• Braxton Wilhelmsen

Freelance Photographer Life

For most of my career as a photographer, as well as my 5 years as a Workforce Management Analyst, I worked full-time for an employer. Since March, I've taken my freelance photography and run with it. I left my job and began the work of acquiring new clients. And wow, what a roller-coaster! I've heard freelance life described that way, and they weren't lying. I've spoken with several friends and family who have followed a similar path and they all said the same thing. The first year is rough, the second year is somewhat stable and by the third year things really start getting good. So how's it been going for the first 4 months for me?

4 months? Is that all it's been? Unbelievable. It seems like so much longer. I've done so many projects and feel like it's not enough. Let's see. I've done product photography:

Big jobs, little jobs

I've done portfolio work:

Design and Motion Design work:

I've even done a little artwork:

And I've marketed the book I published this year:

There are other projects I've done, but the cherry on top of it all was a shoot I did in New Jersey for a branding agency. I'm not allowed to share the images from that shoot, and the job is technically not complete yet, but I can tell you that it was an experience that stretched my creative abilities, which is exactly what I'm looking for in my work. Full-time employment offers stability, but often the work desired in those roles is steady, efficiency-over-quality, technically descriptive images produced with an assembly-line approach. While this is good for business and meets the business need, as a photographer, it left me feeling a little underutilized and stagnant. I may return to that kind of work if it becomes necessary, but I wanted to try to create a working life that involved more challenge, growth, and creativity. So far so good. I just need to fill out my time with more client projects so it continues to make sense financially, which is the last piece of the puzzle.

I'm excited to see what other photo, video, design, motion design, and illustration projects come up over the next 8 months to round out my first freelance year.

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