Interesting Staff Photographer Position

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I was sent this interesting Job opening with Titan Media and Technology Corp. They’re looking for 10-15 staff photographers to pay $45k a year plus benefits to travel for 10 to 15 days at a time, 15 times or more a year, away from NYC taking pictures.

Didn’t see anything about owning a flak jacket, so that’s a good sign.

I thought some of you might find this interesting.

Download the PDF Job Description here.

There Are 45 Comments On This Article.

  1. Jesus…how much scrip do I get to buy stuff at the company store?

    So, I need to have a lot of experience as a travel photographer, I need to be willing to be on the road for half the year, and I need to want to be in NYC for the other half of the year on a $45K salary?

    It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!

  2. Hello Susannah,

    I just saw your job posting.

    I have to say that it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen posted this week..
    Great job on creating this very funny job listing.

    I’ve highlighted some of my favorite punch lines:
    photographers chosen will have their work seen by 10s of millions of people and will help reshape an industry.
    _ WoW this is great, start off with an elusive industry.

    If you are not up for travelling for 10 to 15 days at a time, 15 times or more a year, away from NYC, don’t apply.
    _ Nothing like scaring off the wusses first thing, or those that think they should be allowed to have a life.

    Working well with others — and independently — to achieve team goals.
    _ This is just hilarious, since everyone knows that Photographers do not play well with others, that’s why they do photography and work alone.

    Superior communication skills.
    _ See above

    You are low maintenance and unflappable; you are not a prima donna.
    _ See above above

    Ability to achieve 90% of the photo results with 20% of the budget.
    _ ROTFLMAO, really, just too funny, no comment needed.

    An extremely strong work ethic.
    _ Umm, …

    Charming – your friends consider you to be someone who can talk their way into or out of anything.
    _ Are we talking hostage situation here?

    Grace under pressure.
    _ ROTFLMAO, never seen a photographer that had this quality in 30 years.

    Titan is a great environment with fun, elite, talented people excited to work on an incredibly compelling product in an enormous industry. We are working to change an industry.
    _”Oh boy I’m so excited, maybe they’ll tell me what product and what industry in this paragraph.”

    Subject to our interest after your test and our examination of your broader portfolio of work and speaking with your references, you will be asked to complete a PAID 10-day trial.
    _ I So even after showing their work, providing exceptional references, and hopefully having years of experience and professional knowledge your going to treat these people like school children and give them a test?

    Please stay in touch as I am so interested in seeing what kind of idiot would even consider responding to this type of job posting.
    There are freelance photo assistants in NYC that make twice this money and don’t have to “TEST” just to get a job.
    $250.00 a day, that’s really the most insulting wage for a photographer I have ever seen. Even Conde’ Nast pays better.

    You know, having a real working web site wouldn’t be a bad idea either considering you’ve got so much startup capital.


  3. Amazing. $45k with benefits is a perfectly decent entry level salary in NYC. Nobody said you had to live in the city.

    Can’t wait to see that salary survey from PDN.

  4. Yeah, but that job description didn’t want an entry level person.

    One thing I’ve learned: If the job description is way out of line with the pay, it’s going to be an absolutely miserable working environment. It could just be an overeager HR person, but I wouldn’t be on it…

  5. These people emailed me a while ago and asked if I was interested. Apparently I had worked with one of the people who works there now and she recommended me. I can’t recall who she was though…
    That said, it just seemed way to sketchy. No site, no idea of what they actually want. I sent them links to my website, and they were like, send samples! I was like, uh, that is what I did.
    I wouldn’t actually do the job, I make double what they are offering for full time, and I only shoot a few times a month, so I mean, it obviously makes no sense for me. I could see if you were right out of school this could be interesting, as long as they don’t own you forever. love me.

  6. Rob,

    I have to say, I’m a little surprised you’d post this on your blog. Not to be negative, I assume your intent was to to put something out there that would benefit the photo community or one or two new and struggling shooters but, Sean Jon basically nailed it.

    As we say here in the West, “this ain’t my first rodeo”. I have a degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and spent ten years as a senior manager and executive officer of a large, international construction firm before I decided I wanted to make less money and have more fun as a freelance photographer so, I have some experience in business, start ups, recruiting etc. Basically, this reads like a scam ad for a commission sales job selling family portraits door to door or some kind of “shoot 400,000 grand a year worth of travel stock, get paid peanuts” newbie rip off.

