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  1. #71
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbb
    Are you speaking from experience? I though the Iron curtain went down 15 years ago, nowadays employers can't get away with such crap?
    I think you will find that the people who are employed in "The City" work considerably longer hours than the average factory bloke. With a blackberry your never far from the office no matter where on the planet you are at!

    My wife manages staff in NY, London, HK and Tokyo. They conduct regular global conference calls which means at the same time some folks are home either before or after "workday" and others are "in the office".

    We who work for paychecks are not all time clock stampers.

  2. #72
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbb
    Are you speaking from experience? I though the Iron curtain went down 15 years ago, nowadays employers can't get away with such crap?
    Insert rueful laughter here

    But I think we're drifting a little.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  3. #73
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    They do in the US. Most Americans only get 2 weeks vacation (holiday) per year (I get one), not the 5 or 6 weeks Europeans get. 40 hours may be the law, but a lot of the people I work with do at least 10 hours a week, unpaid.

    Boy back when I was working for an employer, I worked quite a bit more hours than I got paid for! Now that we run our own business's, I can at least say I am always getting paid, even it is only about 5 cents and hour!

    LOL

    Dave

  4. #74
    DKT
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    my wife is a freelancer actually--and has been in business for a little more than ten years now, and is a very good business person. I'm just not that good--I'm the type of person who makes a good employee. I was never good at dealing with the business end, which is probably why my freelance career has been so spotty.

    I realize now--that this was what made me a good newspaper type photographer, and then later on how I wound up being this museum staffer--when I never set out to do that formally. I just gravitated to working for someone else....I guess it's the security in the end.

    But my wife always says that if the phone isn't ringing, you're not working...she has no days off. no sick leave. It's hard as hell to get out of town and take some time off, because work is always there. But it's good to be busy...

    Me--otoh--I'm always busy, but it's on a schedule. There's a lifetime of work--and then there are these exhibits and patron work that keep us going as well. But my time is accounted for. I accrue annual leave, sick leave, comp time etc. If I have to work OT, I get time and a half (comp). If I work a holiday, I get paid extra and get another day off.

    I didn't get a raise for a couple of years, because the gov't was out of money more or less. what I got instead was vacation time, that I could carry indefinitely. I now have a couple of months of vacation leave, and I have months of sick leave. All that I can cash in towards retirement someday.

    I'm also vested. I get a percentage of my salary every year as a bonus. So, I have become a company photographer. The trade offs are what probably a lot of people here would see as maybe being something that would be like "working for the Man". But, everything is supplied. When I travel--I get vehicles, I get a little card & a key with access to gas pumps all over the place. I get food & lodging. I don't have to worry about insurance--no liabilility inusrance or equipment, or worker's comp issues etc. I have pretty good health benefits, and I'll have a pension as well. These are all the sorts of business things that will eat you alive in the freelance world, or the small business world.

    like I said--I consider myself to be lucky, and I do like my job as well. I know that some people would feel boxed in this way though, but I'm also of a mindset where I personally feel like downsizing my life. I don't need fancy cars, a big house or anything. All that is a trap, imho. I made this tradeoff a long time ago, and I just figure if I can make out my time, retire--then I can do what I want to do. I'll be about in my early 50s when I can retire. That's when I'll plan my second career as a museum curator and move into the higher pay grades (snark). I'll be like the old timers at the newspaper lab and the archives lab--the guys who put in 30+ yrs of service and regaled me with stories of shooting football games on one sheet of film with the speed graphics. Or who traveled across the state to shoot an inauguration with one holder for 8x10 film. They were all company guys as well--and they put in 30-35 years of service and saw a whole change of the industry as well. I don't have a problem with that--I admire them for it.

    my opinions only, as always

  5. #75

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    Oh Lucky Man

    You asked for it.

    Late 1950's:
    Wander into the William Jeannes library in Plymouth Meeting Pa. and discover
    paperback books illustrated by Richard Powers. The librarian tells me all about him and his art. My brain completely shifts to the right side. I can no longer able to add 2+2. If it is not visual I'm not interested. As a pre teen and a teen this caused a lot of problems that I and all my alleged mentors never recognized.

    1969:
    See an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art by AA and Jerry Uellsman.
    I am transfixed by Moonrise. My feet are stuck to the ground. Why don't my photos look like this?

    August 1971:
    Saturday night in a bar in Bryn Mawr Pa. I start talking to the guy next to me and eventually get around to telling him that I will be going to Brooks Institute in February of '72. He looks startled and tells me, as he is getting progressively more and more sloshed, that he graduated from Brooks and was something of a big wheel there. Of course I don't believe him and as a challenge I tell him to call Brooks and tell them I want to start school before February. HA HA.

    August 1971, monday two days later
    I'm at work at Vernon Graphics in Norristown Pa. I'm the b&w printer. My job was to print 10x10 aerial negs. I printed the entire state of Colorade photographed from 32,000 ft. My wife calls and says that Brooks called and wants me to start school on friday. That guy in the bar was for real. To go or not to go? We went . I was in school the following monday. I recently bought one of those inspirational postcards. The message was,"isn't it funny that ,WHAT THE HELL, is usually your best choice"? Story of my life.

