Who is Intrepid Freelancer?
Fearless; adventurous (often used for rhetorical or humorous effect).
fearless – dauntless – undaunted – brave – bold – daring
Adjective, Noun, Adverb
Working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.
self-employed – independent – contract
In a Nutshell
Intrepid Freelancer shows you the tools and skills you need to successfully run a photography business and do more of what you love.
It all started with wanting to feel more fulfilled with the work I was doing. At the age of 21, I was fresh out of college with a bachelor’s degree in business and was settling into a corporate job as a financial analyst. The pay was great as was the potential for a lifelong career, but it involved 60 hours a week sitting at a desk. I loved the work I was doing, but I wasn’t feeling at all inspired or motivated by the end product, and I certainly couldn’t imagine continuing on this way for the next several decades.
In an effort to fill more fulfilled, I spent my free time chasing crazy short-term goals like attempting to become a skydiving instructor, backpacking Europe solo, meeting my biological father for the first time in Korea, and even a couple ayahuasca ceremonies. Finally, I’d had enough of working in an office.
In September 2012, I made the decision to leave the 9-5 world and strike it out on my own. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind adventure of being a self-employed photographer. Ten months into my self-employment adventure, I managed to successfully travel to and work remotely from twelve different cities, all while making a decent steady income. I made more money in my first year of freelancing than I did in my mid-level corporate finance job.
Fun fact: This blog earned its name after one of my photo editors began nicknaming me “Intrepid Freelancer” due to the insane amount of photo shoots I would cram into a single day.
This Isn’t Just About Me
I’m here to help you start and run a better photography business. If you have a few seconds, I’d love it if you filled out this brief form and introduced yourself. Tell me more about you and the biggest problem you face in running your business.
What I Do Now
Today, I’m thriving as a full-time freelance photographer. I’m also available for hire if you’re in need of creative services. I’ve photographed more celebrities than I can remember (Oprah and Paul McCartney are at the top of the list), and I practically live in restaurants while doing tons of food photo shoots. You could say I’m living the dream as I literally photograph food and concerts for a living.
Most importantly, my lifestyle is such that I’m able to travel 2-3 months out of the year while still making ends meet. This freedom has allowed me to keep my current home base of Seattle, where professional work is thriving, while still keeping connections with my family in Hawaii and my fiancee’s family in Bulgaria. The ability to travel and keep in contact with overseas family is the freedom that I’ve found in freelancing. Keep up with my regular adventures in the Monthly Highlights blog series.
How I Make Money
Like many freelancers, I have multiple income streams. The bulk of my sustenance is in the form of freelance event, concert, and food photography. Other income streams include stock photography, affiliate marketing, website design, and marketing consulting. Some income is on a per-project basis, and others are passive income streams. This is probably what you’re seeking. My goal here is to teach you how to do it.
Some Big Personal Achievements
- 2001: Won a cooking contest and was a guest star on a local TV show.
- 2003: Ran 26.2 miles at the Honolulu Marathon at age 17.
- 2007: Spent 6 months abroad in Granada, Spain, and 1-month backpacking solo to 5 countries in Europe.
- 2009: Traveled to Cambodia to build houses with the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project Mekong Build with Habitat for Humanity. Met both former President Carter and his wife.
- 2010: Backpacked 22km through Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica.
- 2011: Traveled on scholarship to Seoul, South Korea and met my biological father and grandmother for the first time.
- 2012: Went through an eye-opening and life-changing ayahuasca ceremony…twice.
- 2013: Came down with appendicitis in the middle photographing a 3-day festival; was back on my feet working less than 24 hours later.
I’ve conducted several online interviews for a range of niche publications including:
- a digital nomad Interview with Intentional Travelers
- a freelance life profile on MileIQ
- my first interview as a creative artist on Artists for Artists
- an interview about my Korean adoptee heritage on Land of a Gazillion Adoptees
“Thanks for the advice you give, this industry is hard enough and any encouragement is appreciated.” –Rick Majewski, photojournalist
“Many thanks for the great work and lessons! I’ll be putting your teachings to use shortly. Thank you so much. You ROCK!” – Deb W., Journalist
“Your photos and instructional blog are amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my emails. I hope to be as successful and travel as much you have!” – Christian B., photographer
“You are helping so many others out there trying to make it in this industry! Absolutely love your work and I hope to connect with you again in the near future.” – Melanie A., aspiring photographer
“Ohhhhhh! I’m excited to read it. Thank you so much! I appreciate the time and effort you took to write it. BRB! I’m going to read it now.” – Lyra, photographer
“Hey! You have an awesome site, online presence, and most importantly, great photography work! If you ever swing by the Philippines, do let me know!” – Glen