Apply: Part-Time Researcher

Do you love photography and advertising, and are you a nerd for research? Wonderful Machine may be the place for you!

Wonderful Machine is a production company with a staff of 20 humans and one dog in Conshohocken, PA and a network of 700 photographers around the world. We are seeking a part-time researcher to help us track down publications, agencies, and brands that need high-quality photographers.

We provide three main services:

  • We promote our member photographers to high-quality clients.
  • We help photographers with their branding and marketing.
  • We produce photo shoots for ad agencies and brands.

Our team includes photo editors, marketing consultants, producers, designers, publicists, and researchers. Our staff members routinely cultivate relationships with all sorts of people in the photography and advertising industries, so keeping track of those people is critical to our success. We currently have 47,000 people and 21,000 companies in our database, but new companies are formed every day, and people move from one company to another.

There are five main types of people we do business with:

  • Clients (otherwise known as prospects) are important to us because nothing happens without clients and it’s why all the other types of people exist at all (including us). Clients include ad agencies, brands, corporations, catalogs, magazines, graphic design firms, book publishers, record companies, non-profits, etc. (anyone who uses high quality commercial photography (and increasingly video) on a regular basis).
  • Photographers account for the majority of our revenue through their membership and consulting fees. We work to attract the best photographers from around the world. Having great photographers on our site allows us to attract quality clients.
  • Crew is a term that describes all the people and companies who help photographers execute photo shoots. They include stylists, make-up artists, digital techs, location scouts, caterers, and more. Photographers and clients love that we can help them find excellent crew anywhere in the world. We have a public Find Crew page that allows anyone to search any kind of crew anywhere in the world.
  • Many photographers and crew work with agents, who help get them assignments and manage their careers. Many of our photographers have agents, and the exposure we provide augments the promotion that their rep provides. We also frequently help photographers find the right agent, and we sometimes help agents with branding, marketing, estimates or shoot production. We have a public Find Agents page that lists all of the agents we know about.
  • Resources is a term that covers everyone else in our industry – everything from legal and accounting services to website templates and hosting to associations and workshops. Knowing all the important people and companies in our industry allows us to be a valuable resource to clients and photographers. We have a public Find Resources page divided into several different categories. We cultivate strategic partnerships with many of these resources to create publicity opportunities for our company and for our photographers. You can read about some of those on our Press page.

We currently have one full-time researcher and we're looking for a part-time researcher to research Clients. As I mentioned above, there are lots of different types of clients, but they all fit into one of three main categories: publications, agencies, and brands. We have two processes for each of those client categories: we track down new companies to add to our database, and we track down new people to add to existing companies. Our researchers start by learning how to add new people to publications, then new people to agencies, then new people to brands. Then, they move on to adding new publications, then new agencies, then new brands. We have developed a lot of ways to find these people and companies, and we use lots of different sources to find them, but the work still requires quite a lot of intelligence to know who to add and how to find them.


We're looking for someone who wants to work in our Conshohocken office 80 hours/month (about 20 hours/week). You can make your own schedule, provided you work during normal business hours.

The pay is 20.00/hour with a 1.00/hour raise each year. We are currently not offering any fringe benefits with this position.

You can read more about our history on Kate Osba's blog:

The Wonderful Machine team in the bullpen of our Conshohocken office.


If you think we might be a good match, please send your resume to [email protected] listing your education and experience, and a brief cover letter (which can be in the body of the email) describing why you’d be a good fit for Wonderful Machine. I'll acknowledge your email by saying, “Thanks, I’ll take a look.” If you don’t hear from me again, that means that I don’t think that you’re quite right for us at this moment. It’s nice if you address your email to me personally (please call me Bill), rather than to “Dear Hiring Manager.” And you’ll score extra points if you include a link to your LinkedIn profile (which helps me keep tabs on you if I can't hire you this time around). If it looks to me like you might be a good match for us, I’ll ask to meet up over Skype for a quick chat. I’ll have some questions for you, and it’ll be nice if you have some questions for me.

I hope that’s helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything I could add to make this explanation more useful. Thanks!