Worst Job Ever!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Efergoh, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

    Aug 8, 2006
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    Battle Creek, MI
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    Okay, so here I was thinking I was gonna be Mr Big Shot Professional Portrait Photographer working for this national (global) portrait studio company.

    I won't name them, but they have been in business for a good long time, and odds are you or your children have been photographed by them at some point in your life.

    I was hired to photograph families for Church Directories....then I was expected to try to sell them a portrait package, and was only paid a commission of what I sold, no wage whatsoever.

    Now when folks go to a portrait studio, they expect to spend some money, but these people were only coming in to take part in their church's directory, so it was nothing short of sideswipe salesmenship.

    The "camera" didn't even have a view finder. You composed the photos by looking at a monitor while using a machine to move the camera up and down.

    Now, mind you, I can sell ice cream to an Eskimo, but it has to be a product that I would buy myself.

    I worked for them for 3 weeks and made less money than I spent. I had to travel to these churches, and was told that I would be paid for mileage. What I wasn't told was that the first 60 miles in each direction was on me. Most of the churches I went to were around 70-80 miles one way. I was paid based on average weekly sales. People who only came in for their directory photo and didn't buy anything were factored into the average as a zero.

    I was told I would average $500-$700 a week, but my top week was $150, and I was averaging 60 hours a week.

    I had one day where the camera was broken and I couldn't work at all, and didn't find out until I drove 2 hours to get there. No photos, no pay.

    The whole thing was like a pyramid scheme. The photographers are on the bottom of the ladder and assume 100% of the risk. If anything happens to the film before the pictures are delivered, you don't get paid.

    Pi$$ on that...I went back to my own little photo business where I only have maybe two or three clients a month, but I clear $1k with those three clients. I'll put a little more effort into the business to drum up more work...

  2. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Aug 15, 2006
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    Well, you can at least claim your mileage on your income tax. Working for yourself is way better in my book.

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