Monthly Highlights: March 2016

As I write this post from The Coffee Academics cafe on WanChai Road in Hong Kong, all of last month’s happenings seem so far away. But alas, March was the beginning of freelance photography busy season. While the month wasn’t balls to the wall busy like it probably will be a few months from now, there were a decent amount of photo shoots to stay busy with, in addition to working ahead to prepare for my current month-long travels in Asia.

Intrepid Freelancer in Hong Kong.

Intrepid Freelancer in Hong Kong.

March 2016 Stats

Monthly Highlights Series


Photo shoots completed

*2 more than Feb


Business miles driven

*175 more than Feb


Hours worked for the month

*1.8 more than Feb


Miles walked

*0.7 more than Feb


Miles on Elliptical

*16 less than Feb

March 2016 Highlights

What Went Well

Building my food and architectural photography portfolios

In terms of photo shoots, the beginning of every year is typically slow when it comes to event photography. As such, only one of my 15 photo shoots of the month was an event (an for a non-profit, rather than a corporation), and only one was a concert (The Smashing Pumpkins at the Paramount Theater). The rest of the shoots were food and restaurant-oriented, which was satisfying as one of my goals for the year is to become a more established food and architectural photographer.
Seattle music photographer

Food and Restaurant Photo Shoots for March

Dino’s Tomato Pie Behind the Scenes – Eater Seattle

Hae Song Korean BBQ Restaurant Menu Photos

Heartwood Provisions Restaurant Food and Cocktail Photos

Architectural Photo Shoots for March

Omega Ouzeri Greek Restaurant

Others still being edited

Archiving high resolution versions of old photos

Tied in with my March photo shoots was a significant amount of time spent setting up a photo archiving workflow using SmugMug. I have an upcoming blog post dedicated to explaining this system, but will give a brief overview here.

Benefits of using SmugMug

Ever since I began shooting photos consistently, I’ve posted nearly every image on Flickr. This has been a great way to not only reference my images, but also to get increased visibility and new clients due to them finding me online. To date, I have nearly 2 million total views of my Flickr account, and have sold images to various clients including New York Magazine and Bon Appetit. There have only been two main downsides to using Flickr to store my images:

  1. I can’t store high resolution images on Flickr due to their massive sizes
  2. If I want to sell high resolution images of my Flickr images, I have to dig through my physical hard drives to track down those files

Basically, Flickr is largely for amateurs and hobbyists to display photos; there isn’t a professional component built in. Enter SmugMug! For a monthly or annual fee, I can store an unlimited amount of photos on my SmugMug accounts (size of the photos doesn’t matter), and clients can buy these images directly from my Smug Mug account. No need to dig through physical archives anymore! There are some disadvantages to using Smug Mug which I’ll detail in a later post, but so far it’s been working to suit my needs.

Making remote work arrangements for a month-long trip to Asia

As I’ve probably stated previously, the bread and butter of my income is derived mainly from photography. While photography has been a great business model for generating sufficient profits to replace and even surpass my former corporate job salaries, it has a caveat: when I travel I get pretty much zero income from photography except for photo licensing/stock photo sales, which vary and are not at all dependable. So how do I travel for a full month and still generate income? By arranging sufficient remote work projects. In my case, it’s a mashup of freelance writing and website design, and semi-passive income from my tourism business in Belize (which still requires daily maintenance). Much of March was spent pre-arranging these remote work projects so I could work on them in my downtime while on the road in April.

What Didn’t Go Well

Insufficient time preparing for my trip

Perhaps the only thing that didn’t go so well in March was having zero time to do sufficient research and reading to plan for my trip to Asia. Whenever possible, I try to read as much as I can about a country before visiting, and that just didn’t happen this time around. Part of the challenge is the amount of countries we’re tackling in a month (4), and the unexpected amount of work for March that piled up.

And without further ado, it’s time to finish up my flat white and get outside to continue exploring this exotic city that I’m in!

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By | 2016-12-21T17:57:28+00:00 April 4th, 2016|1 Comment

About the Author:

Suzi Pratt is an event, food, and concert photographer based in Seattle. She started Intrepid Freelancer to inspire and teach others how to start a photography business. View her at photography portfolio, and subscribe to herYouTube channel.

  • drdroad

    Despite the fact I’ve been traveling full time for years, Hong Kong, in fact Asia, has never been on the Agenda. Heading into Baja in a few weeks, and spending most of the summer in Nova Scotia. But Hong Kong?? Yea you!

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