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Comparing work environments in New York City

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  • Comparing work environments in New York City

    I'm curious about the different work environments in New York City as a retoucher. Right now I'm working in a studio that works crazy hours while on salary. It feels like once you're in, you're their property and have to drop your life in order to stay onboard. I'm really burnt out. A previous studio I worked with had retouchers at each others throats constantly fighting. What is up New York? Are their any studios in New York with a decent culture and reasonable work-life balance? What are your experiences?

  • #2
    Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

    "Right now I'm working in a studio that works crazy hours while on salary. It feels like once you're in, you're their property and have to drop your life in order to stay onboard."

    Box?

    "A previous studio I worked with had retouchers at each others throats constantly fighting."

    wtf? About what? lunch breaks? music played?

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    • #3
      Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

      The studio that I work at is pretty laid back by comparison. In three + years I've had to work only a handful of weekends. I have to wonder if this is normal. This heavily contrasts with my past experiences in Detroit and Atlanta, where 10-12 hour shifts were more common than not, sometimes doing 24 hour runs when shit got real busy.
      Don't get me wrong; I like not working myself to the bone, but from reading your post, Little Fisher, I wonder if there's a shop that skirts the middle of our experiences. Grass is always greener I guess?
      Benny, are you out on your own now?

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      • #4
        Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

        No, not yet. I've got an easy gig up in Stamford that not only is 8-4 with zero OT, but, they give me free breakfast and lunch. Nobody shouts. My girlfriend tells me constantly I shouldn't complain, but, of course, I do.

        Back to the "constantly fighting" thing, how is that possible? What is everyone fighting over?
        Sounds like awful management.
        Last edited by Benny Profane; 04-11-2013, 06:55 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

          Maybe Little Fisher is at Impact? I've heard bad things about that place!

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          • #6
            Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

            Betcha somebody is standing over him right now, holding a whip, and muttering in a French accent, "faster, faster, you lazee american pig, you."

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            • #7
              Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

              Ha! You guys are hitting the nail on the head... but I'm not allowed to mention "the one with all the hype" I'm at right now. The studio with the fighting coworkers did have a crappy manager. She pit 2 groups of people against each other creating drama. I did work at a dotcom that was extremely laid back... made my own hours, and got paid a lot. But it was boring.

              Now I have too much drama and and work twice as hard for less money. All because I wanted to work on some interesting projects again. I'm rethinking my steps and wondering where in the industry I can find a happy medium. Maybe I will have to settle.

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              • #8
                Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                Yeah that's kind of the rub isn't it? Comfortable can be boring. Maybe that's not the right way to put it though. I think when things are a bit too comfortable, I worry that my skills are stagnating.

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                • #9
                  Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                  Aye, that's the rub. Challenge vs. stagnation. I took this job when the world's economy was falling apart, thinking it wasn't too wise to be a freelancer during a depression. So far, overall, can't complain about that decision. Especially at my age.

                  My advice is, if you're going to work crazy hours, never go on salary. It's not as though your boss isn't charging by the hour, you know?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                    I hear ya, Benny. I'm salaried now, but when I was doing crazy hours a few years ago, I was hourly with time and a half overtime. I made a ton, but living in Manhattan has pretty much evaporated that cushion.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                      "My advice is, if you're going to work crazy hours, never go on salary."

                      This.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                        It probably works out the same monetarily... crazy hours on freelance paid hourly but sporadic work vs crazy hours on salary, but at work all time. Hmm. I just hate when companies take advantage of their salaried employees.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                          Hey guys - sorry to bust in on your thread - I am thinking of re-locating and wondered if you know or are willing to tell me what a Top Rate per hour is in NY? Thanks for your time in advance and if you work too hard life aint worth it. you can most probably earn the same working for yourself... ? I do... Cheers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                            Exactly what kind of retouching are you guys doing? White background product shots? I think it's really important to identify what you are *actually doing* when discussing work and rates. You can't just generically say retouching, it's not helpful. Some of us do complex ad work, others are online catalog shot retouchers - very different worlds.

                            With that said....

                            I know of a few online product wholesalers out west who have in house product photography departments - all of them are hourly and I'm surprised too find that a few of them offer full benefits (medical / dental) and 401K. That really surprised me. It's all white background boredom though. 8-5, 40 hour weeks. I've seen first hand the real estate photography workshops - I felt bad for those souls. I think they were salary but they clearly are worked like slaves since some companies guarantee 24 hour turn around times. I don't believe they had any benefits or 401k options.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Comparing work environments in New York City

                              I'm doing primarily fashion and beauty for both editorial and advertising clients. No white backgrounds!

                              Comment

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