After the last few years of pandemic restrictions, it’s understandable that people are feeling a little disconnected from each other. This separation can often have an impact on our creativity, and stifle the growth of our businesses, whether as a freelancer or a client.

While some may think that hiring a freelancer is all about matching their skills to a particular task, it’s equally important to determine the kinds of personalities that you enjoy working with. Cultivating strong, long-term relationships with compatible freelancers will always produce better results for your business.


No freelancer-client relationship is one size fits all. Each has their own unique fingerprints and nuances that need to be navigated. By cultivating a long-term relationship you give the other party the breathing room to learn the intricacies of working with you, usually resulting in better quality work being produced in a much shorter period of time.

This sentiment is echoed by Patrick Kearns, an R&B singer-songwriter from London who often hires a wide range freelancers for his musical projects:

I believe what makes good working relationships between freelancers and clients is the investment in the relationship itself and making it a long-term connection rather than undertaking a specific job.”

He specifically hires freelancers that he feels will have a personal connection to his projects as their interest and abilities can add another dimension to the work. No doubt, these additional bonds help when during the long amounts of time spent together collaborating.

“Working with freelancers has added significantly to my career as my independent music artist. There’s a lot of elements to this business and hiring the right person for the right job is critical to its success.”


Killing Kittens was founded by Emma Sayle in 2005 to provide a safe space for young, independent single women to explore and control their adult sexuality. Their mission, in their own words  “is to empower people of all genders to proudly embrace their sexuality, to let go of shame and inhibitions and to take control of their personal journeys of sexual discovery.”

For them, the core of any good working relationship is having a real understanding of the company culture:

We use freelancers a lot, especially for our photoshoots. It’s so important that they understand the brand and the message you are trying to get across, so we try to send brand guidelines and mood boards to help them get a feel for the company, as well as the dynamics of the particular project we're asking them to work with us on.”

We always want freelancers to be their own people, but it's also important that they can adapt to fit the contours of what's needed from the company. Having said that, I also think that being able to talk openly and freely moves in both directions - it should never just be a case of a company dictating orders and freelancers having to find ways to make it work.”

It makes a big difference if freelancers check out the brand themselves, even if it’s just a scroll through Instagram.”

They don’t believe their business would be where it is today without the freelancers they’ve worked with over the years:

“Our photoshoots would not have been possible without working with freelancers! Each person brings a unique talent that we don't have permanently within the company, whether that's hair and make-up, photography, stylists etc. Freelancers are vital, in that they can help you expand into projects and areas that you might not normally have capacity for as a company but which you nonetheless need to get your messaging out there.”


Tom from Tom’s Totes highlighted the importance of an honest dialogue:

If you don’t like something, say something. Freelancers want to provide as good a service as possible. Too many clients will be too embarrassed to say they’re not fond of a particular piece of work, but it’s worse to say nothing. The freelancer loses valuable feedback and the client doesn’t get the service they want.”

Tom’s totes is a slow-fashion brand on a mission to end the plastic bag for good by making reusable bags that people want to use. Each bag is made entirely of recycled materials and printed with original artwork from artists who get to share in the profits.

He believes that most important element of a good working relationship is compatibility:

“The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from working with freelancers is that you’ve got to find people who work well with you. If you’re a strong personality, very type A, chances are you may not work well with a similar personality style freelancer.”

He recounted a story of a videographer he once worked with who refused to take on any feedback and insisted he stay out of the creative process:

“For some clients, they will happily let the freelancer operate completely independently and receive the end product. For me personally, I like being involved in the creative process and providing insight because I know my brand and my audience. The end product was a YouTube video that flopped and I lost about £1,000. Lesson learnt.”


As the fourth most common cancer in the country, Bowel Cancer affects thousands of families every year. The life-saving work done by Bowel Cancer UK ensures that these people gain access to the best treatment, care and research and are not left behind.

“We support and fund targeted research, provide expert information and support to patients and their families, educate the public and professionals about the disease and campaign for early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care. Fundraising ensures that we can continue our work now and in the future. “

Though the charity doesn’t hire freelancers often, they stressed how important focused goals are for a good working relationship:

“Clear objectives for the day are vital so that the freelancer is clear on what you’d like them to capture. It is also important for the client to provide a brief in advance so there is time to discuss the project and for the freelancer to understand or ask any questions if needed.”


The brands and individuals we spoke to all recently worked with a member of the Freelancer Club, each with unique requirements. 

Patrick Kearn’s and Anton Califano

Patrick Kearn’s most recent project, Golden “was brought back to life during the UK lockdowns. The song reflects how rare and golden it is to make a unique connection with someone. Written from past experiences which took the good parts of previous relationships into one song. Recent events have made the message more precious.”

Since the concept deals with unique connections, it was important to Patrick to find the right person. Using Freelancer Club, he found independent filmmaker and videographer, Anton Califano. Impressed by his work with BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & Sky Arts, as well as several nominations for his previous music videos, Patrick felt Anton was a perfect fit for Golden.

Working with Anton was a positive and productive experience. I felt from the beginning that he was fully invested in the project and therefore added value throughout the process. He shared his knowledge willingly and was flexible in terms of creative input.”

