Sunday, January 11, 2009

Freelance Photography Frustrations

When Professional Photography is a Pain in the Aperture

The last few days were not the most progressive ones I’ve ever had, as a freelance photographer.

First of all, one of the additional jobs that came out of me offering free photography to a Limerick hotel, was postponed – as the manager is cutting back on “discretionary spending”, at the moment, due to the economic downturn. It was the sort of job that seemed like a good idea, but not essential work, so I’m still hopeful that “discretionary spending” does not include the photography of 10 rooms that were to be my reward for the free work. I’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.

Secondly, I got an email telling me that my contact at a major UK publishing house – for whom I have been working on a travel book since July 2008 – had changed yet again. This is the fourth time that I’ve been given a new liaison person, and this time I got two at once – one for my writing work and one for my photography. It is confusing enough to be told “Stephen I’m leaving tomorrow, from now on please contact Jane Smith about your work” every couple of months, but this is more frustrating than ever as I am just about to finalize my submissions – and send in my invoices! It would be good to have someone who knew about my work and where I was up to with it, at this juncture.

Thirdly, during one of my small-group photography courses, this week, I praised a student for a really excellent photograph of a food hamper – that she had taken as a publicity shot for the supermarket that her family own. It was sharp, well-lit, had good colour saturation and perfectly composed. A fellow student (a German woman) promptly announced: “Oh, I think she is a better photographer than you are Stephen. You should find another job!”

Fourthly; I spent hours finding, editing and preparing images for entry into the World Press Photo Contest. I then spent some more hours filling in the application form, and waited 2 days for my approval and password to enter the competition. I then spent half a day (Saturday, my day off) uploading 10 images to the competition website – the upload link crashed at least 6 times! Only to be told, by the extremely intelligent automated system that my photographs were not taken in 2008, and so were not eligible for entry. Actually, that was a first for me – those pictures were taken in 2009. I’ve been too late for deadlines before – but never too early!

Hopefully the planets are aligned and moving forward this week!

Now, where did I hide that book about Positive Thinking?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a bad week indeed Stephen. Have a Guinness and long sit down. I find everything [appears] a lot better after that.



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