    Now I’m willing to concede this could be a poorly written ad by an overeager junior HR type but, frankly, it smells bad and since you have such a large following, I hope you wouldn’t post something like this to your blog without at least doing a little due diligence in advance to make sure you’re not steering some naive and unsuspecting photog down the wrong path.

    I’m curious to see how this one plays out but, for those of you that apply, please do yourself a favor and ask lots of questions, ask for references and check them and run any paper past a lawyer first before signing it.

  7. amen –
    45 k ? i have an idea, maybe i will just apply to be a NYC cop, at least then i can get my gear paid for.

  8. Dan,

    A Photo Editor at a top magazine who knows the people at this company sent it to me. I regret posting since I now realize 45k is well below most photographers income level (kidding, we’ve worked with enough people to know that’s not true). We thought it was a decent deal and might help someone out.

  9. It could be a porn site looking for photographers.
    It would be helpful if they told people what the company does. Nonetheless, I’m sending the link to all those people I know that might be interested… thanks for posting it Rob

  10. i’m taking a wild guess here, but i wonder if this is a company that shoots school portraits? when my son had his senior portrait shot, it was with a company from pennsylvania. they generally travel from school to school and they need troops of photographers.
    at any rate, why all the mystery? here are my guesses in addition to the school portrait possibility:
    a.) get in on the thrilling world of divorce settlement photography. lurk outside a Redroof Inn near the airport for three days at a time hoping to catch a cheating spouse half naked on a vibrating formica hotel bed!
    b.) corporate espionage! haven’t you ever wanted to hide a camera in your overalls while you walk around a manufacturing design department pretending you’re “just here to water the dieffenbachia! Don’t mind me!”
    c.) photograph failed disaster relief efforts for FEMA! you’re resourceful–you’ll find a way to get photographs of drowning housepets, chemical spills, overturned trailer parks, mudslides, and more–without getting a single speck of dust on the sensor of your new eos 5-d! water? toilet paper? bring your own.
    d.) celebs in rehab – those photos are hard to get, UNLESS you’re determined, a self-starter, and willing to sit in a car outside silver hills or betty ford, sipping tepid instant coffee from a styrofoam cup and hoping ron palilla from “welcome Back Kotter” will stumble out with his counselor and make it all worthwhile.

  11. Rather than make ridiculous speculation, apply for it and wait for them to call you if you guys are that curious about what it is. Rob is trying to help us out so there’s no need to bite the hand that feeds. Just my two cents.

  12. I have to say I’m surprised at some of the responses to this thread.

    Maybe the line about prima donnas was prescience on the part of whoever wrote the job posting, because, my God! If you don’t want to apply for the job, don’t – but let’s all get up in arms about someone trying to push a possible employment opportunity to his many readers.. yeah, we need less of that for sure.

    @ Sean Jon: While I’m sure that at some point in a successful photographer’s career arc, it would be silly to even think about applying for this job, I’m also sure there are many talented photographers in New York City who would love the chance to make $45K a year while taking photographs. When you’re done ROTFLMAO-ing, think about the fact that some of them might even be hungry enough for success to live in the city, living on crappy wages doing crappy jobs while taking fantastic photos in their spare time.

    @ Dan Bannister: Over-eager and poorly written, but I didn’t think it read as sketchy – it just read as vaguely and over-enthusiastically as many job postings working for tech startups read. In any case, here’s an opportunity for a photographer to make a choice – “Hey, I’d like to apply for that job” – or “that doesn’t sound like it’s for me.”

    I guess almost everyone that reads this blog is making a few hundred grand a year shooting stuff in their apartment twice a month…

  13. @ 14 Chris: Thanks. I thought I was crazy. Seriously, I see plenty of talented photographers with zero experience. You can go shoot projects on your own dime or maybe this might be a good opportunity.

  14. Bain Capital.
    E & E Seidman.
    Project Titan.

    It’s all very hush hush.

