Last week I had a bit of a creative pang. The commercial photography outfit I used to work with wanted to know if I was available for a day this week. I have to admit I considered it.
About 5 seconds of consideration. Then I remembered why I can’t work for them anymore.
For the previous three years I worked with them on a freelance basis. They wouldn’t hire me but it was like I had a full time job. They wanted me to work with them nearly every week, however, and I learned a lot about product photography.
They taught me more about artificial light than I had known in my previous years with the art. Creatively, I got to retouch on a professional level. I helped develop, in a small way, a method to use a base product shot and redo the colors, thereby saving money in the photo process. And I was involved in getting more products shot in a shorter time. It was awesome and I got to make meaningful contributions. I hoped they’d see my dedication and keep it going.
Then it all dried up.
Without explanation. Nothing. Total radio silence.
I didn’t get the impression that they were dissatisfied with my work. In fact, in my image reviews, I kept getting good marks. The work itself just went away. I discussed the issue with my fellow freelance photographers and they said they had the same problem. So as my savings dried up and it was obvious that they didn’t want to use me as a quasi-full time photographer anymore. I had to look for something else to support my family. It took a while but I found something I can build on.
But the e-mail came and I thought about it. Should I risk the full time job for the creative one where they might not call me again for months? My executive decision was to turn them down. I’ll stick with my new creative plan and be able to pay my rent.
I hold no animosity and hopefully neither do they. But my family has to eat.