Photography assistant?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Kstrong, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Kstrong

    Kstrong TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'm on the hunt for a job. I will be working until September 2009, as I am taking a year off for school. My question is, since many of you on here are probly freelance photographers, or have your own business. Do you usually hire a photographer assistant kind of person?

    What I mean by that is, someone that is not a ''real'' photographer (just does it for fun, and thinking about it as a future career.) just to go around with you and take pictures and help with editing pictures and so on. I want to do photography, I enjoy it and would love to have it as a career. But I would like to go around with someone and learn new ways to take pictures, and get the feel of what it is like to be a photographer. Because if I want to be a photographer what better way to learn, and this could also help me with photography at NSCC (when I hopefully get into that course in 2009).

    Basically I would like to know what is the best way for me to get involved in a job with photography as a student?
     
  2. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    id also like an answer to this :)

    id really like to do some free work learning off real photographers in real situations
     
  3. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    There are hundreds of wannabe assistants. There are hundreds of one-man shows too. The wannabe assistant pool is very useful if the one-man show bites off more than he can chew but it's not steady work. McDonalds, flipping burgers is steady work with benefits too!
     
  4. Kstrong

    Kstrong TPF Noob!

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    Yes McDonald's is steady work, but I'm looking for a chance to get to know how and what is involved in being a photographer, getting to know some people, and learn from them.

    I worded my post kinda badly to get that point across, I made it sound like I wanted work as an assistant. But I just want to learn. The assistant part is because I'll be working full time at some job that I don't have yet, so I will not have a lot of time to do work with photographers. I'll have enough time work go out on the odd shoot with them and so on.

    I'm just curious to know if photographers take people out on shoots with them to help the person become a better photographer.

    The other problem that I have is, around where I live, we have maybe 3 photographers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  5. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    Generally speaking, it's hard to make a living at photography even if you're a good photographer. Making money at it before then is almost impossible. (Although public standards seem to get lower every day. :wink:)

    We hire additional photographers. They shoot, or second shoot, weddings, cover sessions, help with events, etc. But, they've got to be good, solid, photographers.

    On the other hand, we take interns on every year. All we're looking for is basic knowledge, nice personality, decent hygiene... You get the idea. Interns tag long and can learn just about anything about the business - sales, shooting, processing, etc. But, since they're not skilled, and they're generally more work than they are help, they do not have paid positions. We feed them. Sometimes. :eek:)
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I practically worked my way through college as an assistant. This was in NYC 1986-1990. Currently the LA market seems to be generally the same. 75-300 dollars a day. These people are not doing it just for fun. They take the market very seriously. Most are photo majors planning on going into photography as a career.

    Best way to get involved is to contact local photographers and get involved in local clubs and organizations. Also involves being in a major market like NY or LA. Problem is only the bigger names use assistants. Never hurts to ask. If you get your name out there someone will eventually hire you.

    Also keep in mind that you are hired as an assistant. Suffice to say that your days are not filled with photography knowledge. There is a lot of getting coffee and lifting heavy gear.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. Mike30D

    Mike30D TPF Noob!

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    First off, if and when you find a photographer who is willing to let you tagalong.... please do not tell them you want to do it for "fun". They want someone who is serious about it. I will tell you that it isn't easy to find one that is willing to take you on, most will tell you "No, I don't want to train my future competition."

    There are a few forums on the internet that will let pros post openings for tagalongs/assistants. One of them is over at DWF (Digital Wedding Forum) a start membership is free and allows you to look at those listings. Again, they are looking for people who are wanting to build up a portfolio and get experience. Weddings are a good way to get experience, they are a lot of work! There's another forum that does this... I will have to find it and get back to you.

    A lot of people started just calling up studios and asking if they were looking for help.

    It's not easy, good luck!
     
  8. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    I just saw some fairly nice 10x8s done free - they looked a bit out of focus. They were done in the local mall. I think people like these mall photographers have the portrait stuff nailed. People will buy it because it's cheap and won't really care that it's crap. The lighting was almost decent - the background needed more light as it looked a little grey having been white. A nice top right key light and a softbox straight in front.
     
  9. Kstrong

    Kstrong TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help guys. This just got a lot more complicated than I thought it would be.
     
  10. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    Umm... Rhys, I have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  11. Kstrong

    Kstrong TPF Noob!

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    Heres another question. More likely then not they are going to want to see some kinda of portfolio, right?

    Now, whats the best way to do up a portfolio? Should I just give them a link to my Flickr, print out a few pictures at home, put some onto a CD, or get some pictures developed?
     
  12. jasonkt

    jasonkt TPF Noob!

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    If you've already contacted your three area photographers about this, try finding out if they have any full time employees you can contact instead. For an intern, a portfolio is not always needed. Stress what you can bring to the table-strong work ethic, willingness to do ANYthing thats needed, always punctual, etc. If you are tall, I swear that is an asset. I don't know about your area but I'm always a big fan of Craigslist, look under the "gigs" section, and click on the "creative" list. That's where you usually find photographers looking for assistants, interns, models, hair and make-up artists, stylists, etc.
     

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