Freelancer Interview: Jonathan Talks, Photographer

Our interview this week is with Nottingham based photographer, Jonathan Talks. He did my recent headshots and gets a thumbs up from me for putting me at ease during the shoot!

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Jonathan and I am a commercial photographer specialising in headshots, products and press photography.

What led you into freelancing?

With photography being very much an individual pursuit and working in the provinces one has to lend themselves to many avenues.

What three things do you wish you’d known before starting out?

  1. Work on your skills if you provide a service or trade. There is a real joy and pride in being “good” at what you do. Upskilling yourself in my opinion is “non negotiable” in importance in my opinion. If you have skills this will help you get work and get recommendations. If you are lucky enough you can hire specialists to do marketing, admin etc.
  2. Its a big learning curve but one that can give you a lot of development as a person in work and life. Maybe they can make a degree in freelancing! (Now there’s an idea… Nick)
  3. Don’t waste your money, get as much as you can for free and only spend when you can.

What three issues have you had since starting up?

  1. You are very much on your own, of course you can forge alliances and contacts but the truth is nobody cares about your practice or in my case my photography, they really don’t, so from this you have to work on your trade and your networking.
  2. Obtaining finance takes real skill in this era. Lots of organisations promise a lot but unless you are already established or have a business degree then obtaining finance for your business or practice is a challenge.
  3. Prioritising has been tricky, as a freelancer you have to wear many hats and being organised has been a learning curve for me as a creative. I’ve had to learn to be an all-rounder.

What’s the best thing about freelancing?

The challenge of delivering work beyond what you previously thought capable of. Working on new projects and delivering is a joy, one of the best parts of work.

How would you like to develop your freelance career in the future?

For me, the next steps is to gain new clients, develop skills and eventually have a top notch photography studio in Nottingham. In fact I am hell bent on this..

Anything else you’d like to tell anyone thinking of or currently freelancing? 

I’m cautious on giving advice as it is such an individual decision, however I would say think carefully and then give it your all…

Jonathan Talks 


New Co-working hub soon to be unveiled in Nottingham’s Lace Market

Contemporary co-working, shared office and event space, Works Social, is set to open in Nottingham soon. Click To Tweet

A brand new co-working hub in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market is almost ready to be unveiled. Situated in a completely refurbished four-storey, Grade II listed building in Commerce Square, Works Social is a contemporary co-working, shared office and event concept aimed at independent workers and small businesses.

Bringing a new, fresh and inspiring environment to co-working and collaboration, Works Social will facilitate connections, build communities of interest and act as a hub for sharing resources, ideas and talent. With potential for 40 dedicated desks and a range of virtual membership and hot-desking options, it will offer cost effective office and meeting facilities to suit remote workers, sole traders, micro businesses and small teams.
The local collective of entrepreneurs behind Works Social have been busy renovating for over 12 months and have transformed the former Lace Works to bring their vision to life.

Virtual assistant and Works Social co-founder Lise Garner Morgan, understands that it can sometimes be isolated and lonely as a freelancer. It was this experience that fuelled the team’s passion to set up a space for businesses to thrive and develop. Lise said:

“Community spirit underpins Works Social’s core ethos. Our manifesto is about promoting ideas, enterprise and exchange – working amidst a variety of skills, ventures and projects can inspire far more ideas than working in isolation. Works Social aims to provide a fresh and stimulating space, cultivating a vibrant coworking community which encourages and supports innovation among our members.”

Fellow co-founder and freelancer, Han van Oudheusden brings 10 years experience in running international membership organisations to Works Social, as well as working solo as a digital designer. She adds:

“Like every community, we understand that the needs of our members are going to be diverse. That’s why we offer a variety of membership packages from a simple virtual address through to 24/7 dedicated office space.”

“As flexible and remote working becomes more of the norm rather than the exception, Works Social aims to offer a place for independent workers, micro business and home workers to take a tentative step towards a place of their own. It also offers an ideal way to bridge the gap for expanding teams waiting to move into their own premises.”

The entrepreneurial team strongly believe that communal working helps forge connections and opens up opportunities for mutual and meaningful collaborations.

One of the first members to sign up is marketing and PR freelancer, Rachael van Oudheusden from Big Old House. She commented:

“Having worked from a home office and in coffee shops for three years, it is time to get somewhere a bit more permanent. It is exciting that Works Social has come along to meet the need for businesses on the cusp of scaling up, but not quite ready to invest in a full scale office of their own. With a dedicated desk at Works Social you get the best of both worlds – freelance flexibility and a collaborative community, all at a reasonable price.”

With three floors dedicated to communal desk space, hot-desking areas, shared facilities and personal lockers, the ground floor offers a bookable meeting room space, chillout areas, a cosy outdoor terrace and an honesty bar. Members can use the ground floor space for their own staff party once a year as part of their membership or it can be booked for external events, training courses and networking.

A range of membership options are available from annual virtual office arrangements to monthly membership packages for independent workers, teams and pairs of freelancers.

For more information about Works Social or to book a tour visit:

#workspacerevolution #futureofwork #Coworking #Nottingham