Killing Kittens and Siew Gratton

Thanks to the more risqué nature of the Killing Kittens’ photoshoots, it’s very important to them that the freelancers they work with understand their values. They found multi-skilled professional hair and make-up artist, Siew Gratton, via Freelancer Club and have been working with her ever since. 

“We have worked with Siew a few times now and she has always been a total joy to work with. She takes direction well but brings her own flair, which always creates much richer work.”

Siew has been working with every kind of skin tone and hair type around the world for over 15 years and is well experienced in many areas of the industry - from elegant bridal and fashion looks all the way to special effects makeup for prosthetics and wounds. Most recently, she worked with Killing Kittens for a retro themed burlesque photoshoot.

Tom’s Totes and Sofia Teresa

While Tom’s Totes is primarily known for their humour, they were keen to use their recent project to highlight the high fashion aspects of their brand.

The Tom’sTotes brand is mostly based on humour and a “chaotic” feel that a young audience find refreshing. However, we wanted to remind our audience (and ourselves) that we still made a really great and stylish product, so we took inspiration from The Nude Project to recapture the feeling that our brand was still fashion.”

Through the Freelancer Club, they were able to join forces with photographer Sofia Teresa

“Sofia’s job was to provide us with some more professional photography to encourage more of our TikTok followers to follow our Instagram, where we can re-market to maximise sales.”

“Sofia did a great job all round. She was professional in her outreach, her communication, the quality of her work and the promptness of providing the completed photos.” 

“I’ve worked with freelance photographers in the past who took weeks to get me even 5 photos. When running a business that relies on its social media to generate income, these sort of wait times can be detrimental to our revenue.”

“Fortunately, Sofia got the completed work to us in a number of days which allowed us to consistently churn out content.”

Bowel Cancer UK and Nigel Buckner

Every year, the team at Bowel Cancer UK takes part in the London Marathon every year. Since last year’s event was their largest to date, they decided to hire a freelance photographer to document their 110 runners during the race.

Freelancer Club member Nigel Buckner is an experienced photographer who specialises in motorsports, often documenting the high-octane drama of Formula 1 and the 24 Heures Du Mans endurance race. Thanks to his background in sports photography, he was the perfect choice to capture the fundraiser.

Luke Squires, the Director of Fundraising at Bowel Cancer UK was thrilled with Nigel’s work:

“We had a fantastic day working with Nigel. He listened to our needs and what we wanted captured for the day and fulfilled our brief. He was friendly and approachable, especially as he was interacting with our volunteers, supporters and their families. He was flexible and had a great open, can-do attitude and was just willing and ready to get stuck in.”

They were really pleased with the high quality of the images that Nigel had taken:

“Nigel captured some great photographs of our runners out on the route and back at our post-race reception. We shared these photos after the event with our runners so it helped us provide a great supporter experience for them, allowing them to have some memories from the day. These high quality images have also been really helpful for marketing next year. We’ve used these in adverts to promote the event and update our website images.”


When it comes to hiring freelancers, although each client is looking for something different, they all agree on the need to find the right people. 

Patrick’s advice is centered around the freelancer’s portfolio: “My advice for clients would be doing very thorough research into freelancers. Go for the people that will bring both the right chemistry and a unique perspective to the project based on their portfolio.”

Tom’s Totes echoed a similar statement:

“There are some amazingly talented people out there who can provide a great service for your business. My advice would be to find freelancers who align with, or at least can fully understand your brand. I believe that to create the best possible work, there has to be a clear vision that is seen by both parties clearly. If a freelancer can fully grasp the brand’s identity and its consumers, it’s likely they’ll provide something valuable.”

He continued to explain that freelancers need to:

“Make sure the client understands exactly what to expect from you. Process, timeframes, price, skill level and whatever else you may deem relevant. Clients like to know what they are paying for and they like evidence that it will work. So, be sure to provide case studies of previous success to give them some confidence. “

Killing Kittens advised holding onto freelancers you like working with:

I would suggest checking out their previous work to discover who would best fit your project. And if you find someone that works well then reuse them where you can - a good freelancer who is reliable, communicative and fits your company message is truly worth their weight in gold!”

While Bowel Cancer UK suggested having comprehensive guides outlining your vision for every project:

“Ensure you have a clear brief which details your expectations as well as timings.”


Investing in a long-term relationship with a compatible freelancer will be better for your business, your experience and everyone’s mental health. Instead of getting stuck in a continuous loop of explanations, you’ll get a trusted professional who will learn your brand’s vision. They’ll bring their own experiences and knowledge to the project, allowing them to suggest ideas you may not have considered. You’ll save time and money, and obtain better quality work in a shorter period of time.


Photographer Credits: 
Preview Photo: Mentatdgt
Image 1: Anton Califano
Image 2: Cottonbro
Image 3: Sofia Teresa
Video 1: Anton Califano
Video 2: Siew Gratton
Image 4: 
Nigel Buckner
Image 5: Sofia Teresa
Image 6: 
Nigel Buckner
Image 7: Anton Califano
Image 8: Siew Gratton