Depending or not of the industry you’re in, you probably know more people owning a startup company than ones working for a startup company. I’m one of those people who know more startup CEOs and I worked for at least one as well. This article should not be perceived as a strict analysis of my experience, neither as a “how to” in business. It is, however, an insight. I’ve changed paths many times in the first years of my career and that’s how I’ve learnt the most. There are plenty tech startups and more than enough guidance on how to start your own photography business. However, some might want a taste of what it means to be employed as a photographer. Let’s not forget that it is a pricey business and it does make the difference, to be experienced in all sorts of equipment and technology you wouldn’t necessarily afford in the first years of your business.
Bellow you’ll find a summarized list of benefits when working as a photographer for a startup company.
- Being the head of a department
It might not be the first thing to notice, but when you become the main photographer of a startup company, you represent every aspect of the job and department itself. Whereas in bigger companies the roles get assigned to different employees within the department, in a startup you will be involved in the main aspects of pre-production, production and post-production and you will most likely lead them. This will give you detailed insights of every job role, so when the company grows, you will know precisely what everyone’s tasks are and control the general workflow.
- Flexibility, shared responsibilities.
The starting point of every company is the period when rules are being established, a workflow is being built and there isn’t a very strict way of doing certain things. Even in scenarios where there are plenty of deadlines to be met, you will most likely decide how to juggle between assignments. This must not be misunderstood as a delay in providing the services. The sooner you deliver the final project, the faster you can go back to the studio’s in-house projects and develop your skills and create original content.
- Better communication and impact
If in big corporation there is a pattern you must follow accordingly, startups tend to be more open for conversation. Within smaller teams the communication is better and you can get your thoughts across. If previously you had to prove yourself before voicing your opinions, here, you will need to do a lot of brainstorming and constantly come up with new ideas. Being valuable in circumstances that allow you to grow is a “win-win” situation for both parties.
- Creative freedom and diversity
You will have a voice and you will be creative in every step of the process. Because the company will work both on its branding and attracting new customers, the jobs will vary. You will have tasks outside your job, which benefits your understanding of the bigger process of running a business. Your photography projects will also be diverse based on the customer’s needs and as a startup, it is crucial to build a loyal relationship with the clients. However, the sooner you meet the customer’s deadline, the quicker you can work on the studio’s in-house projects, where you have plenty of creative freedom and most of the time you will experiment with new effects and techniques.
- Being a Pioneer, a part of someone’s legacy
Working for someone means working for someone’s dream. Do not underestimate how much your input can mean for someone’s business, just like generally in life. The more dedicated you are to their dream, the more they will invest in you. Also, you might be the pioneer of that department; you might be the one to create standards that will be followed by the next ones to join the company. It is also a safe environment for you to learn how a company is being run, without having all the responsibilities.
I hope this article has added a few keys to your knowledge in the field. There will also be a follow up article about the downsides of working in a startup company and other work places. The more information you have, the better are the decisions you can make. There is a lot of information I didn’t have access to when I was looking for work after university. I’ve also grown to learn myself how important it is for you to be the right person for a job. There is no such thing as a bad job or a bad employee, but a lack of compatibility between both parties. The sooner you are aware of the implications and your level of adaptability, the better.