Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Laid off

This sums up my mood

On the 13 of September this year, I was invited into the HR department and told by our new department head, that the company for which I have worked for the past nine and a half years had no more need of my services.*

I was given five months notice, effective from the beginning of October. My last day will be at the end of February 2012.

To say that I was shocked would be a massive understatement. To be laid off is bad enough, but to be made redundant when you think that all is well is a nasty surprise.

Since my birthday in 2002, I have worked as the in-house photographer for the premier lighting company in Switzerland. The work I do includes, but is not limited to product shots, on location work, portraits, exhibition coverage and lots, lots more.

As the sole English person working here, I proofread brochures and documents for accuracy in my mother language. With my knowledge of HTML, I built private websites for my co-workers including members of the management board.

Presentations, movies and PowerPoint’s are also called for. In fact, only last week, one of my self made movies was shown in the town of Olten to inform its citizens how their Christmas lights will look next year.

I’ve immediately started a campaign of letter writing and registered myself for email alerts for any jobs with “photography” somewhere in the description.

The rejection letters are coming back thick and fast. It seems that employees can now be choosier because of all the “photographers” on the market and the plethora of picture libraries.

Although (at the time of writing this) I have another three months or so until I have to go, I am cautiously optimistic of finding an in-house position. If not, then I’ll have to go back to freelancing.

Other steps that I’ve taken are building up a mailing list of architects and lighting designers etc that I have worked with in the past and offering my services to them. My print portfolio has always contained my best stuff so I don’t have much extra work to do with that. My website will be completely revamped to show more professional work. Business cards will also be added to the mix.

Since I first got into photography, I have always been able to survive. In the past I moved to different countries and was always able to find photography related work, whether it was managing a lab in South Africa or being the base photographer for the US army in Stuttgart, Germany. (For which I received a certificate of commendation for my photographic work and knowledge.)

However. I was younger then and didn’t have a wife and family to think about.
I’m not going to make this post depressing but rather will use my blog to detail how I’m managing to find photographic work which is my passion.
* I have just checked my work computer. Since 2005 I have made 25,777 digital images for Regent.  Before that and up until about two years ago, I shot hundreds of rolls of medium format film. I think that there is DEFINITELY a need for a photographer.

Film from a three day shoot

 Film boxes from a two day studio shoot

Thanks for reading.

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