We are extremely fortunate to have so many talented, passionate, and creative freelancers in our club. We see a lot of incredible work on the site but don't often hear about the journeys. When we were contacted by Jazzmine, who wanted to surprise her friend and Freelancer Club member, Miguel Villar, with a unique birthday gift, we loved the idea. Enjoy the story of photographer Miguel Villars in Jazzmine's words. Happy birthday.

Miguel Villar is a hardworking, talented professional. His passion and ambition in life have allowed him to excel at his careers, from customer service, to cross-country lorry driver, to an Auto-CAD draughtsman in graphic design and architecture. It is his drive that allowed him to leave his native Spain 6 years ago and start a new life in the UK.

However, like many people, Miguel had one particular passion that remained constant throughout his career choices and travels: photography. His first camera was gifted to him at the age of 8 by his father, Miguel Villar Sr, and sparked in Miguel a lifelong interest.

What started as a hobby developed to photographing parties, family gatherings, weddings, baptisms and portrait shots for friends. He also began to develop his landscape photography. But he never took it to career level.

Then after many years of photography as a hobby, in early 2016 Miguel made the risky, challenging and exciting decision to leave the security of his job and to dedicate himself wholly to his dream career as a photographer under the childhood nickname Migus Villar, with a focus on fashion and beauty. His work was quickly noticed, landing a few great jobs but still relying on his savings. He knew he needed the right kind of support, and that is when he discovered The Freelancer Club.

With The Freelancer Club, Miguel became part of a family of like-minded freelance professionals seeking to build their careers and find paid work that made the most of their talents. It gave him somewhere to build and promote his portfolio, and to collaborate with such fellow members as Shiene Mann a nail artist, and models Carly Plunkett and Tuleena Brunton to name a few. The ClubHouse socials helped him to network and he was able to see a true sense of achievement in seeing himself rise up the list of featured freelancers.

Since going freelance Miguel has done a range of work, from being an official photographer at the annual catwalk shows Africa Fashion Week London and the Nigerian Independence Fashion Week, to assisting photographers at the top of their field such as Abi Oshodi on magazine shoots and themed shoots for fashion designers such as Keye London. He continues to do portrait photography and some event photography. One of his first press pieces was a featured blog post for his test shoot with Shienne Mann organised through The Freelancer Club; I remember how happy and proud he was of that. He has continued to do test shoots and find work through The Freelancer Club and this has helped to build his portfolio to one that any photographer would be proud of.

Today is Miguel’s birthday and I can think of no better way of congratulating him than to celebrate his journey to realise his dream as a freelance photographer. Being a freelancer is no easy task, so seeing Miguel go from strength to strength with the support of The Freelancer Club and its members has been heartwarming. He still has a long way to go on this journey, and I hope you will join me in supporting him and celebrating every achievement and milestone.

Happy Birthday, Miguel!

For more of Miguel’s work, be sure to check his Freelancer Club profile and drop him a message.