Where Instagram Has Taken Me Lately | My Journey Into Freelance

(To be clear, a lot of you requested on Instagram that this post be done in Vlog format! Which is awesome, I’m so glad you guys want to hear me talk on screen! This is noted and I’ve already ordered some new equipment to get that started! But in the meantime, I think it’d be easiest for me to fill you in on what’s been going on via text! Xx)

I’m a free agent!

Sorry, that just feels cool to say.
Because it makes me sound like an NBA player. And I am not an NBA player.

My income is definitely not that of an NBA player…

But that’s now!
You just wait!
In 10 years, I’ll be able to buy my OWN NBA team…

Alright, let’s get to what you came here for, shall we?

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A recent photo of travel blogger, @getlostwithjackie, taken on Long Island

What have I been doing!

Well, since moving to New York, I’ve been behind the camera more than ever. And thankfully so! When the social media agency I moved to New York for shut down at the beginning of January, I was at a bit of a loss.

I figured the best I could do would be to apply, apply, apply–and pick up as many side jobs as I could in the meantime. I figured this would mean a couple photog gigs here and there, and a traverse back into the service industry. For most of my time in Texas (8 years) I worked as a waitress/bartender to get by. Although I wasn’t too keen on going back into bartending, it was something that I was prepared to do to make ends meet. *shoulder shrug*

Plot twist! The “little photog gigs” I’ve been picking up, are turning into a full-time commitment–not to mention, inspiration. I quickly realized, hey, if I can consistently pick up photography clients, I don’t need to waitress. Because the amount I can make in a few hours is more or less the amount I would be making from a night behind the bar, and I come out of it feeling much more self-fulfilled. I love photography!

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Blogger, @missmeimeilin, taken in DUMBO

I’m not gonna lie, January and February were hard for me. I was going through a job loss, a major breakup, and I didn’t have my usual energy to get up and go. In fact, I felt pretty depressed.

But! That’s a blog post for another day. I could probably talk to you at length about how sometimes you just need to let yourself be sad.

Anyways, toward the end of February I started to shake things off. Getting out of bed didn’t seem like such a chore, I wanted to see what my friends were doing… and most importantly, I had a newfound energy to start tackling projects I had on the back-burner! Oh, and I didn’t feel the need to stalk my ex’s profile anymore. Shudder.
Major improvements. 😉

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In come the travels! I figured I would make a post on Instagram, letting people know I was looking to pick up more photography gigs. Just a simple, “hey if you need pics–I’m your girl!” type of thing.

From that first post, I booked one client. (It’s all about getting started, people.) A popular blogger, we met up, shot a few outfits, and all went well! She was happy with the photographs and we built a great repertoire throughout the day. When it was time for us to part ways, she told me briefly about a how things didn’t work out with a previous photographer she had been taking on trips. So, I told her if she had any upcoming travels and was open to it, I’d be happy to assist! (I’m technically unemployed, my schedule is OPEN! *nervous laugh*)

She took me to Florida that weekend, we’ve since gone on three trips together, have more planned, and are now very good friends.

Bloggers @thehouseofsequins and @bisousbrittany, taken in Florida

Okay, in typical fashion, my blog post is getting very long! So I’m going to be a little more concise… famous last words.

In short, my first client (hi Sarah!) has turned into several clients–word of mouth is everything–and now, I’m looking to turn all of this into my own small business.

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From bloggers to family portraits–businesses that need product shots, apartment complexes that want photos for a brochure, media companies that need help covering events, marketing agencies that want to up their social media game–agents who want to make visually compelling portfolios and resumes for their clients… the work is there, and I’m all about it.

Sometimes, when you don’t really know what to do or where you’re going, the only thing you can do is to keep going, keep making moves. Being creative and wanting to share my experiences is something that comes naturally for me. I took a break from that at the beginning of 2018 because I just wasn’t feeling myself. As soon as I started that back up again (my creative outlet being Instagram) the work started flowing in. And mind you, the way I got my original job in New York, was because of my Instagram + blog.

As a storyteller, I’ve always loved posting to my Instagram Story and finding new ways to communicate via that medium. I had always received positive feedback from that–which is great. But toward the beginning of my break from social media, I had a couple haters (don’t even get me started here) say some discouraging things about my Stories. *second shoulder shrug*

This MOMENTARILY made me question the time I put into Instagram Stories. Luckily, I realized that was stupid. (Do you, boo.) And after that a marketing agency based in Chicago reached out, asking if I would be willing to come on board to do the Instagram Story for a party they were planning with Kellogg’s. Since then I’ve booked a couple more Instagram Story takeovers and I’m very thankful.

That first TCG Collective X Kellogg’s gig is what made me realize that I could provide event coverage services. Soon after that, I was in communication with Sony about being a content creator for them. I did not get that job, but that opportunity made me revamp my portfolio. I wanted to give them a portfolio that was visually compelling, unique, and interesting. I showed a couple friends to get second opinions. And then those friends ended up linking me to job opportunities where I could help other people customize their portfolios and resumés.

This is extremely recent and what has made me realize I might have a business venture. I’m all about new projects, so–you’re catching me at an exciting time! I’m very much at the beginning stages of this, and I have a lot to figure out.

So, we’re going to see what happens! This is going to be a major side hustle for me. While this keeps me busy, it also allows me to be flexible. “Being your own boss,” ya know? My roots are in entertainment, and I’m in a great city for that. I’m looking at my job loss as a great re-route. While I continue to build, what seems to be, an oncoming media LLC–I’ll also be looking for ways to get more involved in entertainment–comedy to be specific.

I hope this has sufficiently updated you/explained what you’ve been seeing from me on Instagram as of late. I really appreciate your interest, support, and the time you’ve taken to read!

And, of course, if you’d need photos for you, yourself, your business, or your blog–I’m your girl 🙂 

Let’s go!

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-Natalie