Hard choice about my career

1 year 9 months ago #638259 by nhicks
Hi guys, I am facing a hard choice about my future as a photographer, and I thought maybe I could get some advice here. I am 36 years old, and until now I had been working full time as a stock photographer. As many of you may already know, things in the stock photo industry aren't as promising as they were back in the good days, so I found myself in need of exploring new job opportunities.

I want to work in product photography, but living in a small mountain village in central Europe; it is difficult for me to open a photography business and get clients unless moving to a big city and making a significant investment. So I tried to send out resumes (CV) hoping to find a job as a photographer in an established business and work my way up from there. I got two positive responses: one is a permanent job in a medium-big car dealer in southern Italy, where I will have to shoot used cars and curate the website, the other is a six months contract as a cruise ship photographer for a UK company.

Neider of the two is the kind of job I was looking for; nevertheless, I have to pick one. In your opinion, which one of these jobs would make a better impression in my resume while looking for a better one or could give me the most opportunities to advance in my career? Also, about the one on the cruise ship. I am a bit concerned about it being too much physical demanding (I am not in my 20s anymore!). Thank you in advance for your precious advice!


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1 year 9 months ago #638381 by Foxy Girl
Why not comb through Ebay ads, and look for companies that have product shots up that aren't good, offer to take professional shots of their gear for a fee when they ship it to you? 


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1 year 9 months ago #638410 by nhicks
That is something I considered, but I fear that living in a small town, there may be logistics problems regarding the shipment of the goods. But I do not rule it out.


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1 year 9 months ago #638579 by ShutterGuy

nhicks wrote: That is something I considered, but I fear that living in a small town, there may be logistics problems regarding the shipment of the goods. But I do not rule it out.


Small town has nothing to do with it.  Post office delivers to nearly every crack in the US so does FedEx. 


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1 year 9 months ago #638587 by nhicks
I'm in Europe :)


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1 year 9 months ago #638591 by KCook
Looking ahead to your next job search, that comes after either of these jobs, I don't see how the used car shots will help your portfolio. The cruise ship gig has got to offer more variety. Where the car dealer job might help is if it is located in a major city. Giving you opportunities to network in that city. So no clear cut answer.

Kelly

Canon 50D, Olympus PL2
kellycook.zenfolio.com/

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1 year 9 months ago #638599 by nhicks
That's why I'm stuck on this decision since last week :(


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1 year 9 months ago #638648 by KCook
Then I will offer further confusion -

If your portfolio is already strong, then the added cruise shots may not make any difference.

"curate the website". A new career path? This can get you into cyber security. You may hate that (my experience). Or it may be a new ticket for you. There is more demand these days for cyber security than for photographers.

nohelp

Canon 50D, Olympus PL2
kellycook.zenfolio.com/

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1 year 9 months ago #638649 by Sandy Smith Photos
Have you considered getting into stock video?  That seems to be taking off where photos slowed down.  


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1 year 9 months ago #638696 by garyrhook

nhicks wrote: I'm in Europe :)


Which was clear from your OP.

Not sure you're getting anything different here than on the PPA forum... Or at least, better.


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1 year 9 months ago #638782 by nhicks
I understand you, I hate that too! And guess what: I have a bachelor in IT Engineering. But I really want to work in photography


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1 year 9 months ago #638783 by nhicks
Yes, I considered it. I also have some clips online, but I fear this may be another business where I invest time and money just to see the profit drops in 5 years from now... The rule of thumb is: don't base your income on something that could be as well performed by someone living in a developing country


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1 year 9 months ago #638787 by GaryA
Persistence = Luck

The boat job, while it offers an opportunity to expand your portfolio and experience will take you away from the world.

I suggest you take the car job.  Not only is the car job closer to your goal of product photography, it also keeps you in civilization.  I am suggesting the car job because ... while making a bit of a living in one place, you can/should also hook with with a product photographer as an intern or an assistant.  You'll gain real world product photography experience and hopefully begin to break into that market.  Meanwhile, shoot the cars with your signature in every photo,  Make them stand out artistically.  Look at the competition (car shots from other dealers) and out shoot them.  Use light creatively, use models (free ones are available), scout backgrounds from beaches to graffiti filled walls and alleys. Go the extra mile ... pour your soul into the car shots.  You'll most likely get negative feedback from the dealership because your work will be different from the past ... but stick with it, convince them that viewers will look at their cars longer than other dealerships due to the photography.

Good Luck and Good Shooting
G

There are photographs everywhere. It is the call of photographers to see and capture those images.
www: garyayala.com

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1 year 9 months ago #639968 by Tim Dordeck
I'm with Gary on this one.  Take the  car job, you'll have more control on where you end up. Boat job you are just a passenger in someone else ship (no pun intended).  


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1 year 9 months ago #640797 by nhicks
Thank you all for your great advice! I think I will go with the car dealer job then. You have been very helpful in this tough decision.


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