    My gosh, even in the back woods of Oregon…

  15. If you Google “titan media and technology” (quotes are needed), you get a different picture… – “Provider of online travel services”
    – “Operates an Internet site that helps consumer find, evaluate and procure luxury goods.” – a staff writer with decent credentials

  16. I have to agree with the minority here. Not all photographers are making a killin, infact from what I hear the struggles often outway the rewards. Benefits are huge, and someone single or with a young family who currently has to pay into a plan might appreciate being covered for once. Clean teeth are a good thing from what I know. The application also mentions stock options – if the pitch is true and the entrepreneur behind this has a nother success on their hands then the payout will be great.

    My guess is that it is a pappo site. Millions of viewers, stealth mode….curious.

  17. Well, it seems we caused something of a stir. No, its not porn and its not paparazzi work either. We are in “stealth mode” hence no website. Basically, we have not yet publicly launched so we are not talking about what we are doing in an open forum. But there is nothing illicit, dirty, or off about it.

    While the pay will clearly be below what some consider to be an appropriate amount for where they are in their career (all you have to do is not apply – that takes no effort at all and certainly even less effort than writing a scathing post here), there are people with undegrad degrees from the best schools in this country and 2 to 5 years experience since graduation who make meaningfully less working full time for Conde Naste. Should you apply if you already make 200K a year? Of course not. Isn’t that intrinsically obvious in any job posting whether for a photographer or any other position?

    We are proposing a job where you work 175 to 200 days a year – traveling and taking photos. We pay for your gear, your travel, and your health care and pay you what many consider to be a reasonable rate of pay. And by the way, the inbox has overflowed with people who are not based in the US (Argentina, Brazil, Eastern Europe, India, Africa…) who do great work who are willing to work for far less though as we make clear in the ad, we strongly prefer people who are local to the NY area.

    Is it for everyone? Clearly not. But is it the right job for some, absolutely! Just because its not the right job for where you are in your career does not merit all the invective. And I take a lot of pride that no part of my success as an entrepreneur has been derived from creating terrible working conditions. I believe that all people benefit from great working conditions and do better work when they have them; I won’t claim any altruism here. If the people who work for and with us are happy, they do better work which in turn makes them happier and the Company more successful. And the wonder of stock options means that everyone benefits financially in addition to the pride of ownership over having helped create a great product.


  18. Well, the company is listed as “Sporting goods industry” on Elie Seidman’s LinkedIn page:

    (here’s his other background)
    * Founder, CEO at Project Titan
    * Director & Investor at In Good Company Workplaces
    * Board Of Directors; Observer at Progress Financial
    * Venture Partner at Lime Rock Partners
    * Founder, President & CEO at Epana
    * Product Marketing at Trilogy

    Looks legit to me…

  19. Photo-Editor/all:

    Long time reader/lurker (got enough stuff to write on another well-thumbed blog)…

    gotta tell ya’ll that as a real photographer and writer, with a son and wife (also a photographer) pitching against the ever shifting tide of solvency, i gotta tell u that at first inspection, i would ABSOLUTELY be willing to sniff this beauty out. $45,000 + travel is a lifetime’s fortune in most of the world and more denaro that I could possibly (or have) clammed together even after getting some kick ass reviews and publishing shit…

    I totally dont get the others cynicism…ya’ll, i live in an expensive city (Toronto) and am raising a family on a lot lot less than $45,000 and still managing to do work, write, penny-pinch my own projects…for shows and for books…

    I think PhotoEditors post deserves accolades…the more the biz helps one another out (particularly those who’ve lined their lives with the good fortune of luck and connection) the better and richer (spiritually) and more challenging and challenged we’ll all be…

    What a cool opportunity and what a great gesture that APhotoEditor and this blog offers….

    I hope some of y’all can manage to scrape this and turn it into something substantial.

    Thanks Photo Editor :))


  20. I’m surprised (or maybe not) so many photographers are being so negative about this opportunity. I like to travel, I get along with others, specialize in interior/exterior photography with a background in photojournalism. This would be be perfect for me, if it was 10 years ago.

    The average photographer makes about $25,000 and I’m sure would love to travel.

    Fortunately, I’m already doing all these things and, yes, I make much more. But, I also know a lot of photographers who would love a consistent paycheck and new opportunities.


