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Thread: Best strategy to get out of rut

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by jimthzz
    You're on my brother's poverty-stricken path, just 20 years behind him. He tried and tried for his entire life to wring out a buck as a photographer.

    it never really panned out for him. His best gigs were school pictures and a wedding chapel.

    All fizzled despite he being a really talented photographer.

    I would recommend getting a profession that pays decent wages and make your interest in photography to be an avocation or hobby.
    Unfortunately I've learned the hard way. I've already decided to give up on it or perhaps take whatever I can get until I find something else, which I have absolutely no idea what that "something else" is. This is so depressing:(

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Just take whatever you can get for now. The momentum helps and one thing may lead to another. But inertia will kill you.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    The guys that I know that make a decent living tend to be very aggressive about applying to contract jobs, gigs, and even full time jobs. Who needs a photographer? Product companies, warehouses where products are, etc. You might just be the guy who takes good quality photos or they might want the full package - touch ups, white background, internet ready final product. In terms of paying bills, they make pretty good money doing that during the week and events and weddings on weekends.

    Add additional skills like graphic design, video editing and you'll find yourself in demand. Keep in mind that it's a field where it's not so much about certificates or degrees as it is about skills and a good quality portfolio. Those looking to hire will literally put 90% weight on your portfolio and only 10% on your resume and only to the extent of can you use x, y, or z software to edit/create/etc. A lot of the jobs will take 3-4 best candidates they liked and ask them to do a mini project/presentation to prove their skills, speed, capacity to deliver what's needed, ability to meet deadlines, etc.

    Also, chin up because most people in this field tend to do both - paid employee jobs as well as running their own deal. Again, those looking to hire are more interested in your portfolio, presentation, skills than a traditional resume/job history.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    The guys that I know that make a decent living tend to be very aggressive about applying to contract jobs, gigs, and even full time jobs. Who needs a photographer? Product companies, warehouses where products are, etc. You might just be the guy who takes good quality photos or they might want the full package - touch ups, white background, internet ready final product. In terms of paying bills, they make pretty good money doing that during the week and events and weddings on weekends.

    Add additional skills like graphic design, video editing and you'll find yourself in demand. Keep in mind that it's a field where it's not so much about certificates or degrees as it is about skills and a good quality portfolio. Those looking to hire will literally put 90% weight on your portfolio and only 10% on your resume and only to the extent of can you use x, y, or z software to edit/create/etc. A lot of the jobs will take 3-4 best candidates they liked and ask them to do a mini project/presentation to prove their skills, speed, capacity to deliver what's needed, ability to meet deadlines, etc.

    Also, chin up because most people in this field tend to do both - paid employee jobs as well as running their own deal. Again, those looking to hire are more interested in your portfolio, presentation, skills than a traditional resume/job history.
    Hello. I appreciate your positive feedback. Honestly. I actually do have a pretty good portfolio through my website and just started applying to companies searching for photographers.
    I'm a Real Estate photographer so what I do is very specific so jobs are much fewer in-between. I have the qualifications but I still get scared that I'm not good enough and get passed up on because
    of someone who's probably more experienced or that I may say something stupid during the interview. I just wanna land somewhere, prove my worth and build a foundation. I know once I get in
    I can build their trust and make something happen. It's just a matter of getting in. That's the hardest part for me thus far. I just applied for a company specific to what I do. I was a perfect match,
    but again, nothing is set in stone and I don't get my hopes up. So, who knows, we'll see I guess. Again, thank you for your positive input.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JustinPonders
    Hello. I appreciate your positive feedback. Honestly. I actually do have a pretty good portfolio through my website and just started applying to companies searching for photographers.
    I'm a Real Estate photographer so what I do is very specific so jobs are much fewer in-between. I have the qualifications but I still get scared that I'm not good enough and get passed up on because
    of someone who's probably more experienced or that I may say something stupid during the interview. I just wanna land somewhere, prove my worth and build a foundation. I know once I get in
    I can build their trust and make something happen. It's just a matter of getting in. That's the hardest part for me thus far. I just applied for a company specific to what I do. I was a perfect match,
    but again, nothing is set in stone and I don't get my hopes up. So, who knows, we'll see I guess. Again, thank you for your positive input.
    Apply and keep on applying. Also check out gig sites like upwork and bid on projects. The more you do the better. Don't get too attached on the idea that you are the perfect candidate because when it comes to creative work, it's more about what the potential employers is looking for and that can be hard to target. You might look at their stuff and think you are the right candidate and they might be looking to move to something different style wise. So if you don't get that job, don't let that get you down or knock your confidence. There is literally no accounting for people's tastes and ideas.

    In between applying, work on expanding your skills or adding different areas of photography to your portfolio. You are in a field where you can never stop learning and that's kind of the cool part of that.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    How many creative agencies have you signed up with?

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    How many creative agencies have you signed up with?
    I've signed up with two.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JustinPonders
    I've signed up with two.
    Keep going. Make appointments with one agency per morning, at least 3 per week, starting in a radius closest to you and working outward. (Not every agency supports the same clients.)

    Make your applications actual or virtual ~meetings~ rather than online applications. Otherwise, you're just in the e-black-hole and not exactly on anyone's 'active' roster for shoots. Reward yourself after each meeting with a good meal or some play time.

    If you have styling, masking or retouch skills, elevate those in your resume and offer those to these agencies as availability to work on photos from someone else's shoot.

