Are wedding photographers assistants in demand at all?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by anubis404, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking for a job where I can learn as much as possible about wedding photography without actually being the photographer. Are assistants or maybe second shooters in any demand for wedding photographers? Maybe someone to do their grunt work or to help out?
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Yes they are indeed in 'demand'.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the pay is going to stink (in most instances) - the photographer is showing you his/her tricks of the trade, so really, the most you can expect out of it is some experience. One note is you must always have a second shooter/assistant contract as the rights and usage of the images can be rather well -- sticky. Anyways, it is a great way to start networking as well :)
     
  3. Holy Ghosted

    Holy Ghosted TPF Noob!

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    A good assistant is always nice to have on large jobs however you will find that most photographer such as myself only needs an assistant every once in awhile making it hard for some one to get a lot of experience so if you can find a few photographers that do not mind you assisting there competition then you may be able to get on a fast track by assisting 3 or 4 photographers until you find one that can take you on in a more full time position.
     
  4. raider

    raider TPF Noob!

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    tried this once - but found it was not necessary. I've seen some use them as keeping track of shots, assist in posing the subjects, and moving the lights. Nothing an experienced photographer can't do his/her self. As for the grunt work, I know of a photographer 'using' a teenager and offering print credit for payment.
     
  5. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the answers guys. I'm hunting for jobs for this summer and maybe the school year, and I really want to gain some experience and maybe be a second shooter at a wedding. Its kind of a long shot, but I'm still going to try. I'm fine with meager pay.

    Also, how much will age factor into this? I will be 16 this summer.
     
  6. Holy Ghosted

    Holy Ghosted TPF Noob!

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    Yes in some situations 16 will hold you up. Like location of receptions and or events. The rest really does depend on you keep in mind as an assistant you will be representing the photographer and their studio as well as your self. Not all 16 year olds choose to be this mature.
     
  7. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I had just turned 17 when I first started second shooting so I don't think that should hold you back too much. Just keep in mind if you are needing to go into a bar or where minors aren't allowed for part of the shoot, you might have some trouble ;)
     
  8. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    I understand. I am a fairly responsible person, and my former employers speak highly of me. I doubt that will be a problem.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There certainly are opportunities...but there are also many, many wannabe photographers who want those positions as well. You might be competing with someone who is 30 and has $10,000 worth of gear.

    The things that will set you apart are your personality and enthusiasm...and it will help if you have skill and knowledge as well.

    Look around for photographers who's work you like, then approach them and ask if there is anything you can do for them. You might get plenty of rejections, but all it takes is for one person to say yes.

    You might also consider joining (or looking into) a local photography club or photographer's association. They might be able to put you in touch with photographers who are willing to take you on.
     
  10. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info. How should I approach this? Should I email the local photographers? See them in person? Is there anything specific I should or shouldn't say?
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If they have a public e-mail address, then that's a good start. I would be start out by telling the person what you want; that is: A chance to understudy them and learn. Then move on tell them why you would like to work with/for him or her. Be complimentary of their work, BUT don't go overboard. Explain your situation, age, experience level and current gear.
     
  12. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Make sure to look over their website to see if they already have a way they prefer for you to apply - they may even have a way to apply online. Make sure to follow up in a week or 2 if you haven't heard from them. When you do get a face to face interview, make sure to have your portfolio of your work ready even if it's not extensive. The studio will be looking for some spark of talent. If you can't get on at your first choice, don't worry too much. Just move on to your next choice.
     

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