Another year, another list of tips for upping your business game as a freelance photographer. Sure, it's supposed to come out in Jan, but life, ya know? Links are in the headers. Feedback and further recommendations are always welcome!
Also, if you care to rewind, check out my 2016 and 2017 tips.
Transferwise has always been great, but nearly impossible to get clients to send money through. This is a *massive* game changer for freelancers trying to receive payment in a major foreign currency. When you enroll (for free), you get EU, UK, US, and AUD bank account details and a debit card with free ATM fees (£200 monthly cap). Let's both make money, use my referral code to sign up.
lol screenshot clearly is not mine
Excellent (and free!) platform for keeping track of all your finances in one place - savings, checking, investments, retirement, credit cards, the whole schpeel. Great for financially responsible folk, or for those who want to efficiently remind themselves how dire the state of our industry is.
My attempt to juggle 3-4 backups of all my portable drives has been getting out of control, especially now that I'm directing a feature length doc (those TB burn up real quick). I worked with the kind folks at Drobo on a solution to have every last one of my digital assets in one place. I ended up going with the 5D3 model and it feels wild to be able to access everything in one go. I have more space/drives than I need inside to ensure if there's a failure, it will repopulate smoothly. I'm also going to keep maintaining my triple-backup system with portable WD 4TB drives because you can never be too safe.
I don't use this personally because I'm obsessed with manually doing everything, but I've heard many of folks say how excellent this free app is for invoicing/accounting.
Dry Cabinet for Gear
I don't keep my AC on often or when I travel, and for anyone that lives in the tropics knows that the humidity murders gear. I saw how affordable some of the off-brand dry boxes were in Thailand (thanks Lazada), so I scored a $75 Ailite ALT-30L. It's fairly frill-free with a little temperature gauge inside, and does the job. I only wish I had gotten a 50L one that could fit lenses AND my mountain of back up portable drives.
Also a tip for those in sweaty places - I started buying little silica gel boxes that change color when they're maxed out, and keep them in my camera bags when traveling. There's a bunch of different types in packets and refillable boxes.
I carry one of these around as a backup in unreliable places (like when the power cuts mid-shoot, as recently experienced). They pack a punch for the size.
I'm doing more video editing now on a basic-model Macbook (yes, I know) but using this app to scan and remove large & junk files on the reg helps keep space cleared.
I ususally buy a few packets of rehydration powder from the local pharmacy wherever I'm at to avoid dehyrdration when working long days in swelting places. Unfortunately they usually taste awful. My dear colleague Emily introduced these to me on a recent job in Nepal, and I'm unreasonably excited to find out these exist.
For a number of reasons, you might find yourself needing to provide proof of an onward flight. This site lets you generate & print a custom one for free (read their suggestions first!)
You probably already use Moo, but if you don't: I've used these for a few years, and they just keep getting better. Also, outstanding customer service. I've ordered both business cards and stickers, and anything I do through Moo is 10/10 for process, price, and quality. Use this link to save $15 on your first order.