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Thread started 01 Mar 2016 (Tuesday) 11:14
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My boss asked me to handle a project...

 
virginie24jb
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Post edited over 3 years ago by virginie24jb. (4 edits in all)
     
Mar 01, 2016 11:14 |  #1

My boss just talked to me about a project he'd like to put into place for his company and wanted my opinion on it and if I would be interested and able to accomplish it. May or may not happen, we'll see. I need your opinion on various things before I commit to it. Here's the context.

I've been working as a temporary worker with weekly and monthly contract for almost four years now, but always in that same company (20-30 employees). It has nothing to do with photography, it's a food industry. I was officially hired this week with a permanent contract signed. As we were having a cordial and friendly talk in his office on Friday, I mentioned photography as being a passion outside of work. He looked at my photos on the Internet during the weekend and yesterday he asked me to come in his office to talk about a project he has in mind for his company.
He would like me to take photos and videos of suppliers, that would be visible for the customers via a QR code on his products. He doesn't know yet if he would use a work agency to hire me beside the contract I already have or if we can find another way. I'm thinking of creating my own business as in becoming an "auto-entrepreneur" as we call it in France, a freelancer. It has been simplified in the recent years so there wouldn't be a lot of paperwork to go through to become one. I'm thinking it would also be easier for him because he wouldn't have to use an intermediary. I would also need to create a website for the company and add the content (text, videos, photos). It's not something I've ever done professionally but I think I can handle it and it could be an good opportunity to try something different. Who knows where that could lead...

How can I charge that if I indeed go for it as being self-employed hired by the company : by photo/video, for the whole project, separate website/photos-videos into two projects, by the numbers of hours spent on it…
He's a very nice man who truly cares about his employees but I'm a little worried that he asks me in order to pay less that he would pay a professional. So, what do I need to be careful about? How would you handle this?


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OhLook
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Mar 01, 2016 11:56 |  #2

virginie24jb wrote in post #17919181 (external link)
I'm thinking of creating my own business as in becoming an "auto-entrepreneur" as we call it in France, a freelancer. It has been simplified in the recent years so there wouldn't be a lot of paperwork to go through to become one. . . . How can I charge that if I indeed go for it as being self-employed hired by the company : by photo/video, for the whole project, separate website/photos-videos into two projects, by the numbers of hours spent on it…

How to conduct business as a freelancer can't be authoritatively answered by people around the world; laws and customs vary too much. In the U.S., you can charge by the hour, by the whole project, or any other way that you and the client agree on.

He's a very nice man who truly cares about his employees but I'm a little worried that he asks me in order to pay less that he would pay a professional.

He may also prefer to hire you because he can be in closer contact with the project from day to day. This might be a good thing for you.


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Alveric
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Mar 01, 2016 12:01 |  #3

Hard to say, ignorant as I am not only of the French rules, regulations and red tape, but also of the ways of the people. Pretty much the only things I can suggest are:


  1. Make sure you do get paid, and not peanuts. Whilst it's not very logical you'd be charging a full-time pro's rates, it's not ethical you should be receiving much, much less. Say, if a pro charges € 1000 for X job, I'd not work for less than € 700 or so.
  2. Unless you're ready and committed to turn full-fledged photographer, I'd hold off on the business registry. Even when it's not complicated in terms of initial paperwork, you'd be expected to pay licences and taxes. Think of it as taking another job, even if it's part-time. I wouldn't go to all the 'trouble' over just one gig. I'm thinking there are ways in which he can compensate you for services rendered and you'd just add it to your income on your tax declaration?

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Hogloff
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Mar 01, 2016 13:42 |  #4
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In your post you said you were officially hired by the company. Would this work just fall under one of the duties of your position with the company. I'm confused with this,




  
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Myboostedgst
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Mar 01, 2016 14:02 |  #5

Hogloff wrote in post #17919374 (external link)
In your post you said you were officially hired by the company. Would this work just fall under one of the duties of your position with the company. I'm confused with this,

Not necessarily, at least in the US. I work for my company full time in a corporate role. However I am paid per photo I complete as a contractor so the company does not have to pay the extra tax and benefits. I do not have a registered company/business, I simply get paid via direct deposit after I submit every invoice. They report it to the government, and at the end of the year I get a 1099-Misc form showing my income from that year for my contractor work. I take my W2 from the company for my full time work, and then my 1099 form to an accountant and I just consider it a second source of income. 40% in taxes suck, but since it is paid per photo and I can hammer out a tremendous amount of work in an hour, I come out far ahead.

The only stipulation is that I do all of this photography work outside of my regular 40 hours. My regular job takes precedence for the company, and I basically spend one day every weekend doing photos for them.


