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Monday, June 7, 2010

Recession

This is the third recession I have endured as a commercial photographer in the NYC area. I came to NYC directly after college in the midst of my first recession. I left NYC and took a job with Nabisco in NJ in the midst of my second recession and now I am living through the third. It is during these times that you need to have all of your overhead cut to the absolute bone and have clients that you have cared for over the years to keep giving you work. I have done both. I really appreciate Arthur Schuman for giving me work of different kinds especially during this difficult economical time. All of these jobs require the ability to light well, retouch and then assemble the images in Photoshop.
I have to laugh a little when an article about a photographer crows about how they have lasted for over 10 years! That's funny to me. I often said that a commercial photographer's career usually lasts for 20 years. The first five years is for developing and growing the business. The next ten years are spent shooting, building relationships with creatives and making money. The last five years are waining as your art directors become creative directors or leave the business. Each recession has seen art director friends get fired or laid off. A recession as deep as this one effects everyone above us. I have a friend who just lost a big client because the company he did the annual report for was bought by a private Japanese company who doesn't need an annual report. If he loses a client, then I lose work as well. The way I have lasted for so many years is that at time like these, my overhead is cut way down and I have clients that still use me. I just have to hold on and realize that "this too shall pass".