Using these details in your follow-up can show that you pay attention and value the conversation.
  • Time it right: A good rule of thumb is to follow up within 48 hours after your initial meeting. This keeps the interaction fresh and shows your enthusiasm without being pushy.
  • Keep it professional: Even though you're keeping it casual, remember to maintain a professional tone. Say thank you for their time, express your interest in their work, and suggest a future meeting or collaboration if appropriate.
  • Stay consistent: Networking isn't a one-time event. Keep in touch with your contacts regularly, even if it's just to say hello or share an interesting article. This can help you stay at the top of their minds.

Following up shows that you're serious about your freelance photography career, and that you value your connections. So, don't let those business cards gather dust—reach out and follow up!

If you're looking to improve your networking skills and boost your chances of landing photography gigs, don't miss the workshop 'How to Make a Client Choose You' by louisbever. This workshop will provide you with practical tips and strategies to stand out from the competition and make clients choose you for their photography needs.