I Want a Job!
I know I’m an old fart, but I’m truly amazed how many sterile, unprofessional emails I receive from photographers wanting a job. There are a number of things about these emails that concern me greatly, but these are the top three. First, they come with NO photographs, none, just some words (and most of them from some web form letter). Next, they all want to be my assistant, going out and taking my wildlife photos for me, freeing me up for other things. Lastly, they seem to all state they would be a great addition to our staff. mumble, mumble, mumble!
What do these emails tell me about the person sending them? First, they don’t really know what they are seeking. Second, have very little clue about the industry and lastly, they’ve done no homework! There is NO DOUBT that this industry, how the business operates, is kept a mystery. Some of that is self-defense, some of that is most don’t read and think and lastly, it’s part of the “test” to see if a photographer is worthy. If you think just making a photograph is a challenge, knowing which f/stop to select, you should add to that making a living from that craft! Being an assistant is in large part how you break into the industry as a long-term contributor to it. Sure, there are some who didn’t work their way up from the bottom who have made it, but they are very few and even fewer doing it 20 or 30 years later. In my particular case, we don’t have a “staff,” but do have a family, our sons Brent & Jake (pictured here) who are very much part of our business but are not my assistants. While there are exceptions but most wildlife photographers like myself are loaners in the field. But the biggest problem is, photography is all about photographs! These other things are often overlooked when a potential employer is blown away by PHOTOGRAPHS! As I have always said, anybody can make it in the business! But to make that happen, one must, must educate themselves about this business and just sending out an email doesn’t show that knowledge, if all it says is, “I want a job.”