Frankie Marin is a Quitter

Jan 14, 2016

Member Name: Frankie Marin

Occupation: Full-time Fashion and Lifestyle Photographer

Job He Quit: Quality Assurance Specialist at a Pharmaceutical Marketing Agency

Frankie Marin earned his membership in Fohr Card’s Quitter’s Club in June when he said goodbye to his marketing office job to take photos full time for the likes of Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff and Urban Outfitters. His path has been filled with hard knocks and hustle, but Frankie has already carved out a reputation as a tireless photographer able to adapt to any style.


The Photo Start: “When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I'd be that kid that brought disposable cameras or my Mom's point-and-shoot cameras and be taking all the pictures. I'd look forward to dropping off a roll of film and seeing what the lab would bring back to me. Even getting 4x6 prints was never enough. I had to get 5x7s, you know, really big prints.”

Laid Off In NYC: “I knew it was going to be tough. I had no savings. I immediately went on food stamps and unemployment. I was so broke. All my clothes were falling apart. I had one pair of shoes. And they weren't snowshoes, I couldn't walk around in the snow without getting my feet completely wet. No insurance. Didn't have money for groceries sometimes. It was rough. I sold off all of my possessions, except for my bed, my computer, my camera and my books.”

The Hustle: “My last job was at a pharmaceutical marketing agency. I would copy edit marketing materials. I did that for two years. On weekdays I might work nine to seven, and on weekends I would shoot, and at night I would edit. I basically didn't sleep. I didn't have a social life. Didn't do any dating. When I first moved to New York City, I would hang out with 20, 30 close friends. And in those two years, it shrunk down to the same four or five people, and I’d see them on weekends when we’d have time.”

The Quit Decision: “I told myself a year into the marketing job, I'm going to quit. I'm going to do photography full-time. I built up my savings, just as a cushion in case everything fell apart. Right before I quit, I was definitely having second thoughts, just really nervous about whether I could make it. I messaged back and forth with Emma at Fohr Card, and she encouraged me to just do it. And the next day, I printed out my resignation letter and handed it in.”

The Next Day: “I think I went to the movie theaters by myself. I went to brunch and got avocado toast and coffee and kind of splurged a little bit. Because I figured it's time to start rewarding myself for all the hard work I've put in the last few years. It felt really good to finally do stuff on my own terms.”

No Weekends, No Problem: “The one thing that really surprised me is that I have no concept of weekends anymore. Saturdays feel the same to me as a Wednesday. It's really weird because I'm working every single day, but it doesn't really feel like work, thankfully. Even if I'm working from nine in the morning to nine at night for a brand, shooting a lookbook or something, it doesn’t feel like Mondays, like how that corporate job felt.”

The Right Stuff: “You have to be humble about what you're doing when you're working with brands because if you insist upon your own vision and your own perspective, then they're not going to want to work with you. And I think that's what makes me a little different. I'm very, very flexible. I can shoot airy, bright, sun-soaked images for one brand, then the next day shoot something that's very gritty and dark.”

Model Photography: “I think images where you have a personal connection to someone, those are going to be the images that have the most soul in them. Those are going to be the most compelling, the most interesting to look at. And that's easiest done when you have another person on the other side of the lens who you can connect with.”

Stay Hungry: “I still think it's very, very important to keep myself busy. I don't want to ever stagnate or get left behind. Honestly, I could stop shooting right now and I'd have enough photos to keep showing for the next year or so, probably. I have so many shoots that I just haven't released or haven't had time to edit. I think that's a good thing.”

Just Do It: “I have a lot of photographer friends that I've told about Fohr Card who were nervous about joining. Maybe they felt their work wasn't up to par or they only have 100 followers on Instagram. As long as you can consistently put out good work, they're going to want to work with you. Shoot as much as you can. Try to keep an open mind about what you're shooting. Keep your ego small. Keep your network big. Those are all really important things if you want to do what I do.”