    1971-1974
    Santa Barbara, California, Brooks Institute.
    This town was, simply the garden of Eden. There is no more beautiful place on earth. I know. I've looked. Brooks, on the other hand , was a trial. It was a great school, I suppose, with a great reputation but completely wrong for me. I was already 24 year old and I had to graduate from somewhere. I made it through and graduated in '74. My by now very pregnant wife by my side. Our departure from Santa Barbara was memorable. Up the coast for about 200 miles when the engine in my VW van siezed and blew up. A week in Los Banos California seemed like a month.

    1974-1979
    Couldn't find a job in Philly and was becoming desperate. I asked my father to get me into the apprentice program in his union. The loyal brotherhood of Boilermakers and Pipefitters. I would have apprenticed as a welder. His decision was crucial to my and our life. He turned me down. Just daid, "No".
    Working on high steel is a noble job but I'm eternally grateful that in his wisdom he did say no. So I found work in a brick plant. A refractory, and made bricks by day and at night I worked in a lab making color prints and Cibachromes. I got laid off there and kicked around Philly for the next four years doing weddings, working in camera stores etc. I was always making photographs for myself no matter what my paying job was.

    1979-1991
    I've always wante to teach so I sent out 300 resumes to schools around the country. Was I ever naive. I sent resumes to Yale, RISD etc. One of these resumes found its way tho the Photojournalism department at Indiana Univ. John Althauser read it and promptly threw it in the wastebasket. Then he reconsidered and asked his wife if they taught photography at the campus of Ivy Tech State College in Columbus In. She said they did and would give them the resume. I know all this because she eventually became my boss. There was an opening there and inexplicably, I got the job. I spent 12 years there teaching every facet of photography you could imagine. I even taught dye transfer printing. The value of this time was that I was able to teach myself more photography then I could ever learn in a school. I was eventually accepted int the MFA program at IU and spent four years teaching and going to graduate school. My main opus at IU became a documentary study of my heritage in the coal nining region of Eastern Pa. It's a remarkable landscape that I ended up spending about 10 years in. I just roamed the mountains and made photographs.

    1991-present
    The politics in the Junior College system just blew up and I wanted out. I felt trapped but had resigned myself to staying there. My wife, not me, found a posting for a teaching position in Texas and insisted that I apply. I was very reluctant. Our son was in high school, my wife's career was on the rise, yet she insisted. My wife is a Zen master who can see the future. I've seen many examples of this in our life together. I applied, got the position and have been in Texas ever since teaching Fine Art photography.
    Life is funny. Nothing is causeless. You are never really in charge.
    Thanks for listening.
    Jack B aka Severian-Autarch of Urth

  6. #76
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by severian
    You asked for it.
    Yeah, I did. Interesting story, as are all of these posts. Coincidentally, I grew up in Havertown so all those place names...Bryn Mawr, Norristown, Plymouth Meeting etc. were part of my neighborhood way back when. I left the area in the late 60's though, and only return occasionally to visit..a lot when my parents were living, and very little since. Even though I've lived two thirds of my life in New York, both in 'the city' and in counties to the north and west, I still think of the whole western suburb of Philly as home.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  7. #77

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    Although I have done some weddings, I do not consider myself a pro. Been shooting 35-8x10, and darkroom just for myself since 71'. I also figured out, I could afford a lot more paper and film working as a diesel mechanic. The difference between an amateur and a pro? An amateur does it till he gets it right, a pro does it till he can't get it wrong.

  8. #78
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Resurrecting a very old thread I stumbled across...

    Written by vet173 above
    "An amateur does it till he gets it right, a pro does it till he can't get it wrong."

    Vet, if you're still on apug, as a pro I can assure you mistakes are part of being pro as well. I'm thankful for this as I would otherwise stop learning and there would be nothing left to strive for. The journey would be over. Actually, I don't consider myself a pro, I'm just very grateful that I get paid to do what I love, photography.

  9. #79
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    My stories are pretty simple, because I don't consider myself a professional photographer...although *technically* I am, since that's what I do at my job.

    My story: I don't think I can ever be a professional unless someone else is the person running the business. I hate all that other stuff. The people skills, the business skills, etc. As long as I am working for someone else, I am a relatively happy camper. I love assisting, being a second shooter, and I love being on staff where I am now. When working for myself, I find the wealth of other crap that goes with being a professional to be near unmanageable. I truly admire those who can do it all! I plan on working photographically for other photographers or on staff at businesses rather than going independent, and doing whatever the hell I want to do for my own enjoyment when not working. I don't plan on making a dime doing the work I truly love!

    So there!

    My recent revelation is that I need to become a staff photographer for the Catholic Church. Travel the world, stay in good digs, eat good food, shoot interesting stuff, meet very interesting people, and hopefully be able to move to Italy! I wonder if they will hire an atheist with a strong understanding of Christian history as opposed to a proper Catholic.....

    Oh yeah...and I am working on a photography degree so I can become a teacher. I am about halfway there...transferring to Art Center next year...
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 09-29-2008 at 03:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #80
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    My story: I don't think I can ever be a professional unless someone else is the person running the business. I hate all that other stuff.

    My recent revelation is that I need to become a staff photographer for the Catholic Church. Travel the world, stay in good digs, eat good food, shoot interesting stuff, meet very interesting people, and hopefully be able to move to Italy! I wonder if they will hire an atheist with a strong understanding of Christian history as opposed to a proper Catholic.....
    I learned this principle about myself the hard way. I like your goal too, I want to do the Jewish side.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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