“Freelance” photographer is a term not as common as it once was. In fact, the industry is a little fuzzy right now. The most widely accepted definition of an “independent” photographer is a professional that doesn’t have a publishing company. That includes photo editors, photo sales representatives and, of course, freelancers. The last two categories are still pretty diverse and often referred to as freelancers, while the former category is referred to as “stylists” or “designers.”
The most common freelance rate at the moment is around $500 per hour. Many photographers do other things besides work in the industry — they have hobbies, they write books, or they’re in college or pursuing a masters degree. Some photographers don’t even have a publication — they just love the photography and do it for the love of it.
Many of the freelance rates are also negotiated according to how long the photographer works for each day. For example, a photog doing 2-hour work shifts at Walmart a day might be able to pay $500 an hour, on average, which works out to about $25 per hour. That’s $5 a hour more than what most photographers can make on commission — but not by much.
The freelance rates for photographers in your industry is a lot higher.
This kind of low rate means you might not have the time to spend in front of a camera, but that’s probably not a reason not to take a contract. It’s worth making sure the photographer you are signing with feels strongly about it, and wants the same terms as you do.
However, there are also low freelance rates that are actually negotiated, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get your rates in before you send your contract! When you’re not sure how much the freelance rates are, ask, and the answers will tell you the way you should handle them.
If you don’t get paid, the question is how much did you expect to be paid?
If you don’t get paid, what is your excuse, and why did you not get paid?
Many freelancers don’t expect to be paid until they’ve shot at least a full shoot. This probably can vary from one photographer to the next, but some photographers will only shoot for a few months before they start receiving payments, and others will work up to a year before they have a portfolio. The fact that payment is delayed is often one of the reasons a photographer doesn’t send