BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Joseph M. Kolecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/4/2005
 

Where to find photography jobs


What is the best way to find general photography work? Are their any popular photography job sites?

Thanks,

Joe


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11/12/2007 9:28:28 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  First study the specialty areas of the photography job market and get an understanding of, and firm handle on the general salaries offered from one region to another based on levels of documentable experience. Read and heed the advice given in Photo District News and by authors like Maria Piscopo.

What web sites you look at depend on what your skills are and what kind of photographic work you're looking for, whether studio, photojournalism, etc.

Then for full-time employment, start sending out resumes specific to job listing with your photo background. In the meantime, don't quit your day job. This is a very very unstable way to earn a living these days, even if you're a good shooter with a degree in photography. If you're only looking for a part-time gig, just call around to the local studios or check the want ads for assistant jobs which are usually part-time, even if you live in a large city like NY, Chicago or L.A.

Understand too, Joe, that you'll be competing with people just like yourself and not just the local pros with studios, the equipment and the business experience. This is especially so with corporations that previously employed in-house photographers but now, farm it all out or buy clip art.

My advice is if this is really your passion, don't look to do it as a profession. Stick with what you enjoy without trying to do it as a living.
Take it light.
Mark


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11/12/2007 9:46:12 AM

 
Hayley Brooks Thistlethwaite
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2002
  Ahh, Mark - that's so not the advice I wanted to hear! But thanks for being up front. If you don't mind me asking are you a photographer for a living?


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5/14/2008 4:04:18 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Hmmmmm. Let me see! Joseph K. started this post 6 months ago and now Hayley W. says it wasn't the advice she was looking for? Pardon me; but, I don't understand how Hayley isn't happy with Mark's reply to Joseph when it's Joseph's topic and the post is 6 months old.


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5/14/2008 4:19:59 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  But Todd, we're just now getting to summer and isn't THAT the time to look for work as soon as everyone else is?

Yes Heyley. I'm a full-time, credentialed, photojournalist.
Mark


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5/14/2008 6:41:54 PM

 
Hayley Brooks Thistlethwaite
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2002
  Well here's how my train of thought went. (I sometimes operate on my own playing field) Basicly I went to betterphoto because I am thinking of switching careers. I am making a healthy living, but my passion is photography.(i have done it part time -- photo journalism and wedding photography, but never was able to make much $ or go full time) I searched some key words and came across Marks advice. The advice of keeping photography a passion was a reality check for me and kinda burst my bubble...so I felt compelled to respond. Anyhow the advice was good. (or a ploy to keep more of us out of he field)
;)


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5/14/2008 7:33:08 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Always good to check the batteries in your reality tester, Hayley. As far as bursting your bubble is concerned, I think the U.S. Dept. of Labor's newer statistics support the general assertion that there are many more folks looking for photography jobs or wanting to launch photography as a new(er) career than the employment market will presently support or in the coming year (2009) for that matter.

Most people "launching" are suffering from what I refer to as "premature adjudication". They've decided to pursue an entirely new career simply because they "like" it and they think they can do it. They haven't thoroughly investigated the requirements, even the business aspects. They have little, if any plan, very little budget for equipment let alone marketing, little if any fall-back career or skills, but they somehow envision themselves globetrotting around the world as either a highly paid photojournalist (I love the travel photographer wannabes) or skirting around the U.S. as a location wedding shooter. Most of them don't have so much as a business plan. A lot of them don't even own an electronic flash let alone have an idea how to use it. But photography sounds "neat" or "cool" or "fun". They missed the fact that 80-85 percent of what photographers really do is grunt work, paper, marketing, phone calls, follow-ups, presentations, maintaining equipment, accounting, submitting contracts, proposals and orchestrating shoots NOT shooting.

You're right. If you have a passion for this, enjoy it. Don't try to turn your hobby into a career, ESPECIALLY at this point in time with the economy swirling the bowl. Every time I can remember that's happened in the past 35 years, the first thing that gets hit is optional spending by ad agencies, magazines, wedding planners, advertisers including restaurants and the rest of the food and hospitality industries. It never fails.

And believe me Hayley, I have no desire to keep people out of this field. I often get calls from editors to fix their mistakes and I like to caution people to think about what they're proposing before they actually do it and blow an assignment. Besides, it's lonely at the top. LOL !!!
Hang in there.
Mark


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5/14/2008 9:20:55 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   the only way I can equate what mark is saying is it's alot like deciding to be a rock star. ok. well, go ahead and live the dream, but you really need to keep your day job until the record exec's coming knocking at your door. and, even then, I know actualy rock stars, that off-tour, have day jobs.

ymmv.


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5/15/2008 8:31:58 AM

 
  For every grammy winning rock star, there's ten in the wings wondering when theey'll get their chance.


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5/15/2008 1:27:01 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   Mark, you are largely understating that number. For every one that's winning a grammy, there are 100,000 wondering when they'll get their chance.

Now, replace the term "rock star" with "photographer" and you'll get an idea of how things go.

It's fun to think about it, but doing it is really difficult. Not that it can't be done, it's just very hard and the likelyhood of success is nil. If you haven't read my blog, I talk alot about the business of weddings: http://photoedu.wordpress.com


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5/16/2008 8:36:00 AM

 
  Sorry Jerry, that was a very conservative estimate based on the ones in the wings that are ten times better than the award winners.


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5/18/2008 7:47:55 AM

 
Jerry Frazier   That's why life is less about winning and more about playing the best game you know how. If you can do that, you're a winner; and, you'll always have fans...even if they're just your family members ;)


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5/19/2008 3:56:20 AM

 
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