    There are only so many shoots available, so do whatever you can to make sure that you're involved of one of those. If it means stylizing, do that. If it means working backfill, do that.

    You have a skill! One which you've worked long and hard to attain. So do the work of promoting it so that you can use it. Otherwise, apply at temp agencies to do other kinds of work to keep food on your plate and your rent paid. Same deal: skip e-applications in favor of actual interviews--virtual or in person.

    As for the ex who ditched you, you get to decide whether it's her loss and you'll be better off without her, OR, whether she observed a defeatist attitude that you can wake up to and change. It may not get her back, but then, she's taught you about the importance of not giving up.

    Head high, and exploit any skill that most people do NOT have.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Keep going. Make appointments with one agency per morning, at least 3 per week, starting in a radius closest to you and working outward. (Not every agency supports the same clients.)

    Make your applications actual or virtual ~meetings~ rather than online applications. Otherwise, you're just in the e-black-hole and not exactly on anyone's 'active' roster for shoots. Reward yourself after each meeting with a good meal or some play time.

    If you have styling, masking or retouch skills, elevate those in your resume and offer those to these agencies as availability to work on photos from someone else's shoot.

    There are only so many shoots available, so do whatever you can to make sure that you're involved of one of those. If it means stylizing, do that. If it means working backfill, do that.

    You have a skill! One which you've worked long and hard to attain. So do the work of promoting it so that you can use it. Otherwise, apply at temp agencies to do other kinds of work to keep food on your plate and your rent paid. Same deal: skip e-applications in favor of actual interviews--virtual or in person.

    As for the ex who ditched you, you get to decide whether it's her loss and you'll be better off without her, OR, whether she observed a defeatist attitude that you can wake up to and change. It may not get her back, but then, she's taught you about the importance of not giving up.

    Head high, and exploit any skill that most people do NOT have.
    I appreciate your constructive response. It was very kind of you. I went a step further and hired a professional resume builder to build my resume and cover letter.
    I've applied to a couple of places but realized I wasn't getting call-backs. I think it was due to my resume not being up to snuff.
    I had a resume reviewer check it out and let me know my resume need work. Once I receive my new resume and cover letter
    I'm going to go all out and start applying like crazy.

    As far as my ex was concern, she did end up contacting me and apologized for her poor choice of words. She professed her feelings for me but unfortunately she's
    the type that'll apologize and the very next day she'll be back to her comfortable combative self and start to play these mind games with me. Last night I had a major
    blowout with her. She disrespected me once again saying how if the guy she was dating before me, a few months back, hadn't been married that she would've 100% been
    with him today. Then she proceeded to list off all the positive traits he possessed and what a "hard worker" he was as-if to tell me in the most passive-aggressive way that I lack
    those traits. Any hoot, I just about had enough and went off on her and called her a B for the first time and proceeded to block her on my phone and social media.

    So ya, today I made some positive stride. I think I picked up a couple of jobs so we'll see how those go. Fingers crossed.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Been following this thread, wondering how much all this is connected to work vs the recent breakup. Your update is, to my eyes, somewhat clarifying.

    All relationships have their own unique dynamics, I know, and even good ones can get nasty when they unravel. Still, I'm just not sure how much of your identity—past, present, and future—you want to stake on the opinions of someone who is holding onto an affair partner as some kind of ideal of a man. I'd maybe try to put all that in one corridor of reflection, away from work, so the two don't feed off each other in negative ways, pulling and pushing you in weird directions to the point where you're all knotted up. Sounds like there's been a fair amount of that already.

    As for work? It's kind of up to you, in the end, to decide if you're doing well, doing enough, all that. Creative industries are inherently up and down, unsteady, a different version of stability. Am just a bit younger than you—and a resident of the same city, as of semi-recently—and have kind of seen it all in my fragile profession. Have had stretches where I've done quite well, others where I haven't, and have learned to take it all in stride because, in the end, I get to do and pursue and wild craft that fills me up in profound ways. Whatever anyone else thinks of that? Honesty, I couldn't care less.

    For whatever it's worth? About ten years ago, when I was 30, I started Airbnb'ing my apartment and crashing on friends' couches for a few days when money was tight. Was a small revelation, that passive income stream, even if the initial means of getting it were a touch, to put it generously, bohemian. A bit later, when I was in a relationship, we spent a year living together between two apartments, each of us renting the other out for profit while we were away, in order to generate a bit more scratch than our "cool" jobs did. Then I bought an apartment with some of that scratch. Then I moved to a smaller city for a bit, bought a multi-unit building and fixed it up so it could spit out a bit more. Was a hustle, all that, running parallel to the creative one, but the idea was that it would create a secondary, more stable income stream that allowed me to keep going with my creative whims, which sometimes rake in a little money, sometimes a lot, often none for long periods.

    Weird time to consider something like that, for obvious doomsday reasons, but maybe something to put in your back pocket or let simmer to trigger some kind of inspiration that resonates with you and your circumstances.

    Back to the earlier points? Do give yourself time to just process and go through this breakup, without thinking you need to react to whatever feelings that kicks up in the immediate. Sounds awfully fraught and, who knows, perhaps in a few weeks or months you'll be less interested in morphing yourself into someone who can knock a married cheater off a pedestal and more interested in just being you and finding someone who digs that and believes in it.

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