Steven Brokaw Photography

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An Assistant Would Be Nice

I’ve commented before on some photoshoots it would easier if I had an assistant.  Mind you, for most photoshoots an assistant would be more of a luxury, however for other shoots they can help make a successful production.  But what makes a good assistant?  That’s a tough question. 

I’ve used assistants previously, but no one person consistently.  I’ve had mixed results.  Mainly because I haven’t set proper expectations for either myself or the potential assistant.  Without setting the proper expectations or standards in editorial fashion or model photography things generally don’t work out.

I’m doing a couple of shoots this month that will require someone to help beyond the creative team already scheduled.  So, you know what I did, I thought about what makes a good assistant for me personally.  Remember, all photographers will have their own criteria, but it makes sense to know what those criteria are before bringing someone in.  So here goes:

  • Our personalities don't conflict.  Our personalities don’t have to be the same, but they can’t conflict,
  • Not intrusive during the shoot.  Does not make himself or herself the center of the action,
  • Shares, understands or can expand the vision / theme of the shoot,
  • Understands photography, post processing, lighting, etc. or is extremely willing to learn if a student,
  • Anticipates the photographer’s needs.  Most of this comes from experience or being a photographer themselves,
  • Stays alert.  Is the light tipping over, does the light need to be moved, etc. etc.
  • Businesslike (on time, communicates well, follows-up, etc.),
  • DOES NOT FLIRT WITH THE MODEL or creative team members.  Hey, this isn't a date or an opportunity to pick up someone.  Also, along the same line don't be a creeper or post shoot stalker, 

Surprisingly, the personality, non-intrusive, no drama, no flirting are key for me.  I can teach the other stuff if it's someone that messes.  I try to run a professional experience and anything that falls short reflects on me & the final image.

So there you have it.  My assistant wish list.  Now, to find someone that fills the bill.  You're out there I know it.

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