I thought I’d try a little something different over here. From time to time I get really lovely emails from people enquiring as to how I do the work I do, how I got there, asking for advice on camera gear or what career path they should take… I’m by no means an expert and everyone does things their own way, but I really wanted to be able to answer some of these questions on a more public forum, because it’s nice when we can all share things! I put a little video out on Instagram letting people know that they could ask me anything. And so, here we are.
It’s weird to ask people if they have any questions – I feel like it makes it seem as though I’m some kind of know-it-all. I promise you, I’m not. This whole life thing is one big learning curve. But the thing that I’ve always loved about Instagram is the creative community it has given me – I can hand-on-my-heart say that some of my dearest friends in the world have come from an app which I look at on my phone, which blows my mind. So in the spirit of that community, here we go with me trying to answer some of your questions, as best I can!
Also, I’ll try and put some photographs in here – because otherwise, it’s just a whole lot of words.
@mondomulia What’s the hardest challenge for you of working as a freelancer? (for example I struggle with managing my schedule and prioritising projects).
Ohhh there’s so much about it I find tricky – to say otherwise would just be a bald-faced lie on my part! For me, number one would be the financial side of things. It sounds like a copout but it’s very true that I struggle a lot with numbers and organising financial documents and generally understanding important things like taxes. I think that also comes from living in a country where the system is so different from what I grew up with. And if I don’t like doing something, I avoid it. Which isn’t a good idea when it comes to numbers.
The other main one would be factoring in time for myself – that barely ever happens, but I am trying to get better at it. I think as freelancers we are conditioned to accept as much work as we can when it comes around, because who really knows where the next job might come from, right? The first 6 months of this year were an absolute blur for me. I worked on some dream projects with amazing people and clients, created work that I am super proud of, and travelled a hell of a lot. But I also completely burnt out at the end of that 6 months. And that’s where I have some work to do… I’m trying to make sure I schedule editing during the week and not over a weekend. If I have hi res due on a Monday I’ll try and have it done by the preceding Friday. And I’m trying to actually make time for myself to live life in between jobs, and to travel for the love of it, not just for work.
Am I completely succeeding at this? Hell no. But I’m really trying.
@eriksellgren Hola! One of my challenges is that I take way too many photos because I feel that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sorting out and organizing photos take so much time. I do miss the days when I used analog to be honest. So… do you take heaps of photos every time you shoot or have you learned to try to keep it to a minimum?
Saludos! Honestly, I feel as though however you are most comfortable shooting is how you should shoot – I don’t really believe there’s a right way or wrong way! Personally I actually find myself shooting two different ways, depending on what the situation is. If I’m shooting landscapes/interiors/street scenes I tend to take my time, compose the shot I know I want, and that’s that. I might do a couple of different angles because I shoot a lot of editorial work, and my past life as an Art Director has taught me that sometimes you need to have options when you are laying out a story – so I might shoot the same scene as a portrait and landscape shot if it works either way, so the AD has some choice when designing.
Where I change that approach is when I’m photographing people. Because people blink. They squint. They start talking and their mouths contort into strange shapes. And they sometimes just don’t know what to do in front of a camera, and it takes a little bit to get them to relax. But what also happens is that people throw their heads back and laugh. They let their emotions play across their face, they make some kind of small gesture or all of a sudden the light hits them just right and you know that’s the shot – and that can’t often be planned.