Amy Koughan – Achieving Success as Freelance Photographer

Successful freelance photographers, like Amy Koughan, have learned through trial-and-error to master their craft while also mastering the art of small business. It is difficult to make a full-time living as a freelance photographer, but if that is an individual’s main goal, there are some important personal and marketing tips that should be taken into consideration.

Amy Koughan
Amy Koughan

Photographers who are new to the freelance business should take account of their strengths but also be willing to continue to learn and improve their techniques. Investing in internships or even online classes through or can help a freelancer develop stronger skills as she is starting her business.

The creation of a good website that is clear and provides direct information is a must for freelance success. The site should be developed in a way that makes it easy to navigate, and should be accessible in laptop and mobile form. Photographers need to be picky about what examples of work make the cut on the website; showcase the very best work, not every single picture ever taken. The website should also be active, meaning updated daily, and adding a blog to the site is a perfect way to achieve this online presence. A blog can help keep photographers grounded, and not consumed with work alone.

Amy Koughan and other profitable freelance photographers know that being quick to respond on multiple levels can win the job and result in positive referrals for future work. Photographers should respond to phone calls and emails as soon as possible, and work to get pictures edited and to the clients fast and efficiently.



Amy Koughan – Instant Gratification

Amy Koughan says that she was born to be a photographer, and that she spent most of her teenage years carrying around an expensive camera. She was constantly asking her friends to pose for photographs, and was a staff photographer on the school newspaper. She took the several photo classes that her school offered, but says that most of what she has learned about photography has come from getting out there on her own and taking pictures. Lots of pictures.

Amy Koughan (5)

“When I first got serious about photography,” she says, “we were in a transition period. Digital photography was just coming into its own, but you could still find a lot of people still shooting film.” That has mostly changed now, and photographers who work with film are rare.

They are still out there, though, and Amy Koughan, though she shoots primarily digital, says she counts herself among them. “There are those who will tell you that film is dead,” she says. “And sometimes, I have to admit that it’s almost true. It’s certainly on life support.” Part of the problem, she argues, is that digital photography appeals to those with a high need for instant gratification. And she admits that many of her clients expect a fast turnaround with the images they are paying for, because they know that high quality digital cameras exist, and so it is realistic to expect a fast turnaround.

“So if I don’t shoot digital,” says Amy Koughan, “I’ll get killed; I’ll start losing jobs.” So she shoots both. And at the end of the day, she says she must be a traditionalist, because she still loves film and it’s always her first choice.



Amy Koughan – Distance Running

Amy Koughan is a professional photographer who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She devotes a lot of time to her work, and says that as a freelancer she doesn’t always know when her next job is going to come along. Because of that, she says that she is always ready to drop everything for work, if something comes along unexpectedly.

Amy Koughan

She is also a wife and the mother of a young boy, and says that her family takes up a lot of her time. But by budgeting her time carefully she is able to devote a lot of time to keeping in shape. Her favorite forms of exercising are riding a bike and running, both of them for long distances. She also enjoys swimming.

For many distance runners there comes a time where they cross an invisible line and transition from grudgingly taking those long runs, to loving them and even looking forward to them. “There was this point where my runs became enjoyable,” she recalls. “It wasn’t a matter of looking forward to the ‘alone time.’ It was a matter of actually looking forward to the run itself, as agonizing as they can be sometimes.”

A typical run for her is between ten and twelve miles. Some of her friends are mystified that she could enjoy those long runs as much as she does, but Amy Koughan says there is nothing mysterious about it. Running makes her feel healthy, and after she completes a long run she says that she feels exhilarated, in large part because she just did something that is improving her health.



Amy Koughan – Food Waste

Amy Koughan has been a freelance photographer for many years. She makes her home in Southern California, where she is also an active member in a nonprofit called Feed Los Angeles.

Amy Koughan

She says that there is an estimated seventy billion pounds of food that goes to waste in the United States every year, and at the same time millions of Americans who deal with what is called food insecurity every day. And she says these are heartbreaking statistics she wants to influence for the better in whatever way she can.

