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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Another craigslist ad-from a photographer
Will Powers, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 10:22 AM on 06.27.11
->> http://denver.craigslist.org/crg/2464361266.html

Internships should be for college credit and paid, just for a limited time
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Centereach | NY | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 06.27.11
->> Internships need not be paid, but there definitely has to be something awarded in return to the student/employee. The job on Craig's list does neither. This sounds more like a 3-month interview. The ad as it appears on CL:


---We are looking for a intern for our photography company to do our photo editing, appointment scheduling, assistant at weddings, and little odds and ends around the studio. It will be a unpaid internship for 3 months, after we decide you are ready from that point you will begin your paid position. We are a high volume photography company and are looking for a serious candidate. This is a great position for someone looking to get into the photography industry. We will be teaching you everything from editing, to lighting, posing, and composition. Please send your resume, availability, equipment, and a portfolio if you have one. We will beginning interviews at the beginning of next week. Must be a NIKON shooter---
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Erik Markov, Photographer
anywhere | IN | | Posted: 11:21 AM on 06.27.11
->> a position for someone with little experience, allowing them to break into the industry. The poster assumes the intern will know nothing since they are going to teach them everything, yet the applicant should send a resume, along with a portfolio and equipment list, Nikon Only.

How do I put this kindly? Quit hitting your favorite medicinal therapy, booze, weed what have you, before you post to Craigslist. The only plus to this ad MIGHT be that they could get so overwhelmed with applicants that they won't ever be able to make a decision, scrapping the whole thing.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 06.27.11
->> Tip to students: If some random photography company is asking for your free labor (and the free use of your equipment) in a poorly-written ad on Craigslist then you may want to question what, if anything, you'd be able to learn from them.

Take that same three months that you'd otherwise be answering their phones and editing their weddings photos and find a real mentor and a local story to work on. You'll learn far more in the long run... at the very least, in the sort run you'll learn how not to be taken advantage of.

-Blanco
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:24 AM on 06.27.11
->> Actually, Paul, it is a great opportunity as long as the successful candidate is not required to sign a non-competition agreement. In fact, if the 'high volume photography company' is doing well in the marketplace, one needs to look at this as an investment opportunity.

Someone serious about succeeding would simply go in and learn everything about the 'employer', their business model and more importantly, who are their base clients. After the so called 'internship' is up, simply say bye-bye and then compete head on for a share of the market. Since the serious candidate will already have all the gear and armed with detail knowledge of the market as well as his number one competitor, s/he should be able to break even in six to nine months.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:12 PM on 06.27.11
->> Damn-it! Why couldn't Gore have invented the internet SOONER so that craigslist could have been around BEFORE I spent all that money on schooling.... These people could have taught me EVERYTHING in 3 months for free!
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 12:18 PM on 06.27.11
->> I'm with Clark on this one - the term "high volume" is what caught my eye. High volume usually means low price per unit/sitting so you'll not only learn how they work, you should be able to learn what not to do. The person placing the ad is so focused on getting free labor, they overlook what they are exposing their company to. Nothing like gaining cheap market share at a competitor's expense.

If my competition ran a ad like this, I'd pay a employee to take the job and then execute a business plan 91 days later. As for the Nikon requirement, that baffles me just a bit. Seems kind of childish actually. As long as you have all the lenses/equipment you need to perform the job, what does it matter?
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 12:30 PM on 06.27.11
->> Michael,

"High volume usually means low price per unit/sitting" which was exactly what I was thinking.

The reason for the Nikon requirement is so that they can use the same file post-production workflow/software apps to achieve a uniform look to their product.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 12:39 PM on 06.27.11
->> Clark.. ahhh gotcha.

M
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Nick Morris, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 12:55 PM on 06.27.11
->> Me thinks the reason for Nikon only is that they're hoping for something better than their kit lens to waltz in the front door.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 9:05 PM on 06.27.11
->> Yeah, I'm with Nick...someone with Nikon so we can borrow your lenses while you're answering the phones.
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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 10:44 PM on 06.27.11
->> I'd be surprised if employers try this more than one time before the get pummeled by the feds. I've been tempted to sign up for few of these just to get some practical experience for labor litigation.

"The Supreme Court has held that the words "to suffer or permit to work," as used in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to define "employ," do not make all persons employees who, without any express or implied compensation agreement, work for their own advantage on the premises of another. Whether trainees or students are employees of an employer under the FLSA will depend upon all of the circumstances surrounding their activities on the premises of the employer. If all of the following criteria apply, the trainees or students are not employees within the meaning of the Act:
The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school;
The training is for the benefit of the trainees or students;
The trainees or students do not displace regular employees, but work under close supervision;
The employer that provides the training receives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees or students and, on occasion, his operations may even be impeded;
The trainees or students are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
The employer and the trainees or students understand that the trainees or students are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training."

