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Thread: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

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    guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Hi everyone (I'm sure this is the wrong place to put this, but you guys at least know who I am, and some of you I feel like I actually know!)

    some of you know me from my posts in the 'fun with the M' thread...and you've probably noticed that I enjoy photographing pretty girls. Well, see, I'd really love to become a fashion / editorial photographer. A good one. Well, actually, a great one.

    Somehow, I've been offered an internship/apprenticeship directly from Jim Jordan (jimjordanphotography). I spoke with him today for a while and got a pretty good idea of what I'd be doing. It would be a couple days a week, 8-10 hour days...retouching, setting up lights and equipment, a little shooting, archiving, meeting with clients, storyboarding shoots...everything.

    I'm still sorta young (sorta) and I used to live in San Diego (internship is in Calabasas, north of LA). I have some friends I can crash with for a bit and I guess I can figure the rest out. Question is - should I go for it?
    Last edited by MichaelM6; 28th August 2012 at 11:20.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    From a admin point of view I really do not want to see comments on Jim Jordan posted on this forum good , bad or ugly. That gets into personal things about a fellow photographer and peoples reputation are on the line just as it would be with me. So folks direct your answers more towards is this a good approach for a young photographer to take.

    Now from me personally as i worked as a assistant for about 4 years. Jump all over it as being a assistant is a great learning venue by learning by doing. I learned a lot when I did it and I learned things I was not sure of until I got to the point I was teaching him lighting than it was time for me to leave the nest. But its a great starting place and also if not to get into Jim himself but if you like his work and what type of shooting he does than if that is the direction you want to take than even better. Fare warning your going to work your *** off and thats a great thing. I wish you a ton of luck and have fun.

    And yes this should be in the Sunset Bar section. I'll move it in a couple days
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    I see what you mean. I don't want this to be a Jim Jordan discussion. This is just about 'what the hell should I do?'. I love his style and so for me, from that perspective, it would be huge. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Guy, thank you. That's great advice. I am so passionate about photography - I would love to work my a** off, trust me.

    thanks,

    Michael

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    I would say that if Jim Jordan does the kind of photography you want to do, and is a person with whom you can relate regards his ability to teach you, then working for him as an intern or assistant would be a great thing for you.

    Most any photographer at all who is worth the title has taken advantage of opportunities like that. Even if the specific assistantship/internship was horrific and stressful, they've learned a lot. (I learned a tremendous lot from studying with a couple of pretty awful professors, as well as with a lot of amazing professors, in my educational career.)

    I'd do it.

    Note: I know nothing about Jim Jordan, his photography, etc. Totally unbiased. ;-)

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Sounds like a good match than. Honestly if you want to learn from someone you should go after people that do the work you want to do and learn all you can. Not that learning from someone whos work you don't want to do is bad thing you'll just be more interested in learning a style you like better. I have done everything school, assistant, worked 16 years as a corporate photographer and freelancer. But you'll most likely learn more as a assistant.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Sounds like a good opportunity, especially if you think that it's not too big of a trade-off to unroot yourself. I, for one, will welcome you to LA, but Calabasas is not a very friendly town if you're a smoker, just so you know
    David Young
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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    It sounds like an opportunity to explore a career that you wish to pursue, in a setting that's not too far away. I would ask in converse what you are giving up (social obligations, time with your girlfriend, present employment) in order to do this, and whether the balance of such a career move requires sacrifice that's not compatible with the rest of your life. It's one thing to pursue a dream. It's yet another to ditch everything that's come before to pursue it...it's a tricky balance, but if the piece fall into the right spots, go for it!
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosermage View Post
    Sounds like a good opportunity, especially if you think that it's not too big of a trade-off to unroot yourself. I, for one, will welcome you to LA, but Calabasas is not a very friendly town if you're a smoker, just so you know
    haha don't worry, I'm certainly not! I've been to Calabasas a few times...kind of sleepy!

    Its good to know you're out there!

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    It sounds like an opportunity to explore a career that you wish to pursue, in a setting that's not too far away. I would ask in converse what you are giving up (social obligations, time with your girlfriend, present employment) in order to do this, and whether the balance of such a career move requires sacrifice that's not compatible with the rest of your life. It's one thing to pursue a dream. It's yet another to ditch everything that's come before to pursue it...it's a tricky balance, but if the piece fall into the right spots, go for it!
    Excellent points Ashwin. Ultimately I'm in bit of a transition, and I would really welcome a change. My career isn't moving forward the way I'd like it to and photography is such a passion. Its a dream to pursue it as a career. Still, it is quite a move and a risk, that's for sure. Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, my girlfriend and I broke up this weekend (before this opportunity presented itself - perhaps some sort of cosmic sign?).

