Tools for Freelancers

While I have made mention of making connections/mentoring/interning at newspapers with the intent to one day be employed as a staff photographer, I realize that this is not the only career option for photojournalists. Freelancing gives a photographer the ability to negotiate fees as well as retain the rights to images. However, it is not always simple knowing how much to charge for your work, and keeping track of your work orders, clients, and images.

Editorial Photographers provides a free application that helps determine the rate a photographer should charge for image use. The estimator found on their site helps a photographer determine rates for assignments, reprints, and stock work using such factors as space rates and magazine/publication circulation. To keep track of the paperwork involved in freelancing, photographer Tom Zimberoff created PhotoByte. This piece of software helps photographers manage work by creating a virtual paper trail. Images can be catalogued, sorted, and tracked, contacts added, invoices filed, revenue calculated, etc. The program also generates legal documents such as model releases, assignment confirmations, and equipment manifests. The program is free and also has an associated Yahoo group in which technical support is given.

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