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Q&A with freelance photographer Kate Davies

posted by Ed Beukes June 30, 2017 0 comments

FCT: When did you start working as a freelancer?

Kate: Officially I became a full-time freelancer in November last year. I was freelancing before that, but I had a day job too.

FCT: Sum up your skills in 7 words.

Kate: Creative. Particular. Passionate. Knowledgable. Approachable. Strong. Non judgemental.

FCT: What do you enjoy most about being able to freelance?

Kate: I love the different jobs, the variety of briefs, dealing with totally different people, juggling many balls in the air at the same time. I’ve always loved being busy with many projects at the same time so freelancing is perfect for me.

FCT: Do you think freelancing is unconventional?

Kate: Not at all. On the contrary, I feel that staying in one job your entire life is quite unconventional.

The idea that you can work with many different people, within a variety of parameters, on a day to day basis is the best life/skill education one could ask for. I would never have learned a quarter of what I know now if I was in one place all day, everyday.

FCT: Describe the verb to freelance in the dictionary according to you.

Kate: free·lance | ˈfrēˌlans/ verb: the trading of one’s skill/s for reimbursement

FCT: Tell us about your work ethic.

Kate: I am an incredibly hard worker, I am obsessive about photography and I am super anal when it comes to quality. This is a trait you either like or dislike in me. Oh, and I also hate laziness. Hate it.

FCT: What do you believe makes you stand out from the crowd?

Kate: I look for solutions, rather than dwelling in possible problems.

I am a creative as well as an academic so I understand a lot more than just what is put in front of me on paper.

I am very rarely late, and I am able to flip between many different genres of my craft very easily, as I have spent an incredibly large amount of time perfecting each one, and I am a fairly easy person to be around.

FCT: Describe the space where you work at?

Kate: My own personal space would best be described as organized chaos. I am always busy with at least 10 projects and there are bits of each intertwined with my regular life. I like it this way- I know exactly where everything is and I can see my work unfolding. I feel I need to physically see my work to be inspired to continue.

FCT: How have you benefited from Freelance Cape Town?

Kate: I have been booked on a few jobs through Freelance Cape Town, through direct messages on the site or through clients who have seen my work on the site.

On top of just the work side of things, it is great to share space with other freelancers in your own industry.

We don’t often meet in person, so to read up on what others are doing is really informative.

FCT: What are your words of wisdom/encouragement for those who are thinking of embarking on the freelance journey?


  • Make sure you are 100% invested in your skill and that you are willing to work hard.
  • Be open to all kinds of work and every job will teach you something you didn’t know before.
  • Also, there is no shame in saying “I don’t know”, this will get you far in the world. Too many people want to be seen as masters of their craft early on, and don’t want to get their hands dirty or admit they are unsure.
  • Be honest.
  • Head into each job with enthusiasm.
  • Remember that every person you work with is your equal, hierarchy among creatives is boring and quite a turn off.

Follow this link to view Kate’s online profile.


Q&A with freelance photographer Johan Coetzee

posted by Ed Beukes May 15, 2017 0 comments

FCT: When did you start working as a freelancer?

I started working as a freelance photographer during 2012.

FCT: Sum up your skills in 7 words.

Creative and relatable documentary lifestyle photographer.

FCT: What do you enjoy most about freelancing?

Flexibility in working hours and the ability to focus on what is important for my business at any given time.

FCT: Do you think freelancing is unconventional?

Definitely! It pushes you to think out of the box constantly.

FCT: Describe the verb to freelance in the dictionary according to you.

free·lance | ˈfrēˌlans/ verb: Freedom to apply your acquired skills in a creative variety of ways.

FCT: Tell us about your work ethic.

I follow a strict work ethic of being honest, integral, professional, but still relatable on a personal level with people from all walks of life.

FCT: What do you believe makes you stand out from the crowd?

I see myself as a lifelong student – always learning from other creatives.

With this learned knowledge and skills combined, I bring something unique to my clients.

FCT: Describe the space where you work at?

Outdoors and on location within South Africa or other (mostly) Eastern European and Asian countries.

FCT: How have you benefited from Freelance Cape Town?

Exposure and enquiries from FCT have helped a lot to get local exposure within South Africa.