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Sounds like perfect timing.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Put it this way, why wouldn't you want to do it? Other plans?

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Put it this way, why wouldn't you want to do it? Other plans?
    Good question. Another friend of mine put it to me that way too. I think I'm going to do it!

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    in my opinion, internship/appreticeships should be paid positions, though not all are. surely you will be there learning, but you will also be working your *** off. your boss will benefit and should be paying for that, and your pay rate should reflect your experience and ability. You should also be protected by worker's comp and un-employment insurances, both of which require you get a paycheck. if your boss has a legit business, he will also have a general liability policy, which will cover your actions if you are his employee, so if you drop that crystal vase and are being paid, his insurance will cover, but not if you are not an employee.
    I am making an important distinction between "employee", which I am recommending, and "freelancer" the latter being an IRS dodge for the most part with a very specific set of conditions required
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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    in my opinion, internship/appreticeships should be paid positions, though not all are. surely you will be there learning, but you will also be working your *** off. your boss will benefit and should be paying for that, and your pay rate should reflect your experience and ability. You should also be protected by worker's comp and un-employment insurances, both of which require you get a paycheck. if your boss has a legit business, he will also have a general liability policy, which will cover your actions if you are his employee, so if you drop that crystal vase and are being paid, his insurance will cover, but not if you are not an employee.
    I am making an important distinction between "employee", which I am recommending, and "freelancer" the latter being an IRS dodge for the most part with a very specific set of conditions required
    good advice - the other side of the equation. Risk / reward.

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    You get to move to San Diego

    and if you are newly single a chance to meet single photogenic models !

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    I don't think I can add much to the above. They've pretty much covered it. Good luck with the decision.

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    update....

    Good friends, opportunities, and timing. Life is crazy. My girlfriend and I break up last weekend. I get a job offer Tuesday. Wednesday I call a friend who is actually looking for a roommate, since his girlfriend literally just moved out. And he needs help running his volleyball club (we met in volleyball 15 years ago as kids). In 4 days I go from looking at another winter on the east coast and now I'll be in sunny Southern California working for a world class photographer. Life. Is. Crazy.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm going for it.
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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    A collective awesome from the GetDPI crew. Now don't forget us liitle folks. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Congrats, Michael. Now we can say, "We knew him when..."

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Congrats indeed, you owe me the obligatory San Diego sunset over the pacific now........

    Cant believe I lived there 10 years and didnt take any shots

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    in my opinion, internship/appreticeships should be paid positions, though not all are. surely you will be there learning, but you will also be working your *** off. your boss will benefit and should be paying for that, and your pay rate should reflect your experience and ability. You should also be protected by worker's comp and un-employment insurances, both of which require you get a paycheck. if your boss has a legit business, he will also have a general liability policy, which will cover your actions if you are his employee, so if you drop that crystal vase and are being paid, his insurance will cover, but not if you are not an employee.
    I am making an important distinction between "employee", which I am recommending, and "freelancer" the latter being an IRS dodge for the most part with a very specific set of conditions required
    Interesting thoughts regarding compensation and liability. I came up as an assistant, went to school at Art Center Collge of Design and during my fifth term was presented with an unpaid job to assist Pete Turner by the chairman of the department. I jumped at the chance to learn from him and did not ever consider the aspect of pay or insurance benefits. But that was in the old days I guess and I was young and had the desire to learn from a person who I admired and respected. In the end I worked my *** off, sunrise shoots followed by sunset shots but I would never trade that for anything. Also the unpaid position came with a nice check that paid my tuition for the next semester.
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    it is different when you are in school, where internships should be part of the curriculum. It pains me to see those faculty "pros" cheaping out by not paying for their assistants and it wrecks the job market for post-grad potential assistants
    Last edited by jlm; 1st September 2012 at 09:13.

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    Re: guys, I could use some friendly advice...

    I had the good fortune to be hired as an assistant, I stayed for a total of four years. Believe me it wasn't the money. I worked amazingly long hours, but I have to say this, I could never, ever learned in school what I learned with a general commercial photographer. I thought so much of the experience that I went to work for three other photographers over the next three years, a horse photographer, a high end portrait photographer and then a middle higher volume portrait photographer. In each one I learned deep valuable lessons in lighting, handleing the client, listening to the client and every obscure technical aspect to photography including understanding physiognomy, facial architecture etc. When I went out on my own, it was easy to get and retain clientele, I mostly did product illustration, and architectural photography but with my background I was able to satisfy my clienteles diverse needs as they came up, so I did PR, executive portraiture etc, I would reccomend this experience to anyone who is serious about photography as a profession. Joe

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