Being a freelance photographer can give you a lot of freedom and fulfillment. But finding a lucrative and sustainable source of work can be a struggle. Freelancers of all kinds especially those working in the creative spheres tend to have difficulties finding consistent jobs over the course of their careers.
Fortunately, there’s been a huge swell of legitimate freelance sites in the last few years. There are now plenty of online platforms for creatives and technicians to connect with trustworthy, well-paying clients on an international level.
That means that photographers no longer have to rely on word-of-mouth for publicity. They can network and source lucrative jobs from the comfort of their own homes. However, knowing which platforms to set up camp on can present some challenges. With so many options available, choosing one (or more) that really suit both your work ethic and creative flair is not easy.
To help bring some clarity into the emerging freelance photographer field, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best freelancer sites that cater to photography as well as other creative and technical modalities.
Behance is a creative network and publicity platform owned by Adobe. In addition to providing a space to curate an image-based portfolio, Behance features a job board where paying clients can advertise their requirements and job specifications.
With categories such as photography, logo design, fine art, and illustration, this website is a great place for emerging freelance photographers. It lets them assert their position on the scene and showcase their overall body of work.
Behance is completely free to use and provides the option for personalized job connections. With over 10 million members, maintaining a profile on this platform is sure to put your work in the way of job traffic in 2021.
As the largest freelancing platform in the world, Upwork is definitely one to check out (if you haven’t already). With more than 3 million jobs listed every year, this website is a great place to make yourself known in the freelancing sphere and connect with people who can hire you for projects.
The endless stream of opportunities that Upwork provides makes it an ideal spot for both beginner and seasoned photographers. However, the application process tends to be rigorous due to the high level of competition. Plus, there’s a small fee that Upwork charges for new applicants, but it’s potentially worth it if you can maximize the potential of this platform.
This freelancing marketplace helps both beginners and experienced creatives to sell their skills in a simple and straightforward way. In 2021, Fiverr has over 3.42 million clients that actively search for talented designers, photographers, and writers.
Fiverr is an immensely popular freelancing site that boasts a high level of competition amongst others in your field. Their service fees are also a smidge higher than the average platform, but this can mean that you attract higher-paying jobs.
The review section makes it easy for new clients to weigh up your skills and determine whether they want to do business with you, and the platform aims to uplift freelancers with better feedback. If you’re committed to the long-game of freelance photography, Fiverr might be the platform for you!
A highly popular platform on the freelancing market, Guru boasts a client base of 800,000 and a customer satisfaction rate of 99%. Guru accepts all types of freelancers, from creative fine artists to social media managers.
This platform has a progress tracking feature that enables users to add members to team-based projects, making collaborative projects much easier. Although Guru does have a free membership option, the paid membership alternative provides much better leads and a stronger likelihood of finding work.
Connections between freelancers and clients are easy through Thumbtack. This platform focuses on small businesses and local communities set up to help graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and more to find clients who are willing to pay for work.
Thumbtack requires no fees for signing up and offers both refunds and protection to support you should a client misuse your services. However, you will need to pay for client leads, which can cost up to $1.50 each, increasing as your competition does.
Similar to Behance, Dribbble puts its focus on providing emerging creatives from around the world with a professional platform to showcase their portfolios and connect with like-minded people. Photographers may find themselves especially drawn to Dribbble for its emphasis on visual branding.
On this site, other users and potential clients can “shot” slides from your portfolio to show appreciation and interest. This boosts your exposure and makes it easier to find clients whose specifications match your skills and style.
While Dribbble is great for gaining exposure and networking with other creative professionals, the only way to actually apply for jobs is to get a premium membership, which costs $5-12 per month.
PeoplePerHour may be a UK-based platform, but it caters to freelancers from all over the world. With over 1 million active clients, PeoplePerHour aims to connect talented creative professionals with customers that want to pay on an hourly basis.
Applications must go through an approval process. But once achieved, freelancers can start networking and earning with only a 20% fee that decreases as the cost of a project goes higher.
PeoplePerHour encourages users to create stunning, updated profiles for the best results. The website is particularly user friendly and provides an automatic invoicing service that makes payment much easier to receive.
Something that Flexjobs is perhaps best known for is its consistently high number of job listings. With more than 30,000 jobs available, and over 50 skills categories, this platform boasts a high priority on client legitimacy by hand-screening every listing themselves before publishing.
Another popular feature of Flexjobs is their highly advanced search tool. The filtration system embedded in the website enables freelancers to hone in only on jobs that meet their exact preferences, rates, and available skills.
Flexjobs requires signing up for one of two subscription plans: $6.95 per week, or $14.95 per month, both of which allow you access to the same privileges. If you’re dissatisfied with their services within 30 days of subscribing, a full money-back guarantee is offered.
What sets Aquent apart from other freelancer platforms is that it connects you with people that will do the job-searching for you. Instead of requiring you to do all your own seeking, Aquent uses AI to match freelancers with clients, making it more of a recruitment agency than anything else. This means that you may need to take on some of the usual business admin and send your own invoices when work is complete.
This platform focuses mainly on freelancers who work in the creative arts, writing, and some technological fields. The AI involved will automatically review your profile and match you with the perfect client based on overlapping skills, requirements, and style preferences.
Through 99designs, freelancers of every kind can connect with others from over 90 different categories of design, while making your work available to clients from all over the world.
After paying a hefty $100 introduction fee, users can work directly with clients or compete in competitions that earn you money or leads for paying jobs. 99designs is best known for its encouragement of making long-term connections with world-class clients.
There really are plenty of freelance sites for photographers to choose from. You can use these as a stepping stone to establish yourself and build up your online portfolio, or for those months when the jobs aren’t so easy to find.
Just make sure that you select the site that suits your requirements and that sees you make the most profit from your work.