First off, let me introduce myself.
I'm Esper, 19. Been an amateur photographer for 2 years.
Understands Off Camera Lighting, Manual Camera Functions, PS and LR, Composition, and what not.
I own 2 Nikon bodies, D600 and D800.
I use a 24-120 F/4, and 70-200 F/2.8 for event photography.
I fully understand the technical aspects to photography, but lack experience.
My CF Card is a Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB. Cost : $100++ (For my point later)
Web (For Reference) : https://www.flickr.com/photos/espchoo/
How it began..
Some guy whom I have never contacted, called me and offered me a one day Event Job.
Though I did search online and responded to a few recruitment advertisements,
I don't know how had he seen my online portfolio before, and how he got to have my contacts.
Nevertheless, I thought that this was a good opportunity to gain some exposure for experience.
I explained to him that I have never worked as a Photographer before.
He never spoke about the details of the event, and seemed to avoid talking about the details.
He wanted me to travel to his place tomorrow, to give me "Training" on event photography and the details of the event.
He offered me a $10 an hour for the event, which I stupidly accepted assuming that it was a stupidly basic event.
Also, he told me about another event that would take place this Saturday/Sunday.
When asked about the details, again, he claimed that he didn't know what were we going to be shooting. He claimed that he had no knowledge of details to the event.
After a few days..
Yesterday, I went to his place for his supposedly "Training" on event photography.
He only showed me photos of events in the past that he had shot, mostly in schools. And to be honest, they were horrible.
His photos had Ghosting Flashes, and bad Composition. Lighting was horribly off too. I'm starting to get worried now.
He also requested for me to bring my D800 and necessary event equipment for testing, to make sure that they were in working order to shoot.
He told me that he was using Nikon System cameras, so he should be familiar with the System.
He claimed to have over 8 years of photography experience. And judging from the time of the events that he would take up, I'm certain he was a full time event photographer.
However, I noticed from the moment when he picked up my camera, he had zero clue regarding the operations of the camera.
Worst of all, I found out his primary camera turned out to be a D300 with the Kit Lens that came along with it. (7 Year Old Model)
He also mentioned that he would only pay me $10 an hour, for I have zero experience.
Since he had confirmed with the school that I was going to be there for the Event, I didn't had a choice but to shoot it.
He also requested me to meet him on the day of Event,
(1) As he would be brining a Laptop to download the images from my CF Card.
(2) He would meet up with his client for Sat/Sun, and I would get to know the details.
So, today I had my first Job - As a freelancer doing event photography for Person 'A', a school event.
I live in the East, and the job had me at 7.20am in the West.
I have worked individually for a as-planned, 4 Hrs. There was a gap of 3 Hrs from when the School's Event ended, and when I'm supposed to meet him.
I had to wait 2.5 Hrs for him to arrive. Upon his arrival, I passed him my CF Card, expecting him to download the images immediately to his Laptop.
Amazingly, he said that he would need to bring my CF Card back home to download the images. (Refer to Price of CF Card above)
He requested me to again, go over to his house the next day for reviewing of images that I took at the Event.
I was so confused, and tired from waking up so early to be able to respond. I simply was dumbfounded.
After a moment, his client arrived. Meeting started. (2.30pm)
(1) I quickly realise that Person 'A' has already confirmed with his Client that I would be available for the Event on Sat/Sun based on the way Client speaks.
(2) I quickly learnt that the Event is 2 Hrs on Sat, Full day on Sun. Travelling around Singapore with tourists.
(3) Worse still, they are V-VIPs.
(4) Factoring in that I'm only paid $10 an hour.
(5) Person 'A' Claims that he would be able to shoot a group of 100 V-VIPs in a outdoor setting with only one Speedlite attached to hotshoe during Noon. (Impossible)
(6) Person 'A' Does not mind a inexperienced photographer shooting for a V-VIP Event.
(7) I realise I'm in the sh!t.
Meeting Ends. (3.30pm)
I have never said that I'd take up the job.
Thus, put it simply,
(1) Person 'A' is taking up Events in my name without my consent, at his own leisure, and at his own rate.
(2) Person 'A' agreed on a Job that requires standards I'm sure he can't meet.
After the meeting, he insisted that I follow him to places that we would be visiting to get a clearer idea of the shooting conditions.
He said he'd pay me for my time.
I agreed, and went ahead.
Visiting Ended, going home. (4.30pm)
Person 'A' now texts me, saying that
(1) He would only be paying me only $10 for all of my time from 2pm to 4.30pm.
(2) He has YET accepted another TWO HOUR job for me on Friday.
However, I declined by giving an excuse that I was busy and wouldn't be in Singapore after going to his house to review the photos and retrieving my CF Card.
He offers me $20 a hour now. I still refused.
Total Time Spent : 8.5 Hrs. (Event 4Hrs + Wait 2.5Hrs + Visiting 2Hrs).
Total Payroll : $50.
Worst Part : Person 'A' Said that he would pay me altogether on Sunday, after I complete the Events altogether.
I feel that I'm getting scammed and forced to work by Person 'A'.
I feel that I'm being violated and ripped off my time.
Why should I be working for someone who has no Passion for Photography, but only as a means for Profit ?
No Compassion ?
No Guilt ?
For someone who doesn't bother investing in photography equipment to stay relevant to the industry ?
For someone who doesn't give a damn at all ?
Someone, please tell me what to do.
Should I disappear after retrieving my CF Card ?
Should I Argue and Claim the money for the time I've been slaved from him ?
Should I Intentionally Give him '$10/hr type of shots' for the Big Event ?
What are my options now ?
Someday, I believe someone who went through the same experience as me would find this thread useful.
So please do comment, Share your views and recommendations on what should I do to stop all this from getting worse..
Thank You All..
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