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,
- BRINGS NO DRAMA
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.