Are you ready to work for free?
After my experience on this job and that of about 15 co-workers who fled Image, I’ll try to describe to you their system of exploitation.
Firstly agents take their fee:
Recruiting agents take from you 350-500 euros illegally, against the law. (Although they already get money from the company that employs you).
Medical exam, C1/D visa, operating costs around €250-350
When arriving to for work Image:
Photo-camera, uniform and deposits (which is forbidden to be taken by the ILO Convention from 2006) = $1450
When boarding the ship:
The first 3 months you work to repay Image $1.450, while your salary is ~ $700 (Since from you monthly salary stays around $200 a month for a drink in the crew bar, internet and similar necessities)
Next 5 months you work for $700 and by the end of the contract you make $3.500. The company pays you a ticket home.
You’ve come back home:
Since you initially spent around €700-800 before going on a boat that is about $1.000 to return back to the 0. So realistically, you earned $2.500.
You sit at home and keep the buck in the stack.
After two months you return to Image. They calculate the air-fare Serbia to Hawaii a whopping $ 2,500
Nothing + Nothing = Nothing:
Congratulations, you’ve just realized that you’ve been busting your ass six months for free.
I forgot that you have returned home with the D90 camera body with 20-30.000 shots, which you can now sell for €200 if you’re lucky.
Are you ready to work on a job in Serbia for six months without pay?
I am prepared to produce contacts of colleagues who will confirm the whole story and who have already left Image.
To emphasize, this applies only to lousy ships that make up 95% of the ships on which Image has concession.
If you get the boat of Oasis class, Allure or Cunard, situation is a little better.
The chance to get a good boat is about 10% but they will tell you that only after a training in Miami. So that you’re forced to buy your own ticket to home, if you decide to quit.
BTW, Image was granted the concession at the MSC Cruises, so they actively recruit, and I want them to get as few photographers from Serbia in the future as possible!!