From freelancer to managing freelance teams

 You can learn how to grow your freelance photography and video business into something bigger than yourself. I began my career as an independent freelance photographer in 2003 with one camera, one lens, zero clients, no website, no online presence of any kind and no clear idea of what kind of photography I wanted to do.

I ended 2022 leading a team of talented, professional photographers as the host photographer covering COP15, the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the world’s largest conference on biodiversity in history that culminated with an historic agreement to halt biodiversity loss by 2030.

In between then and now, I learned a few things. Here are the top three that I think had the most profound impact on my success and which stand as the core foundation for my business today.

1. Commitment to quality matters.

2. Attitude often differentiates winners from losers.

3. A team diverse in skills and perspective creates max value for clients.

Creative teamwork makes the individual contribution of each creator better and when done in the service of client mandates, the end result richer and much more powerful and relevant than anything a lone contributor could deliver.

Daniel Francis Haber and Eric Gagnon (Julian Haber

Grow your freelance photo and video business with a team

 Over the years I’ve written a lot about freelancing (including a book: Gigonomics: A Field Guide for Freelancers in the Gig Economy). It’s been an incredible journey for me personally and one I’ve documented here over the years in various posts about freelancing. Interestingly I’ve gone from “survival” tips in this post here “How to survive as a freelance photographer“, written in March 2016, to how to “thrive” just a year later in this post: “How to thrive as a freelance photographer” written in November 2017. I wrote a few at the outset and during covid, here and here. In all of this writing my aim has always been to help other freelancers learn from my journey and to grow stronger, faster and with less pain and loneliness than I felt when I first started out. Which is one of the reasons I grew my own business through collaborations with other creative professionals. We really are better together.

In addition to the resiliency a team provides, having other creative professionals to work with creates opportunities for collaboration and constructive feedback that foments better work. Many photographers and videographers are used to working alone and wearing many hats (shooter/filmer, editor, account manager, marketer). Having other freelancers with compatible skill sets yields consistently better results – and often helps one return to one’s own work with renewed passion.

Teams can teach each individual member tips and tricks that improves the overall result to the benefit of the client, and also the individual contributor.

And working with other people doing the same kind of work as you but having a completely different perspective, set of experiences and gear is fun and rewarding in its own right.

In 2023 I will be looking to grow my team of freelance videographers, video editors and young new event photographers. Feel free to connect with me if that sounds like you.

Julian Haber
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Julian Haber Photographer
Julian Haber is an events, corporate portraits and conference photographer based in Montreal. He is the author of a book on freelancing and runs a busy boutique agency of creative professionals in the fields of photography, videography and design. |