The Search for Freelance… completely online and far away

Posted on 05.09.2013

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4614372501_98fe82b01d_oVeer, Shutterstock, iStockphoto, Getty. I just applied to be a contributor to all of them. It took me a few days. It is going to take me many more.

Even though I’ve been shooting and selling for years, the thought never occurred to me to jump onto these sites until the other day, when I was going over ANY and ALL of the available freelance jobs I could do online from anywhere.

The thought process started with crowdSPRING, the online crowd-sourcing design website. I’d been watching the posts for a while, and was about to jump into scouring the ads. Then I realized that I am STILL not that interested in doing design, especially in the contest/competition format. I’d rather walk dogs, a lá Toni Collette in In Her Shoes. More on that later.

So I thought about what I COULD do that is more marketable, and two things came to me: proofreading and selling my photos in a way that I currently am not. YES, I’ve got an etsy page and yes, I have made some sales. But a LOT of my images are shot in a way that many designers like/need, because I got INTO photo as a support to my design work. I already shoot the images that are ad-ready. I already have that eye. And my experience with using Getty and Veer at design firms taught me that.

I got on and applied. I found a few companies I hadn’t heard of, and saved them for last. I uploaded and applied to the big four mentioned above, in an application process that proved to be rather difficult: most images submitted need to be at least 4 megapixels, which I have in spades… in DC on my external HD. So I had to run through my ENTIRE flickr account (3,200 + images) to pull the best representations of my work, and from there, had to run through them to see if they were big enough to submit. Some weren’t. Some were SO CLOSE. Then for each of these sites (minus Getty, thanks for that), I had to upload, describe, keyword, allow, etc. Save. Repeat. It. Took. FOREVER. Now that it’s done, I don’t want to ever look at any of them again, except I might have to, if anyone actually approves me based on the representative 3/12/45 images submitted.

But for now, that’s done.

1173669_622289889720_752113823_nWhat I did just before that was scour the entire US (and England and Germany) for proofreading jobs. I do literally mean the ENTIRE US. I went through that lovely site Craigslist, and quickly realized that most smaller cities got the posts from the larger ones, so I could easily (over two days) comb through looking for proofreading. I found a few, have got a few responses, and am discussing jobs now. I will handle the UK Gumtree site next. This has proved to be lucrative, but what I am about to do next might be even more: I’m going to just start reading the e. Sussex classifieds to see is out there, that I could possibly do.

And then yesterday, as we were out taking a walk and I was thinking about EXACTLY how nice the weather is here, I remembered that since seeing In Her Shoes, I have had the secret dream to be able to survive on JUST dog walking.

toni-colleteMany of you MIGHT not know this about me, but my EARLIEST job, before I was allowed to stay at home with kids, was dogsitter. I was that 10 year old that walked your dog and fed it while you went on vacation. It was excellent. Since seeing that movie, I have wanted to do JUST that. I don’t imagine it will EVER pay well enough to be my ONLY job, as someone with MS who needs to get out and walk, and loves animals, it is an excellent prospect. So as soon as we’ve found a place to stay for the next few months, I will be putting up little signs in grocery stores and pet shops, in order to make some cash, get outside and get my walk on.

I did actually put up ONE post online for this already, but am holding off now due to the fact that we might not stay directly in this town. I want to be able to walk to the clients’ houses, and not have to take the bus to them!

There is only ONE downside to all of this online work searching: it makes me not want to look at the computer, and I just re-upped my TEFL cert. So I have to stop searching soon and get on that, because I DON’T want to have to pay for it again! I am DETERMINED to have that finished BEFORE Japan.

So that’s what’s going on right now. Extra money hunting.

 

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