Advertising Product Photographer

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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.

Our business involves taking random products and then marketing the heck 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 ($10mm in 2019, hopefully $50mm by 2022), 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.

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.

Overview:
You’ll be creating amazing advertising imagery for our Amazon.com products in our company studio that make our products look like Zeus himself shat them out. Or something like that.

• Can you make boring subjects look amazing?
• Do you enjoy creatively solving problems?
• Do you thrive in a high-stress environment filled with political infighting, bureaucracy, and corporate nonsense?

If so, then we are the place for you, except you might hate how nice of a company we have – filled with happy, generally competent people that don’t put up with jerks. Frankly, it makes me sick how nice everyone is. They’re up to something, let me tell you.

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.

We need you to produce a lot of sets. Real artists ship, as they say! To be sure, it’s definitely a balance between quality and speed. We can definitely discuss in-person when the time comes though, so don’t sweat it for now. I promise we’re reasonable.

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 high-level technical skill, problem-solving, and a reasonable amount of people skills.For this role, we’re ballparking $40-60k with definite room to grow into more if you kick-butt. The big range is because we honestly don’t know the market value of the person we’re looking for. We can definitely discuss more in-person. I promise we’re reasonable and won’t try to take advantage of you, nor is our range just BS to get you in the door.

You sell online. Am I just shooting on white the whole time?
Absolutely not. Most ecom images are just shockingly bad. We want to produce images that rival something that Nike would produce for a magazine, but constrained by our lower budget. We want to produce next-level images that blow our competition out of the water. There will be some on-white shooting, but that is a fraction of the work. You definitely won’t be blasting through 80 products in a day from 4 different angles. Not even close. Promise!

What is your company like?
• 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 Jerks Allowed. We try very hard to screen out jerks 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:
• Work with our product copywriters on what features/benefits to focus on
• Plan a photoshoot that will demonstrate those features
• Figure out creative ways to shoot the product in-action with props/sets that stay within budget
• Photograph the products with immaculate lighting – you’re painting with light
• Work with models occasionally
• Work with an Art Director and Photography Production Assistant to create a set of photographs that rival the best in the world

Do I need a college degree?
No, but it will probably help. The main thing that matters is can you deliver the goods.

Do I need advertising experience?
Not necessarily, but you’re going to have to be able to prove that you are an amazing photographer, who can rapidly start producing advertising images. The main thing that matters is can you 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. 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.

Will I be trained?
First off, there is a train by our warehouse which you’ll eventually get stuck at, so in that sense…yes.

We have internal standards and training documents, but we also want to upgrade our current quality, so this is a job where you probably need to be coming in with existing experience. We’ll absolutely help you any way we reasonably can.

What traits do I need to kick ass?
• Be super smart. 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.

Do I need specific skills?
• Adobe Photoshop. Other people will be doing most of the retouching/post work, but you should still be knowledgeable here.
• 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. Getting you trained up on how we like to operate and sharing products and feedback with you is significantly easier in-person. For now, we need you to be on-site at our warehouse in Charlotte, NC. If you’re willing to relocate, then we can definitely talk.

After you’re trained up, at least some of the time, then yes you’ll likely be able to work remotely a reasonable percentage of the time.

Having said that, if you think you are particularly awesome, then you’re welcome to submit an application just in case, but I don’t want to get your hopes up.

This sounds pretty good, though I’m still skeptical that this isn’t a pyramid scheme.
You and the IRS both!

The 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 quiz, interviews with potentially a few different people, 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 at the 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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