How to go About being an Assistant?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Misfitlimp, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    So Ive been into photography for like 3 yrs or so and ive been taking classes and have been visiting this site religously everyday and now I wanna step it up some more. Im looking to try and "intern" at some studios close by. I know a little on how to set up some types of lights and stuff and what not but my question is should I not go and try to assist these guys that are profesional photographers? I mean they way I figure they are getting someone to help for peanuts and giving them a little insight on the Biz and what have u right? So its a win win situation right? Is there some sort of requierments that I should meet before I can go and try and apprentice? Id appreciate some insight on the subject. Thanks in advance
     
  2. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

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    Maybe you should bring a profile of your best pictures to show how dedicated you are.
     
  3. thenikonguy

    thenikonguy TPF Noob!

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    if your still in high school, and your school has a co-op program, that would be the easiest way in, because the school will set it up for you.

    otherwise, create a portfolio of your best work.. don't just use a few images.. and create a GOOD portfolio.. show the studio that you mean business.. theres nothing worse than someone showing up with a poorly put together portfolio, invest some money in a NICE photo album, OR a nice scrap book and put that puppy together
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Call the studios and ask them if they need assistants.
     
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Being an assistant is a job, not school. If you learn anything about photography it is by setting things up and watching. But there isn't much time to watch. A shoot is usually a very busy place. If you're lucky, as I was, and work with friendly photographers you can also learn during travel times by chatting. Just don't make a pest of yourself.

    You may need a portfolio but since you would not work as a photographer this portfolio has a very different role. You want it to show a basic understanding of photography, yes, but mostly an understanding of your job. Shots with studio lights, shots of models, etc. You're trying to show your understanding of equipment and attention to details more than anything else. But to be honest most photographers I interviewed with barely glanced at mine and it was only 8 photos.

    I have been told here that since the advent of digital photography, there are fewer jobs for assistants. Although it is quite true that I spend quite a bit of time loading and unloading film from cameras it was not the biggest part of my work. And I never dealt with the films after the shoots. My photogs used couriers to get the stuff back and forth to the labs.

    Back when I did it professional associations kept a directory of available assistants. I imagine they still do. Try and look at them to see what those people are saying about themselves. That will give you a very good idea on what to do then join the association that fits best what type of photography you want to work in and get your name in there. It should also give you a directory of members which will allow you to check them out (their websites) so you can go knock on doors.

    Be aware though that it is rarely a full time job when you start and, with some photogs, it never will be. Not every photog needs a full time person. So you need to know how to sell yourself on a near constant basis unless you get lucky. Which could happen.

    As with everything else, social contacts are very important. I got my first long lasting job from a a guy I knew. I had bought equipment from him and we hung out in the same camera store. Since he didn't need me full time, he then talked to a friend of his. Those are the two guys I spend around two years with. After a while, they liked me so much that they talked to each other when scheduling their shoots.

    So, think of who you know who knows someone who knows somebody.

    Good luck.
     
  6. thenikonguy

    thenikonguy TPF Noob!

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    the schools here have a program called Co-Op where you go all day, every day for at LEAST 1 semester and WORK at the location of your choice. I just spoke to a student last night, who is very interested in photography, and for his co-op, he worked at a photo studio (for free, through the school) he would arrive at the studio at open, and was there until close.. he was the pro's *****.. he set up, he tore down, BUT, he also learned a great deal in the process..

    so being an assistant to a photog, through a school program, is useful, and, its actually easier to get that job, than going in on your own, trying to do it..

    of course, I don't know the OP, nor the age, so I have no idea if your in highschool, OR if your school even offers CO-OP or something like it
     
  7. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone. Im in junior college not high school so that sucks
     

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