Last month, Freelancer Club member and experienced photographer Jodine Wiliams held a meetup called 'How To Build Your Portfolio (Collab Chat)’.

Meetups give members the opportunity to learn, share, network, collaborate and connect with other freelancers. Whether it be in person or online, getting involved in a Meetup can make the world of difference to a freelancer’s headspace and creative process. 

In this article, we caught up with this creative freelancer to learn a little bit more about her freelance career and why she values collaborative events like Meetups. 


Ask most freelancers how they got into freelancing and many will tell you that they fell into it by chance. Jodine Williams is one of these freelancers. 

“I'm not a photographer by trade. I’m actually a trainee sports and exercise psychologist, but I became a freelance photographer in 2016 after taking photos for a friend.”

This encounter kicked off Jodine's freelance career and has led to her landing amazing work opportunities at some really impressive events. 

“This journey has allowed me to take pictures at shows such as Africa Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and Afro Hair and Beauty Live”, Jodine explained.

The self-taught photographer, who focuses on portrait, fashion, street style and beauty photography, is an advocate for collaboration between creative freelancers. 

“I’m very big on working with a range of creatives as I believe that a team of freelancers working together can make outstanding work. My journey to date has allowed me to meet and create with people that I wouldn't have dreamed of.”

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 Freelance Collaboration. Photographer: Jodine Williams // Model: Kimani Smart 


Importance of portfolios and collaboration

Whether it was your first job in a cafe or a recent freelance gig, we’ve all put pen to paper at some stage to write a cover letter. Cover letters provide candidates with a valuable opportunity to highlight why they're the best candidate for a job. If your cover letter is clearly a generic copied and pasted template, and not at all personalised to the role you're applying for, the client won’t be long tipping it in the bin. 

Jodine’s message is simple, “Treat your portfolio like your cover letter - make it stand out.” It’s also worth ensuring that your portfolio content is relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

 “The industry is hard! Having an eye-catching, strong portfolio puts your best foot forward. It's similar to having a strong cover letter, it will make your next employer stop and take notice of you and your work!,” she said.

Jodine is also a strong believer in collaborating with other freelancers as a means of building one’s portfolio. The portfolio images in this article are two examples of work she has produced through collaboration.


Female model posing. advice for freelancers, freelance niche, meetups, collaboration, test shoot

Freelance Collaboration. Photographer: Jodine Williams // MUA: Adnana // Hair and Makeup: Heide Hawthorne // Stylist: Sylvia


Sharing her learnings 

Jodine is passionate about using the knowledge she’s gained since becoming a freelancer to help others successfully navigate their own careers. She wants to offer her fellow freelancers to learn from the mistakes she’s made along the way. 

“I remember how hard it was when I went from hobbyist to freelancer. I wasn't sure where to start when it came to building my portfolio and because of this I made a number of mistakes. I want to support others so they can bypass the mistakes I made,” she explained. 

The Meetup feature on our website provided Jodine with an easy and accessible way to share her learnings and her advice for freelancers. At her June Meetup, for example, we were in for a treat as Jodine created an event that enabled us to learn from her experiences and those of others in our freelance community too. 


Whether you’ve been working in the freelance industry for years or you're relatively new on the scene, Jodine’s insights and advice above are worth taking on board. 

As the country continues to reopen, now's a great time to reassess and rejg your portfolio to ensure that its contents are aligned with the type of work you're looking for.

Want to collaborate with other freelancers to create some original work? Post a collab or join some else's here.


Want to read some more great advice for freelancers? Learn how to find your freelance niche? Check out Top Tips For Freelancers in 2021 and The Benefits of a Niche Business