Photography Production Assistant/Generalist

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JLS Trading Co. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, JLS Trading Co. complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

JLS Trading Co. expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of JLS Trading Co.’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.

Is this a real job ad?
Yup! Amazingly enough, we actually paid money to post this on a bunch of different job sites. And it’s not even a pyramid scheme! Plus, get this: the owner just started paying our 25 employees with money instead of Pizza Hut coupons- we’re big time, people.

What do you guys do?
Our business involves taking random products and then marketing the hell out of them, primarily on Amazon. We have hundreds of SKUs at the moment and are launching around 10-20 new products every single month. A small sampling:

Bad Parking Cards, Cable Tie Mounts, K2-D3 Capsules

We want to launch as many products as we can. Our business is just about doubling every year ($5m in 2018, $10m in 2019), and it’s our intention to continue that for as long as possible, which means we need good people to help us keep up with the growth.

Overview:
• Flexible Schedule. In general, we don’t care if you start 2 hours before or after people as long as you give us the hours and output we expect from those hours. If you need to take a day off, you almost never need pre-approval as long as you make sure your workload is going to be covered.
• Relaxed Environment. It is pretty rare that anyone is stressed out here, except when it’s self-imposed. We are low-key people. Everyone works hard, but there isn’t outside or unreasonable top-down pressure.
•  No Dress Code. I suppose you technically have to wear clothes, but I can’t say that anyone has tested this rule yet, so it may not officially exist.
• No Micro-Management. Once you’re trained and have demonstrated you know your stuff, we are pretty hands off. In fact, if you need external management to stay on-task and motivated, we probably aren’t the place for you.
• Strongly Anti-BS. Anybody in the company can (and is expected to) tell the owner when he is wrong. There is no bureaucracy or BS rules getting in the way of getting work done. You can tell the owner he is wrong to his face, and he doesn’t get mad (he does cry himself to sleep after, but no big deal).
•  No Assholes Allowed. We try very hard to screen out assholes before they get in, but in case they slip through, we fire them quickly.
• 4 Weeks Vacation. If you need a personal day or anything like that, make sure your work is covered as much as reasonable, but otherwise, you do you.
• Lots of Growth Ahead. We are not trying to just be a small business. We want to be doing $50 million annually within a few years. We have 25 people right now, but there are LOTS of growth opportunities ahead which means new and better opportunities for you.

Responsibilities:
• Supporting our creative team in producing amazing advertising/product images that sell the shit out of our products
• Work with and assist photographers and creative team at large with concepting photography
• Assist in all aspects of our photo shoots from pre-production, post-production, and asset cataloging
• Buy props and build sets (usually light work, not extreme carpentry)
• Prep and style products
• Adjust lighting during shoots
• Maintain and organize in-house photo studio
• Assist with the building of shot lists and shoot schedules
• Participate in photoshoots – manipulate and hold the product on set as directed by the photographer. You won’t need to show your face/recognizable attributes if this makes you uncomfortable. Your hands/torso may appear in some shots.
• File management – rename files according to our naming convention, backing up data on servers and transferring files over FTP
• Photo touch up work and compositing in Photoshop
• Miscellaneous/random tasks to make the creative team’s lives easier
• Like everyone else in the company, you will also need to innovate regularly – which means figuring out ways to improve quality and production speed
• It is challenging, but fun work that’s going to require a lot of time and task management, problem-solving, and a reasonable amount of people skills

Salary:
For this role, we’re looking at $30-40k. The big range is because we honestly don’t know the market value of the person we’re looking for.

Do I need photography experience?
Speaking frankly, it will definitely help you, but no you technically don’t as long as you have a high base-rate of competency and can learn very, very quickly. You’re gonna need to work in Photoshop a good bit, and need to understand the basics of photography, so having experience is definitely gonna be value-add, but if you think you have what it takes, then there is no harm in applying.

Do I need a college degree?
Not necessarily. What matters is whether or not you can deliver the goods.

What are the hours like?
We don’t exactly have fixed work hours, so long as you get your work done and put in your hours. In general, I would anticipate this job requiring 40-45 hours per week. You’ll need to be available during regular business hours, particularly when a photo shoot is happening. Outside of that, we don’t care if you start at 6AM or 10AM, if you work 10 hour days, or if you want to catch up on the weekend so long as you put your hours in and get your work done.

If you ever need to go out for a doctor’s appointment, lunch with your significant other, or whatever else, you just do it. You don’t need permission. We’re adults here, even though we act like children.

We have very flexible hours, people are judged by their output, not by how much they suck up to the boss, and turnover is super low because the company believes that happy employees = happy customers = happy bank account. Simply disgusting, if you ask me.

Is there growth potential?
If you like photography, but don’t have a ton of experience, then this is a great job to learn and improve. We are trying to grow very quickly, so if you can prove yourself to be capable, then we will absolutely give you more work and responsibility (and money).

Qualifications:
• Be smart as hell. You will experience a lot of pain if you can’t keep up intellectually. It’s not like we’re geniuses or anything, but we definitely don’t have time to be arguing with not-so-smart people.
•  Have a crazy good design eye. Not everybody shares “it” when it comes to evaluating the quality of creative endeavors. You definitely need to have “it.”
• Be very coachable. If you don’t like getting blunt, honest feedback (we’re always nice about it FWIW) and improving, we probably aren’t a fit for each other.
• Willingness to do whatever. We’re still more or less a startup, so everyone has to wear multiple hats. Sometimes everyone has to chip in to help get orders shipped out, you know?
• Have a fun attitude. We like people with a great sense of attitude and overall happy outlook on life.
• Adobe Photoshop. The actual photography is usually only half the battle at most. You need to be very adept at using this tool to get the results we want.
•  You need to be good at working in an ambiguous environment where it’s not super clear what to prioritize or how to solve the problem. You won’t have a manager on your back all day, so being self-directed is a must.
• You should be able to figure things out on your own rapidly. We will absolutely train you on how things work and so forth, but you need to be comfortable working in the unknown, where decisions are ambiguous, and just figuring it out.
• You need to be able to articulate yourself well and engage in vociferous but friendly debate to arrive at truth. We “argue/truth seek” A LOT, but it’s really positive because we trust each other, know we all want the same thing, and are only arguing over facts and conclusions, not whether someone is a good/competent person, if that makes sense.
• You need the people skills and emotional intelligence to keep your coworkers happy and to negotiate with our suppliers to get us better rates while not pissing them off.

Can this job be remote?
Unfortunately probably not. After you’re trained up, then yes you’ll likely be able to work from home a decent amount of the time, but this is a support role which means that you need to be around and available to help as-needed.

Process:
We promise to respond within 5-10 business days even if our answer is No.

There will be multiple steps in this process FYI including the above quiz, interviews with potentially a few different people, assessment tests, and a paid work test. Hiring the right people is really hard and very expensive if we do it poorly, so we have to front-load the process. I’m sorry about that and thank you for sticking with us.

Once you’re in our pipeline though, I would anticipate giving you a final answer within 2-3ish weeks max. We definitely don’t want to string you along, and as long as you do what we ask, we promise to tell you yes or no, and to not just ghost you like everybody I match with on Tinder.

Thank you for your time and interest, and I hope we can work together soon!

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