  21. So they want to pay and experienced photographer who is responsible the entry level rate @ 45K which after NY city and state tax is a whole lot of nothing. .

    p.s E Seidman

    i worked at conde nast after graduation and it was starting 50k. your looking for someone who already can be efficient and accountable to work for nothing.
    my loans STILL to this day are $1200 each month, not including rent, and other vital expenses. you can continue to outsourse your rates and keep lowing photo rates
    of course you can always find someone to do things cheaper.
    it keeps getting cheaper and cheaper, soon people are going to refuse to pay in exchange for career favors. . wait.

  22. Looking for a bit of clarification in terms of the portfolio requirements:

    Am I supposed to go to one building and take a bunch of interior/exterior shots or can I submit a portfolio with images from different buildings?


  23. ok complain about the 45k/yr but, you aren’t even home 200 days/yr to spend any of it. 200 travels days w/ your expenses being paid I think would mean a lot of that 45k can just go straight to your savings acct…

  24. I just graduated from Columbia after several years of shooting stock/going to school FT and think that this is a great opportunity. And yes, 200 paid travel days would definitely leave a lot aside to pay down student loans.

  25. I think this sounds amazing…..and will apply. I just saw this so I hope I still have a chance. Thanks so much for posting. As far as everyone else, I dont personally know any photographers that make more than that, so you guys are giving me hope, but also kind of making me rethink where I am going…

  26. Photojournalism is not a desk job, people.

    If someone is willing to pay you 45k to travel the world, exploring different cultures, taking photos and using the best equipment and you don’t realize it as an amazing opportunity, then go back to your photo editing job at Cosmo and stop dreaming of seeing the world. Jeez.

    That said, “titan media and technology” is touting a lot of crap with their posting and asking people to expend a lot of energy just to be considered, so chances are these guys are blowing at least a bit of smoke out of their asses.

  27. I’m not sure I understand.

    Am I supposed to go to a neighborhood in NYC and work the scene to make a bunch of meaningful photos, as well as spend a lot of time lighting and working an interior of a building, JUST so that I can be considered for this job?

    I sure as hell am not going to go through all that effort to apply for a job with a company that doesn’t even exist yet, not to mention does not specify what exactly I am applying for.

    What’s wrong with my current portfolio?

  28. Most of you are missing the point.

    Imagine the state of literature if all authors became copy-writers and you get a glimpse into the current world of photography. The comments in regards to this job post are a testament to this Vonnegutian situation. What about those old provincial concerns of ethics, truth, journalism, and documentary vision? What about the legacies of Rob Capa, Cartier-Bresson, Eddie Adams etc.. I’m not suggesting that this job-post or the resulting jobs will present a viable or comprehensive solution, but it sounds sexy as hell – much better than pandering to advertisers. Frankly, traveling the world with a camera for an editor who has some balls has always been my dream. I hope that E Seidman and Susannah put me to the test and drop me into some foreign neighborhood where I don’t speak the language so that I can wonder the streets and document my reality. Alas, if chosen for a position I may have to cut down on my weekly latte count in order to afford to live on $45,000 for roughly 165 days of living.

  29. I don’t think it’s smoke blowing from their asses – more the contact high that comes with being out of touch with reality. A quick and dirty online search will show you some history. Pass the dutchie, mon.

  30. Hi Photo Ed, maybe a follow-up?

    Did anyone ever discover what this job listing was all about?


  31. What happened with this Titan Media job? Did anyone ever get hired or do go through the actual 10 day “test”?

  32. 4 months later, they’re still in stealth mode. Has anyone applied or learned anything more about this job offer?

  33. These guys are in over their heads trying to build this travel website without having a clue about the travel model and where people want to travel to. And they are patronizing to boot. Think three-hour interviews with the dumbest questions thrown at you as if you are a 12-year-old who has never traveled anywhere.

  34. UPDATE: I came upon this after doing a google search for titian media, because my website got a hit from titan media. i track my visits (not with google analytics). Yes, it sounds like a joke or a 22 y/o just-out-of-college pipe dream. But there is in fact a titan media with their own isp and internal servers. they seek photographers. all else is anyone’s guess. but in this economy, it more of a sad prank