Photographer (Female, Age 32) in West Allis, WI

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 32 who works as a Photographer in West Allis, WI. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitlePhotographer
Salary$13,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week35
Company Size(not answered)
LocationWest Allis, WI
Years Experience3.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I currently work at a retail, family photography establishment. There are multiple locations in every state, and the Corporation also has field employees as well as higher end studios. There are about 10-20 employees per studio, so thousands nationwide.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Photography of babies, children, seniors, families; In studio. Sales and enhancement of photos. Customer service, leading group, helping with evaluations, training and marketing, as well as other administrative work.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
2 weeks paid vacation

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
under, very under

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, intensely with clients, and often with coworkers, most often sales people. I love working with people! It’s fun to create something special for them and, while I love the babies and children, my favorites are the families and senior pictures. Seniors are a challenge because teenagers are hard to please. Families are great because of the fun group dynamics.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Retail environment, studio inside a host store. Nice- i get a discount storewide, and it’s easy to grab things I need before heading home. Stinks- very small space, some lowered expectations from customers. Some people come in looking for art and beautiful portraiture, but most expect a Sears/ Walmart type product

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 7
Benefits: 8
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 4
Job Title: 6
Level of Responsibility: 5
The Actual Work: 1

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
internet- applied at corporate websites for all retail photo in area

What was the application process?
electronic application, resume and portfolio

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes. Individual interview. Between my resume and portfolio i was well over-qualified for this position, and it was pretty much fast-laned to this position

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
The usual in customer service and retail. But extras specific to the photography world, working with families

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, it’s a very well tailored program. Some people will not get it, but I truly believe that is because either they don’t put in the effort, or they cannot build the confidence to jump in and do it. That’s the biggest final step, is just going and doing it. You can have all the training in the world, but if you’re afraid to go do it yourself, you’re destined to fail

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Usually there’s alot. Camera training (how much depends on your experience), lighting training (not much in retail- it’s all idiot proofed and stuck in certain spots), posing and cropping training. Then there’s the Sales station, and consultations etc. But all of it is tailored to someone with no experienced, because that is often who is being trained. (We have jokingly referred to them as housewives with cameras- but in a way that’s true. In this digital age ANYONE can use a camera, but you have to be able to do something special with it in order to succeed)

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I went specifically for photography. No, the sales/ business side of things I was NOT prepared for. In fact I’m looking at going back to school for a business degree so that I can REALLY know what i’m doing when I set up my own studio

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
N/a

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
It’s pretty easy actually. Go apply. For a better position, get some classes or a degree in photography under your belt (i have one, it was very important in my past positions (which paid a lot better and offered more room for creativity))

Be aware you need to be able to adapt quickly, think fast, and work with extremely varied and difficult situations and people while still retaining composure, calm and creativity. It’s not for everyone. Many people with experience in the photography field can’t hack it in retail because of the short time frames, and limited room

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
See previous question…..

Go to school, check out competitor’s sites, work in a fast-paced, demanding job for a bit and make sure you can handle the stress. Be able to learn quickly and remember a ton of details

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
no. I started in retail at 17. went quickly into management. I personally then went to college for photography, then worked in high-end studio for 7 years, but between my commute and long hours hit 80+ a week. when I had kids, that couldn’t continue and i went back to retail for awhile

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
It’s gonna get crazy. You can’t take it personally. Yes it’s hard because its your personal creation, but 25 percent of people are gonna hate the best pix and love the crap. Be able to run high on emotion and still control your attitude and not get flustered.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
No. It’s a fallback while I take care of my family. I can’t wait to get out of there. I’m embarrassed to tell people I work for Target Portrait. Like I couldn’t make it as a photographer and had to work in entry level. I have little to no room to move upwards, less time to create, and noone really cares about the photos as long as my Sales Average is up. Half the customers expect shitty uber-traditional work with nothing creative or contemporary and that is stifling.

What are your current career goals?
Start my own studio. Do weddings, seniors, families, but only for myself. I don’t want to answer for my dollar signs, only with how well I have done and how satisfied I am

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1photographer7yrs40000Photographed sports teams and individuals, dances and dance studios, senior pictures, on location and in studio. Lead photographer. Worked 8-9 months/year
Prior Job 2concert photographer5 yrs20000Took pictures of headliners at concerts from inside the barricade. Also any other bands performing that were big or as deemed neccessary. Editing of work as well

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:2.1

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.9Art Institute of ColoradoAAS- Photography
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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