FCT: What are your words of wisdom/encouragement for those who are thinking of embarking on the freelance journey?

Stay true to yourself and your dreams. In tough times, remember why you started in the first place and let that help carry you through.

Follow this link to view Johan’s profile.


Freelance with Photographer Malan Louw

posted by Ed Beukes March 17, 2017 0 comments

Malan Louw is a traditional South African family man. Reliable, dedicated, grounded and open to adventure. As much as he enjoys capturing the world through his lens, he loves cooking for his wife and kids and even more so over a ‘braai’ with good music.

Enjoy this inside look into the world of a freelancer from our very own Malan Louw’s perspective.

FCT: When did you start working as a freelancer?

I started working as a freelance press photographer at the end of 1999.

FCT: That’s more than 15 years in the field! If you could go back to the end of 1999, what would you tell your younger self about the freelancing world that you wish you had known back then?

(Malan Laughs). It’s not as easy as it looks.

interview with malan louw

FCT: Sum up your skills in 7 words.

I am a creative photographer and videographer.

FCT: Where/What do you draw your inspiration from?

I spend a lot of time looking at other photographers’ work and the comings and goings of everyday life.

FCT: What do you enjoy most about freelancing?

The flexibility and variety of project exposure.

FCT: Do you think freelancing is unconventional?

Freelancing is unconventional and a rewarding way to work.

FCT: In which way do you find it rewarding?

I enjoy the lifestyle it offers. You have room to move and it basically comes down to you get out what you’ve put in.

FCT: Describe the verb to freelance in the dictionary according to you.

free·lance | ˈfrēˌlans/ verb: The exploration, application and development of skills with greater flexibility and control.

FCT: Tell us about your work ethic.

Honesty, quality of work, reliability and dedication play a big role in my work ethic.

interview with malan louw

FCT: What do you believe makes you stand out from the crowd?

My unconventional way of thinking supports new creative ways and ideas in my image-making processes.

FCT: Describe the space where you work at?

I work in open spaces, mostly outdoors and on location.

FCT: Which location has been your favourite up to date?

Err… tough choice, but I really did enjoy a fairly recent project out in the Cederberg shooting an adventure bike promo.

FCT: How have you benefited from Freelance Cape Town?

I have enjoyed great exposure, various leads and successful jobs from Freelance Cape Town since I’ve joined in 08/2015.

FCT: What are your words of wisdom/encouragement for those who are thinking of embarking on the freelance journey?

As a freelancer, you need to keep yourself relevant to changing environments whilst at the same time being consistent with your own style and brand.

Click here to view Malan Louw’s profile.

freelance photography

Freelance with photographer Fred van Leeuwen aka The Image Engineer

posted by Ed Beukes February 3, 2017 1 Comment

Freelance photographer Fred van Leeuwen adjusts his eye behind the lens. Lights hit the stage; reflecting yellow and red and blue off leather jackets and cheering fans reaching out to where the energy bounces off the rock star’s electric counterpart.

Flash. Image. Capture. That’s where The Image Engineer’s passion for photography fuses with his favourite subject.

We really loved catching up with this talented photographer and hope you also enjoy this window into the freelance lifestyle of The Image Engineer.

freelance photographer

FCT: When did you start working in the freelance industry?

I started building my freelance career after graduating from college in 2009. After working numerous full time jobs that I tried to keep as closely related to photography as possible, I finally made the switch in June 2016. I quit my day job and embarked on a career as full time freelance Photographer and Retoucher.

FCT: Was it an easy transition?

I don’t think any transition of this nature happens without a few hitches. I had prepared myself before undergoing the transition, but it still had a few small kinks in the chain here and there. I think once you are able to secure a few long-term clients on the side, it’s much easier making the switch.

FCT: Sum up your skills in 7 words.

Perfectionist, knowledgeable, industrious, versatile, experimental, unorthodox, resourceful.

FCT: What do you enjoy most about freelancing?

I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my own work. Being able to manage my own time, set up meetings and take control of my work is what I live for.

FCT: Do you think freelancing is unconventional?

Perhaps a few years back it would’ve been unconventional, but I know of quite a few people pursuing a career as freelancer these days, especially in Cape Town.

