So you want to be a second shooter, assistant, etc… for a photographer
Interested in becoming an assistant or second shooter for a photographer? This is a VERY HONEST set of tips and tricks to read over as you look for that perfect 2nd shooting position.
For the past 6 years now I cater to tens if not hundreds of in person, in email, and phone request for assistants. It’s really nice to see so much interest in the industry, but also telling of what we have to deal with as professional photographers when it comes to competition and also level of skill that maybe out there. As a photographer instructor I want to help everyone, but as a professional photographer I know sometimes that not everyone can do what photographers do. It’s an interesting situation.
Along with being asked by people to use them, I also have had the experience of being a second shooter for some amazing photographers the last 5 years. My experience will be relayed there.
So to cut to the chase, here’s a list of do’s, don’ts, and stuff to be aware of.
Be willing to do the small things -
While this is obvious to some people, it’s not obvious to others. Be ready to lift, climb, do physical labor, and more on the job. A lot of it is menial, and you should graduate from it early. If you are an assistant be sure to learn how to gaffers correctly, learn how to put up and break down light stands, how to interface with the lights, and most importantly how to find a secure place to hide and store equipment and cases. The small things are one of those things you can do that really show those who work around you how awesome you are. There’s a break in the shoot, the photographers talking to the set director and the models are changing? It’s a good time to just pickup debris/trash around the set. I do it as a photographer and I NEVER expect my assistants too, it’s a pleasant surprise and something I appreciate the 2nd/assistant for.
Something I personally do as a second shooter for weddings is make sure my main photographer has simple things like a glass of iced water. When you are running 200% on a wedding day, when your 2nd comes up with a glass of water and also a quick summery of their plan of attack to knock out some great photos, you can’t help but be thankful. Read the rest of this page »