If you do end up getting work as a photographer, you’re bound to be a freelancer. Self-employment is a regular thing for the trade by its nature.
It demands a certain sort of mentality or discipline though. It’s true of all contractors, but especially when you deal with the music or nightlife industry. If a band cancels on a gig, or an event doesn’t go ahead for whatever reason, you lose the income that you were expecting to get.. which makes planning and relying on money at certain times an uncertainty.
You can’t really be too legalistic about things either; it’s a fine balance. If you insist on working an event and getting paid because you’ve been booked for it, despite the change in circumstances, then you might well be in the right, but you’ll probably never get work with that company again.
Illness is the major enemy.. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Simple as. No compassionate leave here. The buck stops with you.
It comes in waves though; for some reason I always end up broke around Easter time every year, despite having plenty of work. As long as you can hold on and not freak out worrying about money, then you can last; it’s the ebb and flow of the beast.
I’m off for about a week – uni, work.. everything. (I do have one day to do on website stuff, but I don’t need to go into the office, so we’ll ignore that).
This is the first time it’s happened in ages.. so it’ll be good. It’s important to have a break from the heady lifestyle every so often to make sure you don’t burn out completely, and so that you can come back and see everything with fresh eyes again. There’s nothing worse than a nightclub photographer (or any photographer actually) who gets bored of seeing things.