FCT: Describe the verb ‘to freelance’ in the dictionary according to you.

free·lance | ˈfrēˌlans/ verb: Freelancing is a bit like switching over from Automatic to Manual Mode on your camera; From a safe, corporate environment where it’s more likely you’re being told to stay in line, to switching over and being completely in control of your own success or failure. It’s both daunting and exciting at the same time.

freelance photographer

FCT: Tell us about your work ethic.

With today’s digital world, instant gratification has become an ever-growing need. Clients expect a week’s worth of work to be done in a day. This is where managing expectations as well as drawing a line in some circumstances is quite important when you are your own boss.
You do get the occasional client expecting you to pull an all-nighter or work over weekends – but it’s up to you if you’re willing to do that. I believe a balance is necessary when freelancing. If you’re working yourself to death for little or no pay, something needs to change.

FCT: What do you believe makes you stand out from the crowd? (no pun intended)

Probably my retouching style. I’ve always been drawn to the visual aesthetic of pin-up, retro and those old propaganda posters. I started off mimicking the style when retouching my own images and worked well on Concert and Event Photography. Over the years it has evolved and became a more subtle effect, but it’s the one thing people seem to be drawn to.

FCT: What do you mostly photograph?

I love music, so for the vast majority of my photography career it’s been mainly band/concert photography, with some surrealistic, commercial and landscape photography on the side. I’ve found myself branching out towards doing more fashion/portraiture in the studio the last few months and absolutely loving it. That being said, I’ll never move away from shooting bands.

FCT: Describe the space where you work at?

If I’m not out shooting, location scouting or meeting clients, I’ll be working at my PC from my home in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.

FCT: What else do you have next to your PC?

My electric guitar. Useful for times when I have to wait for video projects to render or have an extra 5 minutes to spare. It’s been gathering dust in the last few months though, unfortunately.

freelance photographer

FCT: How have you benefited from Freelance Cape Town?

I’m always for entities such as Freelance Cape Town promoting the industry. Especially when it comes to promoting the Photographic Industry. I haven’t been a member for a very long time yet, but I’ve received a few queries already and also managed to secure a neat interview! I believe the foundations have been laid and I’m sure the future has many interesting ventures ahead.

 FCT: Describe your future dream project.

I would’ve loved to go on tour with one of my favourite rock/metal bands during their prime for a month or two. Taking portraits of people like Ozzy, Lemmy, Bruce Dickinson or any other rock stars of that time must’ve been an incredible experience! I wouldn’t mind trading places with photographer Ross Halfin for a while…

For now, I would love to spend a month or two in Iceland with a Hasselblad H6D, a makeup artist, stylist and a few models to shoot surrealistic looking portraits and composites.

FCT: What are your words of wisdom/encouragement for those who are thinking of embarking on the freelance journey?

The freelance journey is a great one if you manage to tame that wild horse and ride her into the sunset.

But don’t expect that you won’t have a few tumbles along the way.
– The first ones are always the worst and will make you want to give up.
– Don’t expect instant success overnight.
– There are hundreds of other fly-by-night freelancers looking to undercut your business and make a quick buck. Create your own signature style and perfect it in order to separate yourself from the crowd and hopefully you will get noticed.
– Use social media to your advantage. If you’re a photographer, use Instagram and learn which hashtags work well for your type of work.
– Get to know the industry and key players. One thing that has helped me boost my business is to collaborate with like-minded photographers. I often get a feeling there’s this unspoken rule to keep to oneself in the freelance photographic industry. That shouldn’t be the case at all! The only way this industry is going to grow is for photographers to tone down their egos and insecurities and work together.

One can gain so much inspiration and knowledge by simply sitting down with another freelancer and chat ideas over a few beers.

Click here to view The Image Engineer’s profile.


Swooning over Sunsets

posted by Marius Vosloo March 14, 2016 0 comments

Mark Sampson is a dreamer, gypsy-at-heart and a believer in the impossible. He’s got a degree or two in Life Sciences and a diploma in marketing. Add a dollop of determination and a portion of perfection to the mix and the result is an over-qualified, passionate photographer. We caught up with him to found out what makes him tick.

You are qualified in Life Sciences and have a passion for Biology. Tell me about why nature and wildlife interests you, and how that passion has shaped your career as a photographer.

