Tell us a little about yourself
One of my hobbies is shooting soccer games. I am a plant-based eater, a coffee snaahhhb and an avid soccer fan. On any Sunday morning, you can find me in my pajamas, french press coffee in one hand (or all over my futon if my team scores) and me cheering for my favorite European squad, Liverpool.
What type of freelancer are you?
I am a freelance photographer and videographer.
What got you interested in freelancing?
At first, it was a hobby. After working a 9-5 that was physically affecting my well-being, I knew I had to make a change. It took me a while to realize that it was my job that was making me miserable. The final straw was when I broke out in hives in a reaction to intense stress at work. I graduated with a degree in international studies and journalism. I knew even when I picked my major/minor my sophomore year, that storytelling for the sake of traveling or traveling for the sake of storytelling would be what I would end up doing with my life. Freelancing allows me to do both-- traveling for the sake of storytelling and storytelling for the sake of traveling. Keeps me on my toes.
What were some of your favorite resources when you were just starting out?
I read a LOT of blogs and watched A LOT of youtube videos. But I also spent time under the wing of a wedding photographer in town, Brittany Todd. I never thought I would fall into wedding photography, but she taught me a whole lot about shooting weddings and organizing timelines, being on your feet for 9 hours a day, etc. Other than that, I just did it. At that point, you are your only resource! I did spend a lot of time on the internet, being inspired by travel photographers who were doing it all.
Do you freelance full time? If not, is that your goal?
I work part-time right now but by the end of this year, I will be completely freelance!
What are some of your life goals you'd like to share, (they don't have to be work related)?
Create a business that allows me to travel with my boyfriend or future family! I would also love to help others create businesses of their dreams by crushing their fears of social media and utilizing photo and video to bring in clients.
What is your most common job?
I do a lot of weddings but I also run Airbnb social media pages, coffee shop Instagrams, create business videos, etc. I guess I don't really have a "common" job.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up around 7:30 am, I visit the coffee shop I run social media for, usually while I'm drinking my morning espresso I make a post on Instagram for them. I get to my part-time job at Vesterheim museum at 8:30 am where I normally work until 1:30 pm, but have been known to stay longer on accident. When I get home I eat a quick lunch, I workout in my apartment or run outside if it's nice enough. Then I cozy up in my home office and start working again. I usually work until dinner time, break for a meal then get more work in until around 9 pm. My freelance work can consist of editing photos or video, captioning content for social media accounts or learning new skills. Some of the stuff I call work is actually what I am most passionate about, and therefore rarely feels like work.
Where are you hoping to be in 5 years?
I am hoping to be at a point where I am self-sufficient income-wise and can more than comfortably pay for *rent, car payments, A DOG (that's right, a dog is in my five-year plan :)) etc.* I hope to be teaching photography to a new generation, but also having the ability to see every corner of the world while doing so!
Do you travel a lot when you work or do you have a home base?
Both! Weddings can be anywhere from a different city to a different state. I drive around the midwest quite a bit. However, home base is most often Decorah and I work from an office in my one bedroom apartment most often!
What is the most common question you get asked about freelancing?
Interesting... because I'm technically not 100% freelance yet, I haven't really been asked any questions about it. Mostly, when I tell people that I am going to be 100% freelance by this December they just "hell yay!" me.
Mo Speer Photography
A [free]lancer is someone who has chosen to work for themselves for the independence and freedom that comes with it.
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