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Hogloff
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Mar 01, 2016 14:33 |  #6
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Myboostedgst wrote in post #17919398 (external link)
Not necessarily, at least in the US. I work for my company full time in a corporate role. However I am paid per photo I complete as a contractor so the company does not have to pay the extra tax and benefits. I do not have a registered company/business, I simply get paid via direct deposit after I submit every invoice. They report it to the government, and at the end of the year I get a 1099-Misc form showing my income from that year for my contractor work. I take my W2 from the company for my full time work, and then my 1099 form to an accountant and I just consider it a second source of income. 40% in taxes suck, but since it is paid per photo and I can hammer out a tremendous amount of work in an hour, I come out far ahead.

The only stipulation is that I do all of this photography work outside of my regular 40 hours. My regular job takes precedence for the company, and I basically spend one day every weekend doing photos for them.

I can see if they want this work done during off hours...but if it's done during your normal work day, I would think it is just work being done for the company. Now if this work is beyond what you were hired for, maybe you can negotiate more pay.




  
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Myboostedgst
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Mar 01, 2016 14:37 |  #7

Hogloff wrote in post #17919440 (external link)
I can see if they want this work done during off hours...but if it's done during your normal work day, I would think it is just work being done for the company. Now if this work is beyond what you were hired for, maybe you can negotiate more pay.

Agree. However, one thing to consider is that if they are paying you as a regular employee, you most likely won't get as much pay. If you are a contractor and would end up making $75/HR (either hourly, flat rate project, or per photo on average) they will most likely only hire you and pay you much less than you would otherwise get. Plus if this is a one time project, what happens after the project is done? Does your hourly pay go back down?


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Hogloff
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Mar 01, 2016 16:44 |  #8
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Myboostedgst wrote in post #17919446 (external link)
Agree. However, one thing to consider is that if they are paying you as a regular employee, you most likely won't get as much pay. If you are a contractor and would end up making $75/HR (either hourly, flat rate project, or per photo on average) they will most likely only hire you and pay you much less than you would otherwise get. Plus if this is a one time project, what happens after the project is done? Does your hourly pay go back down?

I've been in management most of my years and I can tell you that people who step up to take on more responsibility climb that ladder faster than people who insist that the work is not part of their existing work description. If the photos are to be shot during work hours...I'd step up and take them without asking for more pay...this will pay back dividends down the road. Of course if they want to use your photo equipment, then some agreeable arrangement needs to be made.

If the work is to be done off hours, either a contract needs to be written up for this work, or some other arrangement with the company such as time off with pay etc... needs to be agreed upon...but if the work is during normal office hours...step up and do the work without any roadblocks. This is the best way of making an impression in the company and being noticed for future positions or assignments.

Afterall...would you rather be sitting behind a desk staring at a computer screen or out there shooting with your camera for the day?




  
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Mar 01, 2016 17:13 |  #9

This is a potential minefield. You run the risk of endangering your recent full time job if you arent especially careful here. Ask yourself why he is hiring an aspiring pro instead of a working. Its certainly possible he is dazzled by your work and imagines a Grand collaboration between you. But if you are honest with yourself you should know that he expects a bargain. Many here will suggest you hold firm and charge market rates but you should be careful. Firstly if photography is currently a hobby you dont have a rate card and probably shouldnt expect to charge full pro rates. So you need to have a respectful discussion with the boss about his expectations, his projected budget, and any potential impact on your regular employment. Make him lay out his expectations before you go any further.




  
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Mar 01, 2016 17:38 |  #10

Hogloff wrote in post #17919659 (external link)
I've been in management most of my years and I can tell you that people who step up to take on more responsibility climb that ladder faster than people who insist that the work is not part of their existing work description. If the photos are to be shot during work hours...I'd step up and take them without asking for more pay...this will pay back dividends down the road. Of course if they want to use your photo equipment, then some agreeable arrangement needs to be made.

If the work is to be done off hours, either a contract needs to be written up for this work, or some other arrangement with the company such as time off with pay etc... needs to be agreed upon...but if the work is during normal office hours...step up and do the work without any roadblocks. This is the best way of making an impression in the company and being noticed for future positions or assignments.

Afterall...would you rather be sitting behind a desk staring at a computer screen or out there shooting with your camera for the day?

Maybe some do climb the ladder faster, as I'm positive there still are a number of bosses out there who appreciate enthusiasm and are ready and pleased to promote or somehow compensate the gung ho employee.

Unfortunately, there are others, however, who are greedy to the point of throwing on an enthusiastic employee's shoulders responsibilities that are not theirs only because that way they don't have to invest (they'd say spend) a dime. I once worked at a place where it was expected that my knowledge as a bench technician extended into web design and maintenance; somehow it was 'part of my job' to manage, improve and update not only the shop's website but also that of the owner's daughter (!!). I ended up telling the boss that I wasn't a web developer and that he better pony up to hire one.


