For my first brief, I worked with a business in The Grand Arcade in Leeds, and will be continuing to work for them. The business is a mens designer wear company called Labels. I met with the client and had lunch, showed him previous work I had done and spoke to him about the requirements of the job, and the business. The client wanted me to photograph a large number of products, and as the products are very expensive (items range from £200 to £800) he didn’t want me to photograph them at College, so I would photograph them in their shop. We spoke about prices and photoshop editing, and agreed on 75p per item photographed, with photoshopping the mannequin out so the products are against white backgrounds. As I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to photograph the items and photoshop, reinforced with the fact I wanted to be able to tell him how long it would take for the products to be online as he was under a time scale, I offered to do a trial shift so I had more of an idea. We agreed that I would come back over the weekend to do this. During the weekend, I unfortunately broke my wrists, so I wouldn’t have been able to do the job on my own. Annoyed at the fact that I didn’t want to disappoint the client as I was looking forward to working with him, I rang my friend on the photography course, knowing he was looking for both experience and a job, and explained to him the situation, the job and the business, and offered to pay him if he worked alongside me on the job. He agreed, and I rang my client and explained that I had found someone to help me. He quit the interviews he was doing with other people, and agreed that this would be a good idea as he had already spoken to me and wanted to work with me.
Here are two photos of me dressing the mannequin in which we had to use.
We had a few difficulties throughout this project, but we found alternatives to get around and solve these difficulties:
1. We had a lot of difficulty at the job at the beginning with the mannequin . The mannequin was quite old and to dress the mannequin, each time we had to take off both the arms, dress it, then put the arms back on. The arms were very fiddly – it took around 3 minutes to dress the mannequin each time, then we had to turn the mannequin around to photograph, then turn it back around. It was extremely time consuming and as we were getting paid by item and not by the time spent, it was a very long process to make money.
I mentioned this to my boss and suggested that we should 100% get a model in to model the jeans, as it would be extremely time consuming taking off the legs and finding each pair of jeans size to fit the model. He agreed and we got a model in the next day for the jeans, which was a lot quicker and made the photos look a lot more effective.
Although we had sorted out that the jeans and trousers would be modelled on a person rather than a mannequin, we still had a lot more t-shirts and shirts to photograph. So i suggested to my boss that we could get a new one in and he agreed, so later that day we went online and both looked at mannequins which would be a lot more effective. We came across this mannequin which he later bought. This mannequin was a LOT easier to photograph with. The mannequin was very light so could be carried around the shop floor easily and to move to adjust to light, it was shorter so would be more suitable for the tripod, and it didn’t have the arms like the other mannequin did so t-shirts were a lot easier to take on and off it.
2. We had a few difficulties with the time consumingness and effort we were putting in for little money, especially with the editing of the photos. As we were paid 75p per item and not hourly, this 75p per item involved:
– Dressing the mannequin
– Photographing the mannequin’s front
-Turning the mannequin around to photograph the back
– Photographing the detail on the top and the labels showing (normally around 5 photos)
– Uploading the photos to a computer
– Deleting any photos not needed and grouping the photos together for that item
– Editing the item
– Resizing the item
– Uploading the photograph onto a photo share website to send to my client
As I was very unfamiliar with this type of job as i hadn’t dont anything like this before, I initially thought 75p per item was a very good price, and pound signs started lighting up my eyes! However, on my first day when I collected the equipment from college, Paul and Sam both told me that I should have charged per the hour. I took their word for it, but didn’t realise just what they meant until a few days in. I then realised that I was being paid 75p per item, but I had to complete all the tasks above first. I very quickly regretted agreeing to being paid per item, as the job was extremely time consuming. I was working from 9-6 then going home and working till 10 whilst I finished editing the photos, deleting rejected photos, grouping them and uploading them.
Here is a typical set of a jacket which I would have photographed and edited for the site. As you can see, the photo is not perfect, but the time went into editing was a lot, especially as I wasn’t too familiar as to how to do this on Photoshop. I decided that it would have just been too much work to do this for every photo, particularly for the money I was being paid, and for the fact I had two broken wrists! From the first week, once split with my friend 60/40%, i came out with around £20. That was five days work, 9-4 in the shop, and around two hours a night. So I decided to speak to my boss about it. Once I spoke to my boss about it he understood what I was saying, so he decided to hire someone else in India to photoshop each photo for me, all I had to do now was group them into seperate folders for him to send them off to India.