FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Should I feel bad?

Page  123>
Author
MikeUptonWrites View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: 24 June 2011
Location: New Hampshire
Status: Offline
Posts: 16
Post Options Post Options   Quote MikeUptonWrites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Should I feel bad?
    Posted: 23 March 2016 at 17:28
I've been having a bit of a moral dilemma today. Last night, a local photographer saw my work on my Facebook and offered me a job with his company. He's got a successful company, I actually hired him last year to shoot my wedding. But while we were talking in his office, he brought up a very valid concern: It's obvious that what I want is to get my own company off the ground, and I could most certainly use added experience, education and insight into a successful photography studio. But I'm not planning on being there forever.

To get to the point, I've been worried that taking this job could prove to be a bad move in the long run for a couple of reasons: If I leave and cause bad blood between us, it could be extremely detrimental to my business to have a larger, more successful company bashing me. Additionally, they have some great relationships with local vendors and venues, and I'm afraid that if I leave to work on my own, I'd basically be blacklisted by them. This industry is incredibly cutthroat, and I don't really see this guy as the type to let bygones be bygones. I don't know. What do you guys think? Should I feel bad about wanting to be self-employed?
 



Back to Top
5thElefant View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 19 September 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Wales
Status: Offline
Posts: 3242
Post Options Post Options   Quote 5thElefant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 17:46
No.

Presumably you'll be a subcontractor rather than a full-time employee. So you'll be self-employed anyway.

Just watch out for non-compete clauses.
Simon α900|A7|RX10|DXO
Back to Top
Basil View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 03 December 2009
Country: United States
Location: Minnesota
Status: Offline
Posts: 2513
Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 17:52
You wouldn't be the first person who took a job to gain experience and then left to strike out own your own. Who knows, you may find that you don't want to be your own boss after all. On the other hand, the insights you gain would be invaluable and if your work is good enough, it will stand on its own merit.

Did you ask him how many others have left to go it on their own? What comments did he make in regards to his concern? Will he want a non-compete agreement that covers his client relationships for a year after you leave? His concern is a valid one, as are your ambitions. Perhaps you can come to some sort of agreement beforehand that will lay out what the course of progression will be.
To see is to enjoy. To see beyond is to rejoice.

A77Mark II; A850; A700; A100; NEX 6; various film bodies and an ever-changing collection of lenses
Back to Top
thornburg View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 25 July 2013
Country: United States
Location: PA
Status: Offline
Posts: 3765
Post Options Post Options   Quote thornburg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 18:37
I think your concerns are valid.

I'd be straight with the guy.

Decide about how long you think you're interested in sticking around, and tell him that up front. Admit straight out that you intend to start up on your own down the line.

If that turns him off, then you're probably better off not taking the job anyway, in my opinion.

This is not an argument for working for the guy, but if someone's going to badmouth you, they're probably going to do it whether or not you give them a good reason to.

Sony a3000, a6000, a57, a99 - Sony E 16-50, 28/2 | Vivitar 13, 85 | Minolta 24, 28-105, 35-105, 50/1.7, 75-300 | Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 | Sigma 70/2.8 Macro | Tamron 70-200/2.8 | Celestron 1000/11
Back to Top
MikeUptonWrites View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: 24 June 2011
Location: New Hampshire
Status: Offline
Posts: 16
Post Options Post Options   Quote MikeUptonWrites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 18:39
From what I gathered, no one that has left his company has gone on to do their OWN thing. It's been they quit to be a full time stay at home dad, they "just didn't like photography anymore", etc. Our arrangement is extremely loose, there's really no contract or anything so no non-compete clause to speak of.

His concerns were that he'd train me and show me the ins and outs of running a successful business, then leave to do my own thing. He didn't say a timeframe that he's fearing I'd leave, but he was making it seem like I should feel guilty if I don't stay about 10 years minimum.

I don't know, I'm excited to work with someone who can show me the ropes (more than I've discovered on my own, at least) but I almost already feel guilty for wanting to run things myself.
Back to Top
thornburg View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 25 July 2013
Country: United States
Location: PA
Status: Offline
Posts: 3765
Post Options Post Options   Quote thornburg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 18:54
The way you're describing this gives me bad vibes.

Reminds of some people who tried to rope me into something (sometimes I learned the hard way, others I got skittish about and found out from other people that I had been right to avoid them).

