How to make it as a freelance photographer in Dubai.
Thomas Olsson
min read
Thomas Olsson

How to make it as a freelance photographer in Dubai.

Photographers can easily begin freelancing in the United Arab Emirates, but what does it take to secure your place as a freelance photographer in a competitive market like Dubai?

Dubai is a beautiful city that is well-connected to the rest of the world thanks to its strategic location and cutting-edge transportation infrastructure. The distance from Dubai to one third and two thirds of the world's population is four and eight hours, respectively. As a result, in Dubai you have a truly global presence.

this is a picture of a freelance photographer
Source: @omar.samy_

How hard is it to start?

It's very simple to launch a freelance photography business in Dubai. Photographers can easily begin freelancing in the United Arab Emirates because of the country's visa and freelance permission systems. But what does it take to gain your place in such a competitive market?

You may have been forced to accept all types of available bookings when you first started. You most likely alternated between different projects, photographing real estate one second and a wedding the next.

However, as a specialist rather than a generalist, you will be more successful in your journey as a freelancer. Choose an area of photography to concentrate on — events, real estate, food, product, architecture, or portrait — and stick with it.

Practice makes perfect

Have you ever noticed how practising something more than once makes you faster? Let's say you go for a daily 10 mile run. You need to be able to finish your 10-mile course faster after a month than when you first started. Your everyday journey will become so familiar to you that you won't even need to look for potholes.

The same holds true if you focus on a certain area of photography. If you are good at only real estate photography then you will make fewer errors. Additionally, you'll be able to make decisions about your shots without the assistance of a broker, real estate company, or property developer. So, you'll complete shootings more quickly.

Where to start?

Another option for you, if you have a solid portfolio, is trying out some platforms that allow you not to look and fight for every shoot booking, but have them handed to you. For example, you can try Flashy. This works in the following way: you go to the platform’s site, in this case, and register as a photographer. After that, your portfolio will be revised and you will be accepted for shoots. Try this for yourself and good luck!

Pick your field

You will become the best photographer in Dubai by specialising. You can choose from a variety of those: real estate photography, event photography, product photography, food and beverages photography, drone photography, automotive or corporate photograpy. Once you specialise, people will start to connect your name with that area of expertise. As a result, if all you do is real estate photography, people will start to recognize you as one, and insiders in the real estate sector will learn about you and view your work.

You will finish tasks fast, deliver high-quality outcomes that satisfy clients, and establish yourself in your chosen field when you concentrate on a niche and specialise.  These, in turn, will allow you to charge more per shoot and increase the number of your bookings.

You can mention your prize in your curriculum portfolio if you place first in a photo contest. That ought to strengthen it and make you more appealing to or desirable to your intended audience.

Even if you do not win, being chosen for a highly esteemed competition should be sufficient. Your credibility should increase if you are selected as a finalist in contests like the Sony World Photography Awards, National Geographic Photo Contest, International Photography Awards, Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, and Hasselblad Award.

real estate photography

Networking benefits you

Free publicity is another factor. As a finalist, your work would be displayed alongside the work of the other photographers who were selected and would be discussed in magazines and news pieces. People would get familiar with you and your work, which can result in further projects.

Simply said, networking entails expanding your social network and sphere of influence. The more people who can recommend you, the more people you know.

Therefore, get to know other photographers, especially those that specialise differently from you. To establish a photographers' referral network with them, if you are a real estate photographer, fortify your connections with event, cuisine, and corporate photographers.

Likewise, you want to develop relationships with professionals in the field. If you're a fashion and product photographer, meet fashion designers, retailers, and magazine editors. So, the next time a fashion brand has to photograph its urban street style lookbook, they can take you into consideration.

One photography business in Dubai that collaborates with independent photographers to offer on-demand photography services is Flashy. If you join their affiliate program, they will send you reservations based on your tastes, location, and availability. You just need to agree to the bookings you want, show up as scheduled, shoot, upload your photos to the business server, and be paid.

It's similar to having a booking agency send reservations your way. As a result, you don't need to do much self-promotion to count on a continuous flow of bookings.

If you are a photographer yourself, visit where you can start getting your shoots in no time! Upon registering on the platform, you submit your portfolio, and after review, you are good to go! Go to now and kick-off your career in photography!

Subscribe to the newsletter

Be the first to know all the latest Flashy updates, news and events.

By submitting this form you consent to us emailing you occasionally about our products and services.

Get Started