I am very familiar with Image 1 Studios as I used to be a former "sub contractor" for them, I say sub contractor because that is how they like to label everyone who works for them so that they can take advantage of the tax breaks that come along with labeling people that way. However they fail to accurately treat thier "sub contractors" as so, anyone who works with the company is treated poorly and as an employee.
While Image 1 Studios is a relatively legitimate "company" and I use that term loosely the company as a whole is ran by a man who acts like a 12 year old throwing a temper tantrum the entire time, the only other person of note in the company is the "VP of operations" who also is an emotional wreck for the most part.
The company prides itself on finding consistant work for their photographers with a specific clientele, However they just spend all day cold calling venues to book you at and then require you as the photographer to go in and make the sales happen, their booking process is even shady for the poor clients that they book for.
During my time working with Image 1 Studios I had a number of clients scream at me saying that they thought everything was free and that the whole thing was a scam for them. which was very difficult for me as a photographer.
The company does offer a sign on "advance" of up to $2500 for equipment and relocation, but only if the owner thinks you deserve it, and then you are required to pay it back, which is understandable but also makes you a prisoner of the company untill the debt is repaid, which can take half a year of so. This is a method that the owner developed to trap photographers into continuing work with the company no matter how miserable they were.
Also the company boasts of a 300% growth over the past 3 years, however just in the short time that i worked with the company i saw nothing but a revolving door of photographers and other employees, including: 9 photographers, 3 assistants and at least 3 booking agents, came and went in less than year.
The company does not "allow" you to have any communication with anyone else in the company expect for the VP of operations, this made getting anything accomplished efficiently very difficult if not impossible. The reason the company had this policy was because it is common practice for the owner and the VP to keep detrimental secrets from everyone who works for them.
It became common knowledge that the booking agents made a higher commission if they kept booking the photographers in a "home" territory which ment the photographer would be paid a lower commision, which in turn made more money for the owner. This created alot of anamosity and resentment in the relationship of the photographer and their booker, for me this created a rediculous amount of stress.
In addition to everything else there were specific hours that the "sub contractor" photographers were required to work (which is illegal btw) and if a photographer was caught leaving a venue before a specific time that subcontractor was screamed at and then forced to do free work.
The company does alot of convention events and often required the photographers who worked the convention for them to work anywhere from 14-20 hour days with ZERO breaks! The owner would often complain that he didn't even want to provide a simple sub sandwich to his photographers since they couldn't even take a fricken break, and then to top it off where pushed into doing additional work at the event and then NOT paid properly for it. This situation became common practice for the company.
They also require thier photographers to sign a new non compete agreement every single years further extending the 5 year hold on competing with their company, and icing on the cake is that the new non compete that their lawyer drew up for them is ran through Delaware legislation only, so even if you live in a different state you would still be held to Delaware law which is rediculous.
This is a cautionary tale for anyone considering working with the company, they treat their photographers like slave workers and dont pay them crap.
its also public knowledge that the owner has a distaste for people who follow an alternative lifestyle such as non-christian spiritualists, homosexuals, and anyone of Ethnic cultures. This information came straight from the horses mouth, The owner even boasted of his social stigmas often and is an embaressment to be affiliated with.