Aviation photographer Justin de Reuck has an awesome job: rather than do photo shoots in the comfort of a studio, he hops into fighter jets to photograph other airplanes in flight. This behind-the-scenes video shows him at work, snapping images while zipping around above the clouds and battling G-forces. The photographs that resulted from this shoot can be seen here.
When was the last time you came across a photography-related job opening this awesome? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is looking for a “Senior Photographer” for its Paris station. It pays the equivalent of $100,000 a year tax free, and has great benefits (e.g. 30 days of vacation per year). Check out the opening here.
I actually can’t think of a worse business than photography. I honestly can’t. In fact, if I were teaching an entrepreneurship class at a business school this would make a great exercise: Have my class think of a business that builds zero equity, had zero scalability and zero barriers to entry. It would be interesting to see if my class could come up with professional wedding/portrait photography. Knowing what makes a bad business would be very helpful in designing a good business.
The bottom line is this: from a wealth-creation standpoint, photography is a lousy career. But you probably already know that.
On the flip side, if you’re toiling as a photographer, you’re likely driven by a love of photography, not a love for money. Kim has some helpful tips for how to do photography as a career while staying smart financially.
Much like newscasters, photojournalists are expected to be on the front lines, with a job description that requires them to enter some of the most dangerous, remote or volatile places on earth. Many are on call 24 hours a day. And when news breaks, the photojournalists may have to mobilize with extremely short notice and stay on assignment for extended periods of time.
They also report that the average salary of a photojournalist in the US is $43,270.
Photographer Danny Cohen does things a little differently than most. Wanting to work for photographer David LaChapelle, Cohen eschewed all the boring old methods of self-promotion and opted to plaster a 43-foot sign on a bridge in Melbourne the night before LaChapelle was scheduled to shoot there. The banner read “ATTN: DAVID LACHAPELLE I WANT TO BE YOUR ASSISTANT .COM”.
Cohen received a call from LaChapelle within an hour of the renowned photographer seeing the banner.
Bruce Dale spent 30 years as a staff photographer for National Geographic, travelling the world and having thousands of his amazing photographs published in the magazine. In this 10 minute video, he talks about his experiences and shares stories behind some of his favorite photographs. Like the 1978 photo agency documentary we shared yesterday, this one also provides an interesting and inspiring behind-the-scenes look at a particular photography job.
Lady Gaga’s most recent music video for “Telephone”, featuring Beyonce, is like most modern music videos: rife with product placement. But among the most prominent products was Gaga’s own employer, Polaroid, which gets a 10-second spot.
You may recall the buzz during CES 2010 when Polaroid announced the music artist was hired as their creative director for a specialty line.
It’s good to know that some people are getting jobs these days.
If you’re an amateur photographer looking to go pro, finding clients is often a difficult task. Snapm aims to make it easier by offering comparison shopping to people looking for high quality photography by amateur photographers.
It may have never occurred to you to hire a photographer for any reason before because it was always so expensive to hire a professional, and inconvenient to find an amateur. But Snapm opens the doors to the idea of hiring an affordable amateur photographer…
To get listed in the searches, you need to sign up for the service and create a portfolio, which looks like this:
Snapm embraces the startup mantra of “release early, release often”, so many of the features offered aren’t very polished yet. For example, while search returns a list of photographers near you, you cannot currently filter or sort by rate or reviews. However, if Snapm does begin to take off, it might become a great way to land your next gig.
Job portal careercast recently released a ranking of 200 jobs from best to worst for 2010. The Wall Street Journal republished the data in a nice, sortable chart as its Best and Worst Jobs 2010 list. Since you’re reading this, you probably want to know how jobs involving photography rank on the list. The answer: pretty low.
The job “photographer” ranks 126th on the list, right below “waiter/waitress” and right above “advertising salesperson”. “Photojournalist” is near the bottom of the list, ranked #189 below “firefighter” and above “butcher”.
In terms of the methodology used, five categories are evaluated and summed up: environment, income, outlook, stress and physical demands.
I think the methodology is flawed because of the fact that they focus primarily on tangible upsides and downsides. Many photographers I’ve spoken to chose photography as a career for reasons including a passion for photography and the opportunity to see the world. These things aren’t accounted for in the study, since they don’t have categories such as “job satisfaction”.
What do you think of these rankings? If you disagree, what should photography-related jobs actually be ranked?