Amy Koughan – Time Management Tips For Freelancers

One of the biggest challenges that Amy Koughan faced when she embarked on her career as a freelance photographer was managing her time so she could provide her service, market her business and deal with the administrative tasks that come along with the work. Freelancers who fail to do this will find themselves missing deadlines and allowing work to accumulate, so consider these pointers if this is an area where you need to improve.

Amy Koughan

Keep A Schedule

Your memory may be great but it is not immune to slipping. Keep this in mind as you start to take on more work, as it can be very easy to forget about small tasks that are important to your clients. Keep a written schedule that defines all of the tasks you need to complete in your working day and stick to it as closely as possible.

Eliminate Distractions

There are so many distractions that can pull your focus away from your work. Many freelancers make heavy use of computers, whether it is to do their work, find new clients or communicate with existing ones. Those fifteen minutes that you spend browsing Facebook takes away from time you should be dedicating to your work, so exercise some willpower and eliminate distractions.

Understand Your Limits

New freelancers can often feel uncomfortable saying “no” to clients, which results in them taking on more work than they are capable of doing. Amy Koughan understands her limitations and will be clear and polite with clients when she is unable to take on more work. Endeavor to do the same if your schedule is full.



Amy Koughan – Improving Swimming Photography

Amy Koughan, a professional freelance photographer and competitive swimmer, enjoys the inherent challenges found in taking shots of an athletic event that exists in two main mediums: in water and out. Professionally shooting swimming events presents difficulties in sight lines, perspective, and motion, aside from the underwater trials.

Amy Koughan

Taking successful professional photographs of competitive swimming events allows the photographer to take unique pictures of athletes in unusual surroundings. Although all athletic photographers need to prepare before an event, swimming requires the photographer to commit to extra preparation. The photographer needs to know the environment she will be shooting in before the event begins: is it an outdoor pool? Indoor pool? Where will photographers be able to take pictures? Are there any restrictions placed on photographers and where they can shoot? Additionally, equipment must be chosen in advance, from using scuba-gear to get crucial underwater shots to exposing a camera to a high-humidity indoor arena so it defogs in time.

Professional photographers like Amy Koughan, who specialize in athletic event photos, know the importance of getting to the meet location as early as possible to scout the area out, determine important vantage points, and to acclimate to the weather conditions. It is also crucial for the photographer to seek out the photo marshal for the event and get clear answers to questions about photo assignments or special requests. The photographer then needs to find an efficient workspace that is not hampered by advertisements, officials, or spectators, but that still grants her quick access to key locations for shooting excellent photographs of competitive swimmers.



Amy Koughan – Finding Continued Creativity in Photography

Amy Koughan, a freelance photographer and craft artist, knows that creative mediums like photography can often be in need of an injection of inspiration. Professional freelance photographers like Koughan still love photography as an art itself, and find that approaching photography in different ways can help them find a new avenue to pursue in their craft.

Amy Koughan

Travel is an important aspect of photography, even within one neighborhood or city. Taking a series of pictures in certain perspectives, frames, and lights of neighborhoods, bridges, corner stores, can allow the photographer to find commonality through art. This approach in itself can be inspiring by presenting the photographer with a new way to look at an area. Some photographers also challenge themselves by picking a particular topic to photograph — an object, shape, or color — and focus only on that chosen item for the day’s photos. Photographers can also have fun by creating a list and subsequent “scavenger’s hunt” to find items to photograph throughout the course of the day.

Freelance photographers like Amy Koughan know the important role that creativity can play in inspiring new perspectives and capturing excellent shots. Some photographers may take a specific period of time to try different lights and speeds, or even focus on black-and-white pictures only. Those photographers who specialize in black-and-white photos may gain an entirely new view of their work in color. Creativity abounds in photography, and many artists can find new ideas, motivation, and encouragement from interacting with and following fellow photographers in online groups to inspire each other to keep the creative fires burning.



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.