Re: Now, just stop and think here.
This Thread is exactly about work,people constantly undervaluing your work
trying to get you to work for free or cheap
You think this is the only AD like this or the only city?Trust me its not I think it was about 2 years ago the BUZZWORD (INTERNSHIP) made news how companies were trying to get people to work for free
Re: Now, just stop and think here.
I think there is no law that can protect you when you are the one who applies for this job.
I mean... even though it's illegal to make people work for nothing, but there are still people applying for these jobs.
Let's say that nobody would apply for this job... they would probably post it again and again on different sites. But after a while (and depending on how desperate they need the intern) they would think "Ok, no one seems to be interested in this job, how much could we offer as a payment?"
It's as easy as that.
But as long as there are people applying the situation will not change, no matter what the law says.
And as long as there are people retouching 1 million product images for $200 other companies will try the same thing.
I think there should be some organization, like the AOP (association of photographers) for retouchers, where retouchers stay in contact and can exchange views and what's going on on the market, compare prices and rates etc.
Re: Now, just stop and think here.
I was thinking about writing a new post about the freelancers sites, something like "Freelancers sites: are they or not a good deal?" etc.
However, I found this post and I think we could go on along with the same idea and sharing my experience could be some helpful.
I spent a good amount of time during the last 4 month between several of this sites and I believe that today I have a good enough panorama about the inside work routine of a day by day freelancer's life.
I want to specify one point from the beginning: I have not been needing to perform these jobs for economical reasons (money), I have a lot of local work here where I'm living, I did it because I always have been thinking that working like this, "in the air", without a stable work relationship with some fixed clients (web sites, photo studios etc) could not assure a regular and decent income for living as a retoucher artist. Call this just curiosity. You never could be sure of something, say "good" or "bad" until taste it for yourself. This is what I was doing, taste it and have my own conclusions.
I will resume this in the most important points and please take it like my own opinion, this is just my private point of view:
1. THE SITES.
I subscribed in several freelancers sites, you should never depend of only one because of the variations of the jobs offers.
These sites are: Guru.com (USA), Freelancer.com (Australian), PeoplePerHour (UK), oDesk (I ignore the location), GetACoder (I ignore the location too).
Every site offers some free biddings for the projects which are demanded. For instant, Guru.com gives to you some 10, Freelancer.com some 40, oDesk only 3 and so on. You'll need to bid some 15-20 times all over the freelancers sites maps every day so this will not stand up for a long time, you'll have to pay some US $25ºº monthly for a premium membership in any of these sites and keep going on with the bids. Special memberships could reach some US $40ºº per month. If you pay a whole year membership this is cheaper.
2. THE SITES MANAGEMENT.
All of them are very well managed, there are professional administrators working the 24 hours a day and have a very good communication both with freelancers and employers.
3. WHAT YOU COULD FIND THERE.
Well, this is the critical milestone. Let's see some important details:
a. if you are looking for some artistic retouch demand, this kind of retouch we are doing, sharing, exposing and talking about here, just forget it and do not waist your time. These 4 months I have not seen a single one. The 99,99% of the retouch demand is the commercial one. Employers are generally some sites owners who are selling all kind of products. They provide their items pictures and ask for background removal (most of these items have to be exposed over a white background), some low or mid level retouch (sometimes they are taking themselves the photos without good lighting, twisted shots etc), levels corrections, resize and web optimization.
b. if you do not mange the vectors design you'll loose the best opportunities.
Every single day there are at least 10 - 15 logos or corporate packs demands on each one of these freelancers sites (logo + business card + letterhead + envelope). This is a gold mine for those who are "plugged in" and believe me or not, some guys are doing a lot of bucks with this stuff. I think this kind of job is great because we can see and feel that a lot of people are investing, opening new business and this is a good signal for the global economy. So, if you like and perform the vectors design you'll enjoy and make some money.
c. how the employers treatment, relationship, communication is? This is just luck. Most of them are decent and have a good communication but you'll have to deal with strange people too sometimes.