I would stumble upon this poster a couple weeks into my "internship"
http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwage.pdf at which point I'd express my surprise with the hiring manager.
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Keith Simonian, Photographer
Martinez | CA | USA | Posted: 10:38 AM on 06.28.11
->> Still curious about the "Nikon shooter" requirement as the internship description makes no mention of taking photos during the three months of working for free.

After three months of doing the assisting, scheduling, editing, and little odds and ends for free do you get to take pictures with your Nikon equipment for free?
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 1:48 PM on 06.28.11
->> The ad has been pulled.

--Mark
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Gil Batzri, Photographer, Assistant
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 1:39 AM on 06.29.11
->> Having worked at a volume shop, I can tell y'all a bit about it. This gig when it pays will be at $20/hour or less.

The work is gonna be school photography, maybe dances, maybe senior photos.

This is the same arena that lifetouch plays in, it is REALLY low money from the perspective of the studio, and they burn thru shooters, they want Nikon so the files will match their workflow, they are assuming very little knowledge, and less commitment.

If you make it thru three months (based on my experience) you would be able to work for these guys and be valuable to them. Most folks would be fed up way before 3 months.

This is not easy work, if paid, and you can get by on the money, and they have good senior staff, you can learn a lot about working efficiently and making nice portraits, posing, lighting basic digital workflow. But I don't know about donating your time for that.

The guys I worked with were great, and I am personally still friends with them, but I couldn't do the work for the money (and keep my now wife) the hours were too long and the check too small, in the end.

Volume work is a tough gig, from both sides the employer and employee.

This is a tad on the ripoff side, but if you did it, and threw yourself into it you could learn ALOT.

I worked with the studio for maybe two years, I learned a lot about lighting, posing, setup, working clean and tight, processing/lab work, all aspects of working digitally, and efficiently. I really wish the money could have worked, because I still miss working with those guys.

But the money most definitely did not. Which I suspect is what the fellows posting that advert are dealing with.

It is a different thing then what happens here, there used to be a lot more studios doing it back in the day, now it is lifetouch and some indy guys doing it "small business" style. The people that are making a go should get a nod from y'all not scorn.

It is a really hard way to make a living.

Cheers,
Gil
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 6:25 AM on 06.29.11
->> Gil, you said, "The people that are making a go should get a nod from y'all not scorn."

While I can appreciate that what they're doing is hard work, competitive and not very lucrative, the fact remains that if these guys cannot come up with a sustainable business plan that doesn't involve begging for free labor and camera gear on Craigslist then they shouldn't be teaching anybody anything.

If their intentions were to give back to the photo community by teaching young people then they could've very easily have gone to a local photography class and found some kid to mentor.

I'd love to have some free labor around here answering my phone, carrying my heavy stuff, scheduling assignments, toning images, invoicing clients, etc., and I'm certain I could get some eager young aspiring shooter to do those things but it's just not right to take advantage of these kids.

I'd much rather just mentor one the honest way... and do my own grunt work... and buy my own gear.
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Matthew Jonas, Photo Editor, Photographer
Evergreen | CO | USA | Posted: 11:50 AM on 06.29.11
->> "While I can appreciate that what they're doing is hard work, competitive and not very lucrative, the fact remains that if these guys cannot come up with a sustainable business plan that doesn't involve begging for free labor and camera gear on Craigslist then they shouldn't be teaching anybody anything."

Well said Brian. I can tell you for a fact that Denver and Colorado are saturated with these high volume companies and right now it's a race to the bottom to see who can out price the other. It's not surprising that some of these companies are looking for what appears to be free labor in an internship wrapper.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:06 PM on 06.29.11
->> Brian you could CHARGE someone $1500 to do all of those things and call it a workshop ;) There's more money to be made teaching than shooting lately.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Southern California | CA | USA | Posted: 2:19 PM on 06.29.11
->> Ridiculous, judging an entire segment of photography based on one Craigslist ad. There are the bottom feeders that prey on inexperience, experienced portrait shooters that can handle the high volume producing quality are valued and paid accordingly.

Eric is correct that most pay big dollars to attend a workshop and come out of it having learned how to setup a softbox and a few stands , and a few diagrams on basic lighting. Get on at a studio for 20 dollars an hour and learn.
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Thread Title: Another craigslist ad-from a photographer
Thread Started By: Will Powers
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