Interview...or something like that

Posted: Monday, April 12, 2010 by Stained in Labels: , ,

I think it was an interview. I'm still not sure. Anyway here's what happened.

11th April 2010: Got a call from this Filipino lady who mumbled her name and the name of the company. She then asked if I was a photographer and if I'd be willing to work as a full time photographer for their company doing model portfolios. I said it depends on the package provided. She then went on to ask me how much salary would I expect and what do I do in general. She ended the conversation by saying she'd call me back soon after speaking to her manager. The thing is, I'm not really interested in doing model portfolios but I just said yes to see what the market is like.

12th April 2010: The Filipino lady calls me back and asks me if I'd be interested in coming to meet their manager at 4pm with my portfolio. I said I don't have a printed one so I emailed her a link to some of my pictures and she got back by confirming a meeting with her manager. Got there at 4:15pm. Was made to wait about 15mins or so. Now this place was basically just a shop made into a office with a funky orange and blue interior that comprised of a small reception near the entrance, a 4 door conference table next to it divided by just a wall and then two rooms. One room was the owners office and the second was I think a studio/practice area cause I could here loud music and someone screaming out dance moves in arabic. I wasn't expecting anything more cause they do have a rubbish website. Very amateurish and makes the whole business look like a scam especially with those images that seemed to have been taken from a Google image search. The guy who was screaming out the dance moves was the first one to interview me who was basically busy smoking and asking questions he didn't wait for me to finish answering. He was really interested in knowing if I knew how to retouch a picture and what company I worked for. He then decided to label my photography ambition as a mere hobby as I haven't studied photography. Idiot!!!

Back at the reception, I was asked to wait to meet someone else. Obviously I wasn't the only one there for the interview. A Filipino dude was there who was a freelancer as well working for safaris or something. A third photographer came in 5 mins later. By then the next person to interview me had come. He led me to this other shop that sold computer stuff and took me to the office inside. He asked me the same questions the previous guy had asked and saw my portfolio that was on a USB I had brought with myself. He too didn't care about the pictures but was more interested if I could retouch pictures. Basically I should know how to make natural skin look like plastic. He then asked me to take a picture of this Filipino lady who had joined us in the office. I obviously didn't have all my equipment so I told him that taking a good picture would be difficult cause I need the flash to be off camera. He didn't care. He told me to use the on camera flash for the picture which I did and he asked me to fix the picture. He then asked me how much would I charge for a day on a freelancer basis irrespective of how many pictures I take and told me he'd call me back for a test shoot. Annoying jerk...didn't know anything about photography and thinks photoshop can fix everything. I pity the people who try to get work through them.

I made my way back to the initial office where I was asked to wait some more to meet the owner who ended up asking me how I was three times in the gap of 10 secs. He asked me what company I worked for and looked dazed at my answer. He also asked me if I knew how to photoshop and then told me he'd call me back. I left in an hurry

What a fiasco. I'm not going for the test shoot. I don't want to work with a bunch of baboons who think photoshop is everything....

On a completely different note, seems like I'll be staying in UAE so I need to look for someone to sponsor me. Time to go around begging....

I also need to get around sending my resume to this place I'd love to work for. Just haven't gotten around writing an email and a cover letter. Need to stop procrastinating cause time is running out....


  1. Anonymous says:

    indeed what a fiasco... dont even waste your time and energy on them...

    by the way... print your best photographs on a high quality mate finish photopaper and you yourself will be blown away by how amazing photographs look on prints...

    a printed photograph is 100 times better than screen.

  1. Stained says:

    I won't be....

    And I do have big prints and they do look amazing I know screens are not the best way to display a portfolio...

  1. Anonymous says:

    All these HR places are a huge waste of time. In 4 or so years only ONE of them ended up with me actually seeing anything decent from them.

    On your work front, why not start a studio? Not sure about Dubai but in Abu Dhabi it would cost you 40K and a sponsor. You could double as a regular studio for portraits and passport pictures AND work out of it as a sorta freelancer for magazines/news papers.

    Just a thought.

  1. Stained says:

    This wasn't an HR place but something of a modeling, event management company or something like that.

    I don't have the expertise business wise nor the capital to start a studio. 40K would just be to get the permit, getting a studio, the equipment, printers etc will cost a lot. I'm better off getting a freelancer visa that costs 15K per year but oddly that is a little to costly for me as well.

  1. Anonymous says:

    take my advice... dont open a studio... stay a freelancer...

    get yourself a good pay full time job... and enjoy freelancing parttime... no overhead costs or rents... and you get really good pay freelancing part time.

    I freelance as a, photographer, web developer, and super seller.

    If iam into graphics designing and photoshop I will even earn more doing freelance designs..

    keep your eyes on coz they used to have tons of freelance tasks from many companies

    good luck

  1. Stained says:

    Problem is apart from a photography full time job, I really don't know what else I can apply for. I do have a degree in accountancy & finance but I don't want to get into finance and to get a decent accountancy job I need to do ACCA or CPA which I'm not really keen on doing..

    Problem with a full time photography job is that I won't have a choice anymore to pick what kind of assignment I want to do so I'm kinda stuck waiting for my dream job to come my way.... :S super seller??

    Dubbizle is useless. Most of the people never get back and even if they do, they want to pay peanuts... :|

    Thanks though!! :)

  1. Anonymous says:

    hmmmm.. so you saying you graduated and you are not interested in the domain you graduated with???? hmmmm... dude so why you waisted your time studying something you are not interested with?!?!

    at least get yourself few photography degree's and journalism and join that domain

    " super seller" it is a status you earn in when you achieve a rating target. by far this was the best online money making job I ever did. simply buy stuff from Ebay and sell them on souq... very profitable

    dubbizle is a goldmine... :)

  1. Stained says:

    I didn't mean to waste my time with Accountancy. I loved it when I joined college but due to having rubbish teachers and a very theory based curriculum, I lost interest in it. Plus the market for accountancy in my opinion is down and finance is the in thing to do which I don't want to get into.
    Would love to get a degree but can't afford to study abroad and there isn't anything in the UAE that is good.

    Interesting...I could try that to make some extra money and dubbizle is indeed a gold mine...I've bought a lot of cheap stuff off it...

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