Many years ago, I gave up a pretty good job in the insurance market to become a full time photographer.
Part of my job then was to organise events for the insurance industry in Manchester, and we employed photographers to cover events. At one event, I actually sacked the guy on the spot for being – shall we say – inappropriate with the ladies….. it gave me great pleasure to tell him where to stick his lens……
I digress….. after this, I started to shoot the local events myself, and from there, I expanded what I did, to shoot dinners, presentations, and other events around the area, eventually giving up insurance completely, and started photography freelancing as a job.
I was introduced to agency work, and was sent to all sorts of places to shoot people and ‘things’ – the idea then was to get the images back to the picture desk as quickly as I could for print. I didn’t edit, other than maybe a quick crop. Images for news editorials must not, and should not be altered.
The great thing was being able to meet so many people – but it was hard work. Some celebrity folks were wonderful and co-operative. Others not so much, but I enjoyed the challenge.
Standing in the rain, waiting for people (or things) to come and go – waiting in the dark (in the rain) – uploading images whilst sitting on the floor of a shopping centre, or in one case, whilst being driven home.
Would I have changed it? – not for one second. It was a job I loved, and cursed in equal measure….
Which brings me to the purpose of this post…. There’s a lot to be said for being freelance – there’s a lot of joy and excitement – being in the right place at the right time – getting involved in Britain’s Got Talent, and the X-Factor finals.
What I do find frustrating is photographers who think that being freelance is an easy option.
It’s much harder these days to make good money. At one of the last dinners that I shot – one person told me candidly that he would just screenshot my website – and wasn’t bothered about a watermark.
Never mind – let’s let the matter rest, and move on…..