The Social Freelancer: Media + Music

Latest from The Social Freelancer and Trace Relations Music

The Social Freelancer:

5 Tips for Freelancers – and ALL Entrepreneurs

There are many lessons I have learned in more than 25 years in the business of television and video production (this is my 20th year as a freelancer).
Here are five tips I would consider KEY:

5 Tips for Freelancers – and ALL Entrepreneurs

1. Build strong alliances with other freelancers in your line of work and related fields.

Networking and keeping in touch with other directors of photography, photographers, writers, producers and related freelancers has been key to the longevity of my business. Some of them are my direct competitors, but I consider them allies.

Often a job will come up that I am too busy to do so I will refer the client to someone else, who I trust and is equally qualified (and who will not try to steal my client). This works both ways: I have gotten many shoots and writing jobs through this network of freelancers.

Additionally, people that I meet who work in related positions, like sound mixers, make up artists, gaffers and grips are valuable resources. Clients will sometimes ask these people if they know a director of photography or writer-producer who would be a “good fit” for their project.

Another spot where this helps is in gear acquisition: We are often asked to provide cameras or related equipment on a job that I don’t personally own. Usually I know another freelancer who has the piece of gear and will gladly rent it to me for a discounted rate if they are not using it on the shoot day. This is cheaper than getting the gear from a rental house and builds a good rapport with the other freelancer who will then, in turn, be more likely to refer me on a project that they can’t handle.
READ ON – More Tips-> Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in creative,marketing,Opinion,social media,The Social Freelancer,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Video Production and have No Comments

The Freelance Life: Hitting the Reset Button

“In taking stock of ourselves, we should not forget that fear plays a large part in the drama of failure. That is the first thing to be dropped. Fear is a mental deficiency susceptible of correction, if taken in hand before it gains an ascendency over us. Fear comes with the thought of failure.” – Douglas Fairbanks

I am taking stock of myself this morning. This quote from Douglas Fairbanks reminded me of the mentally crippling nature of fear. It is the root of all inactivity, a sign of regression instead of progression.

It is important for me to take a step back, take stock of all I am doing, examining what’s working for me and what’s not.

Merging "work" with creative

Merging “work” with creative

I reached a point of overload at the end of 2014. Multiple projects have been started, some pieces complete, others needing more time and work. This blog, while rewarding to me on a psychological level, is only moderately successful in reaching larger audiences.

I struggle with the ups and downs of my production business TraceProductions.com as I have for 20 years now. The video and television production business has been rewarding. My career has taken me all over the world and given me a (mostly) steady income and incredible experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But it is a changed business. For too many reasons to go into here, there is nothing but downward pressure on pricing for many of the services I have traditionally provided for my clients. I stay busy and am grateful for the work I have but it is less profitable than ever before. I have grown and moved on, learning and developing new skills that continue to enrich my life’s experience. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in marketing,Opinion,Psychology,social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Writing and have Comments (5)

Starting from a place of humanity

Someone angered me on a job. Now I’m driving home, seething. Someone cuts me off on the road. I boil some more. I walk into the house and discover dog poop on the living room carpet and a tail wagging dog demanding my immediate attention when all I want to do is sit down and have a beer. I yell at the dog, then feel guilty about it. A suck-y day.

Taking a look within

Taking a look within


Sound familiar? It should because “that’s life”.
I have succumbed to the anger spiral way too often, but I think I am getting a bit better.

I started by reminding myself that everybody has issues. The person who initially pissed me off could be going through an incredible emotional upheaval; a divorce, a death in the family, a problem child at home or an unreasonable boss. Starting from a place of humanity means understanding that there is another thinking, feeling human being on the other side of the equation.

So what?
My own cycle of stress stemmed from one altercation on the job. Once I realize that my adversary is probably suffering in some way too, I can stop feeling angry about the squabble. I feel some compassion and understanding, putting me in a better frame of mind when I hit the road. The person cutting me off doesn’t bother me as much, and the dog? Forget about it, I’d love him and feel sorry for him anyway.

One change in perception can alleviate a whole day of tension and wasted mental energy (anger).

What say you? Comments invited and appreciated in the section below. Thanks!

Related Posts – click the titles to read on:


Focus on What You CAN Do, Not What You CAN’T

Remember Moments that Matter

Trace Ready "The Social Freelancer"

Trace Ready “The Social Freelancer”

Trace Ready is a Director of Photography, Writer, Producer and Vocalist based in Dallas, Texas. His band Trace Relations has released their debut studio CD “Prosperity Street”
Connect with Trace: TraceProductions.com

Like this? Help Trace keep his wheels on the road for the photo series “Vanishing Texas” and continue posting to this blog while juggling in “the freelance life.” – HERE:

Vanishing Texas Photography by Trace
Supporters receive my undying gratitude and a free copy of my music CD, “Prosperity Street” by Trace Relations Band

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posted by Tracy Ready in Opinion,Psychology,The Social Freelancer and have Comments (3)

Road Trippin’ the South this Summer, Come along?

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
– Martin Buber, Philosopher (1878 – 1965)

My wife Lauren and I love a road trip. It suits us. I have flown thousands of miles in my career, and much prefer driving the back roads than sitting in an airport, any day. She is in total agreement. We enjoy the time together, stopping where we want, when we want; the adventure of being on the road, with only a brief outline of the trip planned. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in Photography,The Social Freelancer,Travel,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Writing and have Comments (2)

Confessions of an Instagram Junkie. Why I love “In the moment” photography

I admit it. I am an Instagram junkie. Why? Because it’s “in the moment” photography, quite different from my career in television and video production, which is all about having a plan (and a budget) for production that achieves a specific goal for the client. Instagram is about seeing something interesting and being able to capture and share it quickly.
Instagram is fun for me because it encourages spontaneity of thought in composition and speedy interaction with others about your image. All of the images in this post were created with very little forethought. The ability to apply a filter, enhance the image and post it to your network all within five minutes of having the first idea of the image frees up my creative energy. I hope you enjoy these photos, I enjoy snapping them… Follow me -> Instagram: tracetvfilm

Stoned? This planter sits next to my chair on our back patio. One morning I just decided it would make a nice frame. Art? I don’t know, you decide.

Scroll ON! 7 more Instagram pics from Trace, here: Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in creative,Image,Photography,social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO and have Comment (1)
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