5 Philosophies You Need as A Great Freelance Photographer
David Evanko jumps on tour buses with some of LA’s hottest bands, stage dives into seas of adrenalized fans, and captures the essence of subcultures through candid photography. Sound like something out of “Almost Famous”? It practically is. Late hours stretch into sleepless nights working with this nocturnal crowd, but he wouldn’t change it for the world.
With nothing but a love for music, a fancy camera, and an eagerness to contribute to the rock community, Evanko achieved a successful independent photography career by following 5 golden rules.
1. Say “yes” to new opportunities
In the beginning, gaining experience was far more valuable than making money for the young photographer. He said “yes” to every opportunity that came his way. Some gigs paid a little, some not at all.
“I’ve learned it’s better to have the experience than to not. You can say no to something, and you’ll always wonder what would have happened. If you say yes, you’ll always know. either way, bad or good, you’re always going to something learn from it.”
Evanko’s hard work caught the attention of the LA music scene. He was becoming friends with the artists and before he knew it, he was traveling on tour buses like he was part of the band.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for compensation
After making invaluable relationships, he noticed that people were still asking him for “freebies”. He knew the next step was to establish himself as a professional who deserved to be compensated.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for money. Everyone is going to try to get you to work for free.”
By asking to be paid, Evanko boosted his credibility as a freelancer and in turn, improved the quality of clientele who were interested in his work.
3. Always find the positive in something negative
Early on, he got discouraged by some of his failures, whether a shot didn’t turn out as well as he expected or he missed the perfect opportunity to capture a moment.These instances turned out to be indelible learning experiences for him.
“You learn the most from failure. I didn’t get to doing what I do by only succeeding. It’s all about how you perceive your failure. If you can find the positive out of a bad situation, you’re on the right path.”
4. Be consistent on social media
While social media was never second nature to Evanko, he adopted it in order to expand his audience. His following started out small, and grew over time as a result of frequent posting and staying true to his brand and point of view.
“People get discouraged when they don’t get a lot of followers right away. You can’t care what people think. The best thing you can do for yourself is not care what people think of you, and do what you want to do.”
5. Don't be afraid to have fun
Work hard, play hard, couldn’t be more true for Evanko. Some of his most inspired work comes as a result of jumping in the pit and being a part of the show. He feeds off the energy of the band and crowd garnering some of his most tangible and real shots.
“Be a part of the show, don’t just be there. Don’t be afraid to dancing and have a good time.”
As the old adage goes, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Be fearless, have faith in your ability, and have a little fun. If you do that, you may never have to work a day in your life.