4. THE BIG QUESTION: HOW MUCH COULD I HAVE FOR MY WORK?
This is really "The Twilight Zone". I was fried with the first bid I was winning. The client offered "...we have some pictures to be retouched and we'll pay $30ºº for this job". I sent some samples and won this big deal: 135 commercial pictures to be enhanced for a web site. Maybe my 6 y/o granddaughter has more photographic skills than the guy who took these food items shots. Twisted, broken cases and labels, bad lighting... what should I say? This was the same mess, I could not believe this was my first freelancer job! Took me 1 week to perform this disaster. I always have a professional ethic so I did not rejected this tricky job, I did it and delivered it. Wasting time and money but work ethic must be above of all this bad experiences.
a. be aware about the projects, ask for the details and terms of the bid.
b. always try to highlight your abilities and explain in detail your workflow. This will convince your employer that he is treating with a professional artist.
c. never ask or bid looking for the other people biddings. Try to fix a fair rate for your working time. Respect yourself and have your artist dignity worth more than any other principle.
c. have a very opened mind if you'll deal with this jobs. You must accept that freelancers sites are global work sources. This world is a jungle. Some countries have people who are living with $30ºº a month! Yes buddy, 1 buck / per day for a whole family. This is so sad and I do understand this. Just look the TV. If some young guy of this disgraced people have some design skinless / knowledge etc. he'll offer his work for just nothing. I've been seeing this every single day and please believe me, I'm not upset about, I really feel bad, feel ashamed, feel a bad taste in my mind every time some of these guys is trying desperately to win a bid. We are not starving, but some of them yes they are.
Most of them they are not pro retouchers, just beginners, so this is not a real problem. Just a sad chapter of this story.
However, some few part of the employers will take advantage of these people necessities. You'll find projects like: "1500 pictures to be retouched. I have only $50ºº for this project" etc. etc. I've been seeing some projects with a $0,10 rate per picture and always there will be some person bidding for it.
d. my own profit during this period: US $300 - 500 monthly. Is this an attractive income for me? The answer is no, not at all. This was the price I had for my curiosity and nothing more. Remember that you should pay at least some 3 or 4 freelancers membership every month to stay alive and have some chance on these sites.
5. HOW DO I SURVIVE AND EARN MONEY IN A FREELANCER SITE?
a. first of all, before to affiliate or buy a membership try to built an external site (blog etc.) as an extended samples gallery. Most of the freelancers sites have some limitations, call them as picture's size (600x400 low res pics), number limits (basic membership allows only 5-10 samples) and so on.
External blogs samples will allow you to display big, high resolutions and unlimited number of samples. You can not display any contact information about email, website, phone numbers etc.
I've built my own:
b. you must spend a lot of daily hours as stuck to your freelancer sites. You must be aware of the instant projects' offers and bid at once. I think that maybe in some 30 minutes you could count at least some 10 bids on a project. You'll have to race with some of these guys who have breakfast, lunch and dinner waiting for a new bid.
If you work alone, if you have a stable work and have a decent income this really will be not "the other choice". You'll spend a lot of time for few money, because your working time will be divided between your traditional clients and waiting for some unknown bids in the net. You'll leave your clients waiting in file for their works and spend precious time looking for biddings all day long. If you could work as a team, some 3-4 persons, maybe this should be more attractive. You'll be not alone, you'll be able to manage some big projects (some big league employers offer good money but a great amount of work) and so on.
If you've been doing some good jobs you'll have these employers looking for you again every time when they'll need some new projects. They use to invite (assign) the new projects to the freelancers they have already known. So, the key is always the quality, but not the low price.
I think this was a very interesting experience for my ego and curiosity and also I believe that I will not buy any membership at all. I have some clients looking for me whenever they need a job and I'm satisfied with all I was doing the last 10 years of my retoucher activity.
I'll let this extra-large answer opened. If you want to ask me for something more please go on.
It's a little late and I feel so sleepy
Have a great Merry Christmas and good night.
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