How To Get A Job As A Photography Assistant

by -80 views

Working every bit a photographer’s banana is i of the best things you can do to larn and interruption into the field every bit a professional lensman. I chatted with Rodrigo Daguerre, photographer and photo editor at 500px, about his experiences working equally an assistant and what he’south learned.

Rodrigo’s story

Rodrigo Daguerre grew up in Buenos Aires. He was interested in photography, but knew that he needed to actually try it out to see if it was what he truly wanted to practice, and so he got a gig working for a mode photographer for a few months—and he loved information technology.

After deciding to study photography away, Rodrigo came to Canada, where he completed the Sheridan photography program in Oakville over the course of two years. In school, he learned a lot—both technical and creative—but knew information technology wasn’t enough: he knew he needed to “get his hands dirty in order to learn the arts and crafts.”

Subsequently graduation, he got a job working as an assistant and gained a lot of noesis, quickly. “You need to be fast; you need to be enlightened of everything that is happening on ready,” Rodrigo explains, “because yous’re helping the photographer—yous’re not there for annihilation else.”

Rodrigo Daguerre

What the job is like

Rodrigo likens a photographer’south task to solving problems: How do you lot capture that elusive portrait? How practice yous create an end consequence the client is happy with? What practise you do when unexpected challenges arise? “Assisting photographers, you first to discover how professional people solve these issues,” Rodrigo says.

Part of an banana’south job is not only handling bug, merely anticipating them. Issues can be varied: “models beingness late, gear not working properly, lights may not piece of work.” You have to accept a plan, because as Rodrigo explains, “You lot tin’t not become the shot.”

Warwick Jones by Rodrigo Daguerre on

What are some of the other things you can expect to do as an assistant? Rodrigo explains a few common duties:

  • Making sure all the gear is gear up. You lot need to know what the lensman will be using, and have any extra stuff yous may demand on hand.
  • If you’re working as a digital capture assistant, yous need to exist checking files on the computer every bit they come in, and making sure that everything is organized and in its identify.
  • You’re “an extra set of eyes.” Rodrigo explains that since often it’s easier or quicker to gear up things on set up than in mail-production, you need to keep an eye out for annihilation that looks off. The feedback is often as simple as “the suit is wrinkly”—simply it can brand a huge difference for editing later.
  • Other tasks may besides fall on your plate. Depending on the lensman, “tasks may lay on you to organize lunch, edifice a gear up, clean, steam the wardrobe, or go get something that is missing in the shoot.”

Sheer by Rodrigo Daguerre on

Finding work as an assistant

Groovy—so you know this is something y’all want to do. But finding the correct gig—or any gig at all—isn’t always piece of cake. Rodrigo shares his tips for treatment the process similar a pro:

1. Practise your enquiry and notice photographers you lot admire and desire to learn from—and reach out to them.
It’due south a lot of cold calls and emails. “Information technology’southward catchy—you desire to exist persistent but not abrasive,” Rodrigo says. He advises to go on emails professional, merely friendly.
2. Working equally a second assistant is a good manner to become in.
Rodrigo explains that at that place are two types of assistants: a commencement assistant works with the photographer on a regular basis, but an additional second assistant tin can also exist hired specifically for special shoots.
3. Having a portfolio and a website is a must.
“They want to meet what you do, what kind of photographer you are. Fifty-fifty though you’re not taking any photos,” Rodrigo explains.
4. Showcase your personality.
It can bear on how much and for whom yous go hired. “You need to bring positive energy. Show that you want to be there, that you care,” Rodrigo says.
five. It helps to help a variety of photographers.
Rodrigo has assisted food, fashion, and corporate photographers. A broad range of photography styles can give you a glimpse into what working in each field is like. “Nutrient photography, for case, is very team oriented,” explains Rodrigo. “If the styling of the food isn’t correct, the photos won’t be right. Same with manner photography. If pilus and makeup isn’t good, information technology shows.”
6. Make the most of each opportunity.
“When y’all get in – that’s the moment yous polish. Evidence that you’re needed; that you bring something extra to information technology.”

Amanda Lang by Rodrigo Daguerre on

Next steps

So, how practice you know when you lot’re ready to kickoff working on your own? For nigh photographers, in that location’s a “period where you stop assisting, and you kickoff getting your own gigs,” Rodrigo says. It’s not always an piece of cake transition: “You’re getting an income; hopefully it’due south helping y’all brand a living… only it’southward a deadening procedure.” Every bit for how to make the switch? Some photographers do a “full stop,” while others continue assisting every one time in awhile. “The trick is to have a balance betwixt both to make the transition easier,” Rodrigo says.

One of the biggest things Rodrigo says he’due south learned from working equally an assistant is the importance of being professional—during every moment of the process. “The reason people hire you is considering they have a nice experience with you lot. You can exist the best photographer in the earth, simply if you are rude or unprepared, they may not get dorsum to y’all because they had a bad experience.” Exist prepared, stay positive, and be mindful of what you say and how you act on set. Be aware that yous’re dealing with some other photographer’s clients, not your own. Stay respectful and make it a great feel.

Above all, make sure to enjoy the process. Call back why you exercise it: considering you’re passionate nigh information technology.

Rodrigo has moved on from working every bit photographer’south banana to focus on his own photography projects. Follow Rodrigo on 500px and check out his Instagram to see more of his piece of work.

Kelsea Schniztler by Rodrigo Daguerre on

Hayley Stewart by Rodrigo Daguerre on


Posted by: