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Salon Just hanging around...
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long time lurker

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Old 12-22-2009, 07:20 PM
demandapanda demandapanda is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 19
long time lurker

I've been reading this forum for a long time.....maybe 4-ish months? And finally decided it's time that I suck it up and create an account.

Anyway. I've been in New York for about 4 months, graduated from risd in 2008 (yay worst possible time to ever graduate) and lived in Texas for a year after graduation (moved there for love, best decision I've ever made as far as love life goes, but set back as far as the career goes) so needless to say I've been Struggling with a capital "S" with this economy, trying to compete with seasoned veterans who are now on the job market and desperate enough to take whatever they can get their hands on, including jobs that normally only people as low down on the totem pole as me would be willing to take.

I know there's tons of advice on here for finding jobs, because I've read a lot of it, but anymore you can give would be appreciated, especially since a lot of the advice was given a couple years ago and since I was working in New York a couple years ago I know that it's already a whole different market/environment these days. I am currently freelancing and have two clients, working on high end product/fashion, as well as editorial/advertising/celebrity portraiture, but even so I'm not making nearly enough to pay rent (I'm crashing at a friends and living out of a suitcase) let alone student loans/debt. I don't have a book, which would probably be a good idea, but I guess I've never thought to or just plain don't know how to approach the subject of asking clients for the right to use their images in my portfolio, and sneaking isn't an option because for one it isn't right and is unprofessional and two I work on-site so it would be pretty obvious even if I was an immoral jerk. Do you think it's essential to have a printed book or is a web based portfolio alone acceptable? I'm not opposed to having a printed book, it's just not at all financially possible at the moment, but if it is necessary I would be willing to invest down the road a bit when I'm not in dire poverty.

Any advice you can think of would be great, as well as specific agencies, studios, companies that you've had experience with before that take on junior retouchers, on a freelance and/or part time basis would be great but I'm open to full time as well. And yes, I've heard of craigslist, all I have to do is type "N" into my browser and the art/media jobs page is the first thing that comes up, creative gigs is the second, casual encounters is the just kidding, it's the fifth, no just kidding, it doesn't come up at all (God I hope most of you have a sense of humor).

I guess my problem is I have talent, tons of drive and am constantly training myself, but I managed to go through 6 years of art school without one thread of advice on how to run a business and how to get work. I can do the work, I just can't find enough work.

Last edited by demandapanda; 12-22-2009 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:39 PM
TommyO's Avatar
TommyO TommyO is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 1,211
Re: long time lurker

Sorry for the late welcome, but with our holiday season... you know. We certainly hope you enjoy RetouchPro and find it useful to your endeavors. There is a nice mix of talent here. We hope you will also join in and share your experience with others.

It sounds like you need to focus quickly on your networking. While I'm sure many here are willing to throw a bone, it can be difficult since we don't "really" get to know each other, know our work habits, skill sets, quality of work, etc. So, you may be better focusing on local artists in your area. Join the artist groups, photography clubs, etc and start meeting people. Always have your portfolio with you. Throw up a well organized web site with your best work on it.

It boils down to getting jobs in this economy is more about relationships than anything else. So, my advise after nearly 30 years in the industry is.... spend 90% of your time building good, honest, and sound relationships with similar professionals that understand the same. After that, your career will be on cruise control... a few bumps in the road from time to time, but quite smooth.

Best of luck and enjoy it.
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