Mother Nature does not have a voice and due to exploitation and habitat loss currently happening the world over, it needs one. In time, I hope my reputation will create enough awareness through the images I capture to help save and protect our precious natural resources.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be?

Leopard. No doubt about it. I have always loved their solitary, secretive nature, whilst all the time maintaining an elegant charismatic aura. Amazing camouflage and tree-climbing ability gives them the edge over the majority of other predators. Beautiful creatures indeed.

A close second are dolphins. I love their playful demeanor and intelligent social structures.

You are driven by a desire to be an award-winning photographer. You also know that a great photo won’t necessarily win the awards it deserves. With that in mind, how do you manage your hopes and expectations?

Long gone are the days I am convinced all my images are brilliant, although I do have my favourites. I let feedback and response direct me to an extent, but I have my own style that I won’t deviate from too much. Client feedback is always important for direction as well, and entering competitions and being a member of a number of photographic sites also helps.

I often find myself shooting nature while covering outdoor events, which clients seem to like because it advertises the beauty of the area.

Most successful creatives can point to a defining moment in their career. It could be a great idea, a piece of work that sparked a breakthrough or crossing paths with someone that changed everything. Can you highlight a moment that changed your career?

Absolutely. Six years ago I bumped into an official race photographer while working in sponsorship and operations at the Cape Epic. After chatting to him, I was convinced that is what I wanted to do. Last week, I proudly walked out the Cape Epic offices after being appointed an official photographer. If I hadn’t had that chat, I would not be where I am today.

You’re a self-proclaimed sucker for a sunrise or sunset. You’re certainly not alone in that regard. I’ve always regarded sunrise as more special – perhaps because I see them less frequently. What are your thoughts?

I’m a sunset guy myself. For some reason they seem to be more spectacular and the images I get are better. Maybe it’s because I’m more awake than for sunrises…

I also find the afterglow of a sunset very user-friendly for photography. It lasts quite a while, allowing me to get creative with silhouette and blurred shots.

You’ve previously confessed to having a dry sense of humour. Does that have any impact on your work or perspective as a creative?

I wouldn’t say my work, but possibly on my relationship with clients. Events can be very stressful for clients and sleep deprivation can also become a factor in stage events. My sense of humour often helps cheer people up, although it also gets me into trouble at times.

You’re a believer in the impossible. What do you hope to achieve by the time you’re pipe, slippers and rocking chair that you can tell your future grandchildren and instill the same belief in them?

Firstly I would tell them not to smoke a pipe, LOL.

But on a serious note, I really hope to make a difference with my work to create awareness. Nature and its resources are not finite and self-maintaining.

We need be more aware of the destruction we’re causing and it can’t carry on. Thousands of species are extinct at the hands of humans and creating awareness through education and beautiful imagery is my ultimate goal – for my own future grandchildren and everyone else’s.



This Is How A Capetonian Girl Got A Job In One Day

posted by Marius Vosloo September 30, 2015 0 comments

Today, 30 September 2015 exactly 1 year ago, published an article on how one of our Freelance Photographers, Kate Davies, got work from via our site within 24 hours after we launched.

Today, 1 year later, we are pleased to be able to announce that we have grown a lot in the year that passed and that our new record, for a freelancer to sign up and get work is now 2 hours – not bad to make such a quick ROI as freelancer.

Enjoy the read and once again, thank you for the great write up.

Finding work can be hard. Anyone who is fresh out of varsity or has left an existing job can tell you – it’s tough out there. Eating cereal for dinner is only fun for so long.

And landing a new job or even a part-time gig to cover the beer bill and feed your cat can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, so why not let it come to you?

A young photographer in Cape Town did just this, and signed up to Freelance Cape Town, built her profile, and within ONE DAY, had her next gig doing what she loves.

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In South Africa, especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg, one can also clearly see that the freelance industry is picking up.

There are other freelance websites out there, but they aggregate a whole bunch of international jobs and you end up competing on an unbalanced global scale.

Freelance Cape Town provides that local platform to help get in direct contact with companies and individuals who need your services (or perhaps you’re a company looking for talented individuals).

So whether you’re an illustrator, sushi-maker, photographer, or rate your unique book-keeping skills, Freelance Cape Town is the growing community outside of the corporate box you want to be.

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