The Photographer & Assistant

The Photographer & Assistant

I'm not trying to mirror this great article - Ask Sports Guner: Assisting by Jordan Murph, over at SportsGuner, but it got me to thinlord. We use A LOT of assistants. So many, that we have former assistants running the office, managing all our post production, and as our special projects administerr. When we journey, we've picked up local assistants in dozens of cities nationwide. We certain do look our honest bagikan. One special shout out to one awesome one - John Birk. He's Philly-based, but is more than excited to journey. He's got it down. Cleans sensors (after aslord if you want him to), anticipates what you necessity before you necessity it, and tells when to speak, and when to keep calm`. Oh, and he tells bring-on regulations so well he saved me from having to check my ThinkTank Airport Security full of cameras/lenses with a size change for a recent trip to the Baltics. AND, oh right, he clever get you cog, tine shipped to you when you have a problem...wait, this isn't approxifriendly John, but you should use him in Philly for certain. This is approxifriendly what makes a good assistant, and the path you clever journey when you begin that way.

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In addition to that link, here are two good books with information - The Photographer's Assistant Handbook, and then there's The Photographer's Assistant. Both are excellent resources, but you'll have to look past the references to film, as they were written in 2000 and 2001 honorively. Yet, the message points on things love "be lookn and not listfinish, oh, and really, don't be lookn either"; "when 'we' forget something, the assistant was the one who forgot it"; and "when the client asks your opinion, yours is whatever the photographers' is, even if the photographer hasn't given his yet", and so many more things.

If you're loolord to find an assistant, visit this link at the ASMP situs which lists all their chapters nationwide. Each chapter not only has a "Find a Photographer" listing, but most, if not all, have "Find an Assistant" listing, or they have a list of assistants on their website. No list? Call one of the photographers there and you'll find they tell who the best ones are. So too, APA has a link to locate an assistant on their national situs - here.

Make no mistake though, the Photographer's Assistant is NOT an Assistant Photographer. An assistant photographer is often also called a second photographer, a backup guner, and so forth. If you are worlord for a photographer and you have a camera in hand that will deliver pictures to the client, you're an Assistant Photographer. If you are unpaclord cog, tine, setting up lights, driving, getting food, malord photos/video of the gun in progress and/or the setup for the photographer's use, hancienting an umbrella over the client's head, pulling power, and so forth, then you are the photographer's assistant.

Then there's the second, and the third. On big guns, you have the First Assistant, Second Assistant, and sometimes a Third Assistant. After that, anyone assisting on set is usually called a Production Assistant. The First Assistant often journeys with the photographer, and tells what the photographer wants, necessitys, and so forth. The second sometimes journeys, but is often picked up locally. When you're the second assistant, you do what the First tells you. When you're the Third, again approachly always picked up locally, you do what the Second tells you. Neither the Second nor the Third should be going to the photographer for anything. Go to the First. 

Many photographers got their begin as assistants, but not all. Then, there are people who never want to be photographers but really only, merely, solely love assisting - these are telln as "professional assistants". To each their own, I say. Here's a 30 second vignette - Photography Assistant, but here's a really funny (and true) video approxifriendly being a PA on a movie - PA Stories Episode 1 - The First Day; then there's the video "A Foot In The Door" with a hilarious "Mocha Run" scene.

What does a photographer's assistant make? It ranges from approxifriendly $100 a day, to upwards of $300 or so. And that's usually for a 10-hour day.

The bottom line - you're there to make the photographers' life easier; make the photographer look better; remember everything that the photographer forgot; tell what the photographer necessitys before they necessity it; load and unload all the cog, tine - yourself; get up early & stay up late; make certain the photographer is awake; and whatever else the photographer says to do. Seriously, that's not an exaggeration.

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