“Up for forty percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in this country is never consumed,” she said, citing government statistics. “Not only that, wasted food can actually become an environmental threat. Food that ends up in a landfill just rots, and in time becomes a significant source of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that has twenty-one times the global warming potential that carbon dioxide does.”

But it is far more important to get food that would otherwise be wasted to people who would otherwise go hungry, she says. “And I’d rather be a part of the solution than be a part of the problem.” Last year, Feed Los Angeles was able to divert some ten million pounds of safe and edible food that would otherwise have gone to waste, and get it to local food banks.

As a photographer, Amy Koughan said she felt it was her duty to document the Feed Los Angeles program in images.



Amy Koughan – Running On Trails and Running On Pavement

Amy Koughan is a freelance photographer who is currently working and living in the city of Los Angeles, California. As a photographer, she is able to capture stunning images of landscape, local cityscapes, third world countries, and even war torn territories. She has been published by some of the most well known names in the artistic industry, and is devoted to make the world a better place through her passion and career.

Amy Koughan (15)

One thing she loves about living in Southern California is the opportunities she has in the outdoors. There are a number of national parks and trail systems that she is able to run and hike on whenever she wants, and she also has stunning beaches and ocean-side roads to run on as well.

Running on the trail is very different from running on the pavement. Although the terrain is more lopsided and not nearly as smooth, it is actually a softer surface than pavement, which means the force felt on the body over time is less than that compared to running on pavement. However, that being said, running on the trail adds a number of potential issues that the trail runner needs to be aware of.

You always have to be aware of what you’re stepping on. Unlike the smooth surface of the road, there are a number roots, rocks, and other obstacles that you could trip or slip on. Running on the trail also probably means more intense changes in elevation, which means more effort on your part. Make sure to bring some water and some calorie filled snacks for energy in case you’re out for a longer run.


Amy Koughan – Master Photographers

Amy Koughan is a freelance photographer based in Los Angeles. She attended the Otis College of Art and Design and studied her craft there. But she says she was already a well-rounded photographer by the time she enrolled there.

Amy Koughan

“I really believe I was born to be a photographer,” she says. “I’ve always been drawn to pictures – taking them, and looking at them; especially the work of the masters.” The master photographers she most admires, she says, include Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Diane Arbus. A more recent photographer to seize her interest is the late Vivian Maier.

Asked what it means that three of the four photographers she mentioned are women, Amy Koughan just laughed. “Nothing,” she said.

Before embarking on her freelance career, she got her degree from Otis, and also worked for a time in a department store taking pictures of children. After that she worked as a technician in a photo lab. Taking pictures of children all day got to be monotonous, she recalls, and the job in the photo lab was far more interesting. “Even as digital photography was taking hold, we used average about a hundred rolls of film a day. And that was with a staff of three. That used to feel pretty rushed.”

Now, as a freelance photographer with a growing reputation, Amy Koughan says that she is always ready to drop whatever she is doing and head out on a shoot, if the terms are right and she isn’t breaking any important commitments.



Amy Koughan – Tips For Advertising Yourself

Amy Koughan is an individual who works on her own schedule and is her own boss. She is currently serving as a freelance photographer in the city of Los Angeles, California where she was born and raised. She even went to the Otis College of Art and Design within the community in order to better hone her skills as an artist. She now works around the world and locally in order to inspire others to make a difference in the world. She regularly travels to third world countries and dangerous areas in order to show the world harsh realities.

Amy Koughan

However, if there is one thing that being a freelance photographer has truly taught her, it is how to advertise her own abilities. Although she gets to manage her own work and schedule, she doesn’t have a major company or publishing name to help her advertise her own abilities; she has to do it on her own time.

One tip she has for advertising yourself as a freelancer is to utilize social media. There are a number of both professional and personal social media websites that freelancers can use to upload their professional images, resumes, and any other professionally related works.

In addition to utilizing the opportunities that social media accounts provide, you can also continuously shop your talents around. As a freelancer, you have a choice in where your work goes or who you want to work with next. Make sure you send your resume and samples to every organization you wish to work with.

Amy Koughan is dedicated to her career in photography, and she has established herself as a successful freelancer.