I want to be a Photo Assistant
BY GREG ON NOVEMBER 6, 2009 IN FROM GREG'S DESK
Every week I get phone calls and emails from assistants wanting to work on my crew. Those that call wanting to be assistants I ask one short question:
“Do you see yourself as a 1st assistant or a 2nd or 3rd?”
Some reply , “1st.” Then I say that I already have my 1st, and I typically ask my 1st who he/she would like to hire a 2nd or 3rd. If my 1st does not have anyone in mind, or all his/her choices are booked, I move on and ask my producer. On rare occasions I have had assistants come into the studio and meet with me and the next day or two I had a shoot and they got hired. I have never hired a first assistant this way. 1st assistants always come through recommendations from other people I really trust, or from a former 2nd stepping up to the plate.
If you are looking for work as an assistant I recommend the following:
Meet all the other 1st assistants out there that you can, as these are the people who will hire you, not the photographer.
Next, meet all the Producers for still imagery you can.
If you are just starting out in the field, try your best to work at a studio rental house such as Milk or Industria or any number of other studios at there in large cities. That way you will meet other assistants, producers and photographers in the field. You may also find your way on-set, learn gear and shoot protocol.
I will post some interviews from newbie assistants in the filed who are out there pounding the pavement on my blog at www.gregceoblog.com