In need of some advice.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Sarah Elizabeth, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    Sarah Elizabeth TPF Noob!

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    I started using a dslr a little over year ago. I have learned quite a bit through this forum and other means to improve my skills. I am by no means a professional or claim to be one.

    I have recently been approached by a photographer in my area that wishes me to assist him with his "business" and wants me to be a second shooter for him and basically edit all of his photos in photoshop because he "doesn't feel like doing it." I have asked him before about random things like lighting and lenses and he has no clue about either of them. I don't feel that he is even comfortable to be charging people but who am I to say?

    Here is the email I recieved from him.
    Hey Sarah,
    Ok you are on my team..I'm hiring you for any help that I need. I hope you are interested in editing, because I want to offer you 30% of my earnings to help me edit photos whenever I need the extra help. So your the manager of my editing department ;) lol.
    As for any weddings that you may be interested in helping me do, I will pay you $20/hour. Sometimes I get too busy with the business that I can't edit photos for two or more different people and stay caught up with everything. So I will let you know whenever I need ya. If you go to my website and click on Contact Us, you will see your name there as a photographer ;)

    Cheers!

    Now this seems fine but I am working really hard pushing everyday to learn and execute my learnings. I don't think that Photoshop makes great photos at all. I feel that if you claim to be an artist you have to work hard from start to finish to get a great finished product. Am I wrong here? Should I do this guys editing so that I can get my name out there? His style and eye is nothing like mine but "do what I have to do" to start making a little money?

    Do photographers usually help each other this much? Especially when they are trying to win the hearts of clients? I am lost on this I hope you guys can help ;)

    evanlumley.com take a look and see what you think.
     
  2. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Well, from your wording here, you sound uncomfortable with his offer. If it were me, I'd take an offer like this if I felt my skills were up to the challenge and I had the free time. The best thing you could do right now is talk to this guy and clearly work out the boundaries of your assistance. What exactly will you be expected to do while editing for him, etc. Work that out, get it in ink, and it sounds like this could be a sweet deal for a new photographer trying to break in.
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Are you looking for work? I am assuming he plans to pay you under the table for all this. Do you know photoshop? Is $20 an hour worth helping him for? Is the $20hr for everything or just when shooting pictures (less for photoshop work)?

    You can take this as a learning experience. Try it for a while and see how it goes. If its not, be honnest and say hey, this isn't working for me.

    But I would have a frank talk with him. Bascially on what is expected of you. About you advancing and earning more (or does he just want a helper and thats it). Or will he allow you to grow and expand while working for him, to working with him. It is a tough subject. But what really must happen is you need to talk to him not us!

    If your really not interested in working with him. Just politely say you don't have the time at the moment to work any extra.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You also need to work out who owns the photos you take.
     
  5. amby

    amby TPF Noob!

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    it'll help you to gain expereince an you will only get better with the passage of time
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    WHy in the heck would I want to apprentice under someone that knows nothing?? What are you going to learn other than be his/her work horse?

    If I wanted to do this, I would find a legitimate pro, someone that would add to my knowledge, not abuse of mine!

    An assistant that knows more than the person hiring them... omg, where is that rolling eyes icon??
     
  7. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    If it were me. I would accept the offer, work a few gigs with the guy and renegotiate a 50/50 deal when it becomes obvious that you are the more experienced photog.
     
  8. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    I guess it depends on what you are looking for. Would you take a job doing photos at walmart? I am a noob and I am not even a little impressed with the work. He isnt professional in his email at all. It would worry me that he wouldnt be professional working with him at all.

    If you are really serious about it, I wouldnt want to attach my name to his half-a$$ed work. On the other hand, if you really need to start working, I would be the grown up and get a firm aggreement written up and signed before you did 2 seconds of work for him.
     
  9. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    Also, I looked at his prices. Pretty low. I doubt you could make that much even at 30%
     
  10. Michael P. Harker

    Michael P. Harker TPF Noob!

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    I have been a professional photographer for 37 years, working in the fields of advertising, ophthalmic and documentary photography. I have used film cameras from 35mm to 8x10 and work today with a Tachyhara 4x5 wood field camera and a Nikon D80 digital system.

    The one axiom to accept when entering photography as a career is that you now face more competition to success than at any time in over a century. Why? Because digital photography has allowed people to bypass the experience of studying the theory of photography and light, composition and cost of production.

    I suggest you avoid this guy and take a more thoughtful route to gaining the theoretical base and practical experience you desire. If you can, take an Adult Education Digital Photography course that teaches grey scale rendering, digital capturing, Photoshop Basics and some practical skills to make good images from the theory.

    Also, contact a newspaper in your area and see if they will let you "job shadow" one of their staff photographers - they would be better at mentoring you by far.
     
  11. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    His email sounds like he has decided you have to work for him. Did you even ask to work for him? I dont understand how he can not have learned about lighting and lenses, even if he is self taught. Hell Im self taught but, I have learned about these things with my own motivation to learn. Seems that if you are going to do something for a living then you should be motivated to learn how to do your job. Also it osunds like he doesnt want to do his own post work. Granted it is boring but, it is part of the job. And looking at his site most of his work is generic to me. The first wedding photo scared me, with the blown out wite in front of her face. Sounds like he wants to get someone to do his work so all he has to do is shoot. But then again he wants you to shoot too and, most likely will claim your shots as his own. You are better off on your own.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I can't seem to see his site - I just get a Wex advert

    As for the responce I am inclined to agree with the others - this does seem like you are getting the poor end of the deal and possibly a large part of the workload. I am guessing that he has seen some of your work and your editing and it would not surprise me if he is hoping that you editing can make up for his mistakes or lack of understanding on key areas (like lighting).
     

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