How did you get your photography job?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Forkie, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Forkie

    Forkie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you have one that is!!

    Are you self employed/Freelance with a client base, working for a single company on a freelance contract, on a single company's payroll? Or any other type of photography employment?

    Now, I'm by no means a professional photographer, I'd barely have the guts to call myself an amateur yet, so I was really lucky to get my job as a Product Photographer.

    I went for an interview for my company for an administration job, and in the interview we happened to get chatting about photography because they spotted it on my CV as an interest. I didn't get the job I went for, but about 6 weeks later they called me asked if I would like to work for them as a product photographer.

    After some pay negotiations I said "yes", and was given the choice of going on a freelance contract or being put on their payroll.

    I chose to go on their payroll, basically because I can't be bothered to sort out my own taxes and it gives me more security whilst I build up some experience for a couple of years before looking for a more adventurous job in the field.

    It's not the most creative or exciting area of photography, but at least when someone asks me what I do, I can say "I'm photographer, don'tya know!".

    How did you start your photography career and where are you now?


     
  2. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    You would barely call yourself amateur, but you've taken a job as a "professional" photographer.

    Right...
     
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  3. Forkie

    Forkie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What I mean by that is that my level of experience of photography as a hobby before getting this job would not be anywhere near enough to label myself as an accomplished amateur, let alone a professional. Before this job I was quite definitely a hobbyist, not an amateur photographer (which I think implies a higher degree of knowledge and experience).

    I was lucky to get my job - particularly in a time where jobs are scarce, and hopefully this entry level job will provide the important experience needed to eventually become 'proper' professional.
     
  4. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    Well congrats

    So I guess you'll be sorting out your public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, new cameras, new lenses and a new lighting rig then.
     
  5. Forkie

    Forkie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not sure I like your tone, but at some point in the future, yes. :meh:
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure how it works there, but here in the US by being on the payroll as a photographer, the company would own the copyright to all the photographs you make for them. Here it's called work-for-hire. You would need permissson from the copyright owner (the company paying you) to use the photos in any way, like a portfolio.

    The flip side of that is that on a feelance contract basis you would retain copyright to all the photos you made and not only charge a creative fee for your time, but also license usage fees. As long as exclusive use was not needed by the licensee additional incom,e could be made selling the phots as stock.

    In short here in the US, photographers on the payroll usually make considerably less money than do freelance shooters.
     
  7. Forkie

    Forkie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That is correct. I don't hold the copyright for the images I take. However, a perk of the job is that I have free use of the studio whenever I like, so there would be no problem with me taking a few shots on my own time, with my own camera (the company provides a camera to prevent wear and tear on my own) for my portfolio.

    The reason I chose to go on their payroll is because jobs are hard to come by in these recession times, and right now I prefer the security of being employed. And as this is my first photography job, I plan on staying for at least 2-3 years to get a reasonable amount of commercial experience under my belt before taking on the big cruel world on my own.
     
  8. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    Why would you give away copyright?!
     
  9. Forkie

    Forkie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The copyright isn't mine in the first place. I am an in-house photographer taking photos of the stock for the company to place on their website. Before I arrived they sent most of the stock to a third party product photography company to take the photos - they didn't and don't have copyright either.

    Whoever takes the photos for Argos, Ikea, B&Q, Boots, or whatever other company also don't own the copyright to the photos, the copyright is owned by the company.

    The cameraman doesn't own the copyright to his camera work in a movie and neither does the designer of Coca Cola's logo own the copyright to that.
     
  10. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    You'd be much much better off working as a third party, charging them stock prices rather than a set salary, you will be knocking out more photos for less money that way.
     
  11. spacefuzz

    spacefuzz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    good luck, I hope its a lot of fun!

    Funny thing about owning your work. I am an aerospace engineer and I certaintly dont own the rights to the work I do for my company, so no reason to expect that if you are working as an in-house photographer you would own your own pics. In fact some NDA's and contracts I have signed pledged all of my thoughts and ideas (even on my own time) to the company.

    Can you imagine the uproar here if companies started owning the rights to ALL of your photographic work while your employed by them?
     
  12. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    Figures a company would hire a civilian for a product photography job. They couldn't possibly hire a pro. No offense. It's why, you'll start to notice, how terrible product photography on the web is.

    I did product photography for 3 years (100-150 images shot per day plus email blasts and marketing material). It was a thankless job and I was creatively stifled. When I departed, I went freelance. I now shoot weddings and portraits - couldn't be happier.
     

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