All this gets tightly packed into a small knapsack, to keep him mobile and light. Add to that a fanny pack to hold his iPod, passport, local currency, along with some printed assignment information (credentials are important when traveling in a strange land), and Morris is all set for travel.
While on assignment, Digital Railroad (www.digitalrailroad.net) is the bridge he has chosen to stay connected to clients. With this service, he can share online archives with clients instantaneously.
“From a production standpoint, it’s changed my world. I can edit, upload, caption, create light boxes, and share in one stop. And with the newly added commerce feature, I can sell directly from my site and see the funds in my bank account much sooner. Cash flow is key for freelancers and having an ecommerce site frees me up to concentrate on other things. Clients benefit from this service, as well. Once I give clients permission to view and download images, they don’t have to wait for FedEx to arrive with a CD. They can browse from their news office at 3:00 a.m. and make selections and downloads from there. I wonder how we did it before.”
Freelancing: Freedom Formula
Freelance photojournalism offers Morris a core client base of regulars with whom he’s built relationships, plus the intermittent referral job that brings varied corporate clients. Newspapers, magazines, and wire services (from sports and entertainment to science and technology) are all among his regular customers. Morris typically sells his photos to clients as Onetime Use Only, retaining his copyright. “A few clients will give assignments with embargoes on the images for up to a year, which is okay since it’s for them and without much resale value.”
Between assignments, Morris keeps his office up to date, including bookkeeping, scanning slide boxes for digital archives, and uploading slides into Digital Railroad. If there are no assignments in the pipeline, then he’s chasing down new stories, or signing himself up for workshops. As Morris says, for photojournalists, “there’s always something to do.”
For more images, visit www.davidpaulmorris.com