If this guy is guilt tripping you already, what is it going to be like in the future?
Sony a3000, a6000, a57, a99 - Sony E 16-50, 28/2 | Vivitar 13, 85 | Minolta 24, 28-105, 35-105, 50/1.7, 75-300 | Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 | Sigma 70/2.8 Macro | Tamron 70-200/2.8 | Celestron 1000/11
 



Back to Top
MikeUptonWrites View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: 24 June 2011
Location: New Hampshire
Status: Offline
Posts: 16
Post Options Post Options   Quote MikeUptonWrites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 19:32
I figured at the very least, I'll give this guy this wedding season, maybe the next as well. But in that time I'm going to absorb as much information as I can and be on my way. I just need to make sure I keep this strong backbone I have right now!
Back to Top
MikeUptonWrites View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: 24 June 2011
Location: New Hampshire
Status: Offline
Posts: 16
Post Options Post Options   Quote MikeUptonWrites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2016 at 22:10
Also, thank you guys very much for your advice. It is greatly appreciated. This whole thing kept me up all night last night.
Back to Top
ricardovaste View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 08 August 2007
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Shropshire
Status: Offline
Posts: 10060
Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2016 at 13:11
You want a relationship with someone you think might "bash" you, at some point? Or are you paranoid?

You need to have open communication about what it is all about, like anything. Otherwise, you're just stabbing in the dark without much direction, someone will likely get hurt at some point.

Such relationships work all the time, but it needs to be the right people. And you both need to know what you're getting out of it, short and long term.

You also obviously need to have a contract.
I photograph the moments in people's lives that mean the most to them: Richard Harris Photography
Back to Top
ricardovaste View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 08 August 2007
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Shropshire
Status: Offline
Posts: 10060
Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2016 at 13:13
Originally posted by MikeUptonWrites MikeUptonWrites wrote:



His concerns were that he'd train me and show me the ins and outs of running a successful business, then leave to do my own thing. He didn't say a timeframe that he's fearing I'd leave, but he was making it seem like I should feel guilty if I don't stay about 10 years minimum.


I would walk away, it's not worth it.

This person clearly isn't the right person to work alongside.

They sound pretty unprofessional, like they don't have much of a clue.
I photograph the moments in people's lives that mean the most to them: Richard Harris Photography
Back to Top
Photosopher View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Knowledgebase Contributor

Joined: 13 June 2010
Country: United States
Location: St. Louis Mo
Status: Offline
Posts: 4190
Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2016 at 14:39
Originally posted by MikeUptonWrites MikeUptonWrites wrote:

This industry is incredibly cutthroat...


No it is not. It's one of the most sharing and giving industries in existence. I refer photographers all the time for jobs or clients that I cannot provide for. We share equipment if/when necessary. We assist each other, and share assistants from time to time. We rent studio space to one another. We share billing and proposal advice. We share war stories and experience.

If one of our friends, or competitors outbids us and gets a job we really wanted... We congratulate and applaud them.
___

The old school "cutthroat" togs are all out of business because they couldn't let go of their old business practices. Those who survive are fearless, appreciative, open and giving.

_____
EDIT: I know many freelance photographers who work for many different portrait, event, and wedding studios at the same time. They consider the studios as clients, not competitors. They learn a lot from established studios, and make the best of that experience for their later careers.

There is no shortage of business out there. The only thing a studio might worry about is a new assistant tog stealing a regular long term client away. But if that happened, it's probably because the studio outgrew the client anyway, and it would be encouraged to move to the newer tog to service them. Everybody happy then, and the new tog still retains the support from the studio... If everyone treats each other with courtesy.

Edited by Photosopher - 24 March 2016 at 14:48
Back to Top
thornburg View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 25 July 2013
Country: United States
Location: PA
Status: Offline
Posts: 3765
Post Options Post Options   Quote thornburg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2016 at 14:48
These two guys (Photosopher and ricardovaste) both know what they're talking about.

They're both experienced, well spoken professionals working in the industry (albeit in two different continents, which sometimes makes a difference).

(Me? I have a day job, photography is a side gig for me)

As Photosopher says, the industry is moving away from the way it used to be.

There are still lots of disgruntled old men (and maybe disgruntled old women, I'm not sure) working in the industry -- often running a shop, and not actually doing that much photography themselves anymore.