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Mar 01, 2016 20:14 |  #11

Hogloff wrote in post #17919659 (external link)
I've been in management most of my years and I can tell you that people who step up to take on more responsibility climb that ladder faster than people who insist that the work is not part of their existing work description. If the photos are to be shot during work hours...I'd step up and take them without asking for more pay...this will pay back dividends down the road. Of course if they want to use your photo equipment, then some agreeable arrangement needs to be made.

If the work is to be done off hours, either a contract needs to be written up for this work, or some other arrangement with the company such as time off with pay etc... needs to be agreed upon...but if the work is during normal office hours...step up and do the work without any roadblocks. This is the best way of making an impression in the company and being noticed for future positions or assignments.

Afterall...would you rather be sitting behind a desk staring at a computer screen or out there shooting with your camera for the day?

And I have seen people bend over to do whatever the management team asks only to be viewed as nothing but a pushover who they don't have to pay.

If he was hired for a completely different task, and they want this to be done, he needs to speak with them. If you worked at a company for $15/HR to pull parts in a warehouse, and all of the sudden they ask you to start taking product photos of professional quality, you wouldn't discuss pricing? You would just do pro work (or the best you can do) at $15/HR?


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Hogloff
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Mar 01, 2016 21:24 |  #12
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Myboostedgst wrote in post #17919959 (external link)
And I have seen people bend over to do whatever the management team asks only to be viewed as nothing but a pushover who they don't have to pay.

If he was hired for a completely different task, and they want this to be done, he needs to speak with them. If you worked at a company for $15/HR to pull parts in a warehouse, and all of the sudden they ask you to start taking product photos of professional quality, you wouldn't discuss pricing? You would just do pro work (or the best you can do) at $15/HR?

Sure...why not. You rather sit there pulling parts all day or spend the day being creative? Either case...you take home the same mo ey.

Now if you truly are pro caliber photographer...why are you spending your days pulling parts?

All I know is if you want to keep pulling parts forever...then just keep up the attitude that the company is out to abuse you. I've managed products and people for 35 years and I can tell you people who sit back and complain or not go the extra mile will always be looked over when new positions open up. It isn't ass licking...it's all about initiative and attitude.




  
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Mar 02, 2016 02:13 |  #13

A pro commercial photographer will write down the client's specifications & deliverables for a project, develop an estimate of the time and other resources required to execute the project, and then assign a cost. You seem to very concerned that you may be getting paid less than a pro, which is stupid because you are clearly not a pro. There is a real risk here that your inexperience will cause your boss to be unhappy with the results or service. I would personally tell you boss that you will sit down with him to define the project, and then do your best to execute it on regular company time. If you are going to experiment with commercial photography, I would do in a situation removed from your regular employment.




  
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virginie24jb
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Post edited over 3 years ago by virginie24jb.
     
Mar 02, 2016 09:43 as a reply to  @ Scott Spellman's post |  #14

I’ve been through your messages again and here are my thoughts and clarifications.


1. Of course I don’t want to be paid as much as a pro. I’m not one. I didn’t mean it in that way. My ideal way of being paid for this? Doing this project and only being paid if they are satisfied with the results. But hey, this wouldn’t be reasonable. According to what he said so far, it would be outside of my current working hours so I can’t spend so much energy and time without knowing if I’ll get paid or not, especially if it’s during my current free time. Or I could ask to be paid the minimum and get a "bonus" if they like it?
First I'm gonna sit down with him and remind him clearly that he can't expect professional quality from me and that he should think more about investing more in order to hire a pro to be sure to have pro-level results at the end; and that it would be a waste of time and money if after they hired me for this, they have to hire a pro because they're unhappy with the results.
He came first to ask my opinion about the project itself which I find very good and can only be beneficial for the company. I have lots of ideas but carrying them out is another thing.

2. No, it could not fall under the current contract.This has nothing to do with the job for which I’ve been hired. Plus this project would mean using my own gear (what about insurance?) and going to different places. That is not included in my current contract: I’m not supposed to leave the company site during my working hours.

3. Alveric, you may be right about the freelance idea… It would be easier for my boss but not for me.


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Hogloff
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Mar 02, 2016 10:25 |  #15
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Do you know the details of the job and are you confident you can deliver the results they are looking for? Have you shot the type of images they are looking for? Did the I images on your site have any relevance to the type of images they need?

Sometimes people will see some nice landscape I images from Hawaii and think since you can shoot those beautiful sunset images you should easily be able to shoot some product shots.

You need to take a look at your skill and be confident you can deliver. Seems like this is not a simple come into the office and take a few snaps...there will be effort on both sides. Just be honest with your skill and don't just use it to gain experience...not at the cost to your employer.




  
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