time. In the beginning, just watch, listen and learn. There are some really neat tips and tricks you can pick up. For instance – do you know why you would want to use a welding mask glass on a fashion shoot? (If you know, shoot me a tweet @photosbydepuhl #TipsAndTricks.)
Personally, I will hire someone with a good head on his/her shoulders, who has no ego, and who wants to learn over anyone – even someone with a photography degree – any day of the week. Photographers want reliable, hardworking, smart assistants, who make the shoot go smooth and easy.
P.S. Some set etiquette:
– Don’t give a client your card or show them your book. Assisting is a time to learn – not to promote your work. That’s one of the fastest ways not to be hired again.
– Tell the photographer if you don’t know how to do a task you’ve been asked to preform. We’d rather you ask than do it wrong.
– Don’t tell the client that you would have been able to do a better job (even if you think that’s true). Good photographers are happy to hear your suggestions. Tell them out of ear shot of their client.
– Don’t fall asleep on set. Don’t do drugs. Don’t wander off. Don’t break out your camera to take pictures (unless the photographer has asked you to) – you’re here to work for the photographer and you’re not on vacation.
– Think ahead. Be polite. Stay on your toes. Work your butt off. Ask questions.
– Oh, and don’t forget to LISTEN.
P.P.S Who knows? Maybe you’ll have your picture taken by a famous photographer, with two supermodels, when your a stand in for someone famous …
All I Ever Needed to Know About Photography, I (didn’t) Learn in Photo School on Strictly Business, was originally published on Strictly Business the American Society of Media Photographer‘s blog.