They are not the future of the industry.
Sony a3000, a6000, a57, a99 - Sony E 16-50, 28/2 | Vivitar 13, 85 | Minolta 24, 28-105, 35-105, 50/1.7, 75-300 | Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 | Sigma 70/2.8 Macro | Tamron 70-200/2.8 | Celestron 1000/11
Back to Top
AudioDoc View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 26 January 2006
Country: United States
Location: SLC Utah
Status: Offline
Posts: 2787
Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2016 at 16:21
Originally posted by thornburg thornburg wrote:



There are still lots of disgruntled old men (and maybe disgruntled old women, I'm not sure) working in the industry -- often running a shop, and not actually doing that much photography themselves anymore.

They are not the future of the industry.


Sounds like "old people" bashing to me! Don't think you have to be "old" to be disgruntled! Don't forget there are plenty of "old guys and gals" in this forum!

As for my opinion on the topic (not a pro, but old), it does not sound like a good fit, if you are truly interested in having your own business. There are plenty of other ways to gain experience and or learn photography.

Back to Top
Photosopher View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Knowledgebase Contributor

Joined: 13 June 2010
Country: United States
Location: St. Louis Mo
Status: Offline
Posts: 4190
Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2016 at 17:25
Originally posted by AudioDoc AudioDoc wrote:

Don't think you have to be "old" to be disgruntled!


Nor young to be fulfilled.

Respected peer of mine is undergoing the shift as we speak. Back in the day, we were friendly competitors, each with day rates around $3500 shooting major brands. Fifteen years ago, I saw the bubble, and started preparing. I saw more and more of my clients going out of business, and those that remained started shooting in house. No longer were Miami models being flown in for $3G per day. The local models were hired at $600 per day. Times were changing.

I downsized early, from 20,000 sq ft studio and 15 man staff including studio manager, book keeper, three photographers, and a bunch of designers and assistants. I went from that to 1500 sq ft studio and no employees at all. I helped everyone establish their own freelance careers and still use many of them for the same responsibilities.

My studio manager went to make a career with Tommy Hilfiger. My book keeper is a successful CPA and I still use her. All the photographers are working, one in Germany and another shooting major brands world wide. We consult with each other on bids, proposals, and sometimes help with double team shooting. I still use the designers for web and print. Those long time relationships are invaluable because we all bring business to one another. It's crazy how easy it works. Business is better than ever. Everyone is a trusted asset because we kept our relationships open and friendly. My day rate is almost half of what it used to be. Haven't updated my web site in 13 years. Haven't shown a portfolio in 20 years. The phone just keeps ringing from referrals and I'm booked solid for the next six months. It's all word of mouth these days. I push jobs to other photographers a few times every month. Been like this for years now. Fire all bad slow paying over bearing clients on Jan 1st of every year. Not worth the hassles. More and more of my peers are adopting this philosophy and relate that it's the best policy they ever practiced. Spend time servicing the great clients. Let the others go on their way.
_____

Now my friend just laid off all his in house employees. He's closing down major portions of his 15,000 sq ft studio, saving thousands per month. He rents his remaining 4000 sq ft studio to other photographers on a time share. I just rented it for a job that my studio couldn't accommodate. He has a 40ft cyclorama wall. He holds seminars for up and coming togs. His day rate is half of what it was. You should see the smile on his face. No more pressure to remain big for big clients that simply aren't there any more. Easy to become "disgruntled" with that monster. His in house salesman is now private rep, and they still work together. The other photographers are having fun pursuing B to B work... Lot's of that to go around. He's a couple of phone calls away from assembling the full team when needed. Life is good. Business is great.

The close minded self serving business model is not specific to old or young photographers. Both can benefit from openness and collaboration. The old tog gets a new lease on life, and the young tog gains invaluable client experience and portfolio building.
______

The collaborative approach is more important than ever before, now that most clients want both stills and video. Good to have trusted non threatening relationships built. The more people you know in the business, and the more you involve yourself with them, the more great jobs and clients fall from the sky. It's weird. It's wonderful.
Back to Top
Dyxum main page >  Forum Home > Dyxum Community > Photography as a Business Page  123>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.

Monitor calibration strip

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer

In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Feel free to contact us if needed.