I work for a childrenswear retailer. This position was listed at $55k max, but with the retouching and excel skills I brought to the job, plus experience, they were able to increase it to $60k which I still feel is undervalued for what I provide.
When I moved to South Carolina the options to work as a photographer were slim. I was previously working in North Carolina for a shoe retailer making $72.5k as a lead photographer.
I work for a single employer as a typical M-F 8-5 w2 employee. I do have an employer matched 401k and 13 paid vacation days plus additional sick days available.
Their cycle of shooting is a bit chaotic and changes with the seasonal release of product to vendors. Photography consists of necessary files for store plannograms, ecommerce on white, flat lays and on figure (both on white and lifestyle). I do not have an assistant and do all of my my own lighting and editing. We do bring in a stylist as needed. We are a team of 3 photographers plus a manager and we each handle a specific brand and retailer in the children’s clothing business. While the other brands are split amongst photographers here, I handle a single brand and all of the types of photography listed above for that brand. It can be hectic.
Worst advice: Being a photographer will make you a starving artist. You should go in to marketing.
I’ve done well in my career, and while this position has been a step back financially, in many ways, it was a necessity in my career.
Learn photoshop – and more than the basics! It has helped me to be an asset to the companies I have worked for and helped me advance in my career.