It’s been awhile since I did a business-y type of post. But the following subject is something that I’ve been struggling with for awhile and I know I’m not alone. Throughout the last 3 years of my professional life, I have felt like giving up. Some days are hell; when I loose a client, or progress has plateaued or family conflicts, or what have you. But the one thing that may ultimately push me over the edge one day is the way I get treated in this industry.
I was a part of a group once on facebook who attracted photographers but aimed at creative entrepreneurs and wanted to focus on the community aspect of entrepreneurship versus the competition aspect and a photographer posted a hard experience she had with the client. The client said in an email regarding her dissatisfaction with the results that she [client] was buying a service, and the photographer had written a blog post about wanting to establish a friendly-based relationship with clients before entering a project. While I understand both sides, the client’s and the photographer’s, I can’t help but feel sorry for the photographer. I’m sorry, photographers are people too. Graphic designers, are people too. Artists, are people too… web designers are people too. You get my drift.
In my search for the ‘perfect job’ (if there ever is one out there for me). My ideal position would be to be treated more than just a skill. More than just a service that is hired and then laid off. I am a people too. Treat me well, and I’ll do my job well. Treat me like crap and quite frankly, I’ll leave or find better clients. I’m tired of being seen as a skill or service that is hired to just be checked off a ‘to-do’ list. Yes, I produce, yes I make, I design, but at the same time I am a people too.
I have bills and materials to pay for. Being treated just as a service or skill, something tangible and that can be thrown away is one of the most degrading feeling ever. And unfortunately is too often the case in the creative industry. I GET IT. You want to hire us to make you something but at the same time I’m not a machine. There’s a person behind those skills who deserves to be treated fairly as you would treat a friend, or an acquaintance.
Many successful pop stars and musicians often feel this way too. Lady Gaga once said she almost quit the music industry because she didn’t want to be ‘a money-making machine’. While obviously I don’t make nearly as much as her, I get it. To be treated as a production machine , to keep producing, making, outputting without being treated like a human is degrading. I get that for some people work is work, and that friendly acquaintances should be kept out of it. But on the other hand, they are people too. If someone held the door for you, would you treat them like shit, or thank them?