An insider’s guide to becoming a photographer’s assistant.

As I am interested in becoming a photographic assistant and have had some experience into what it’s like. I wanted look further into what it takes to become one and have found using the guardian as a resource, Photographer Jonathan Minister gives his advice on how I could become a photography assistant.

Below are some of the key bits of information I have noted…

Approaching a photographer:

  • When speaking to a photographer, ask to visit, help out and stay in touch!
  • Assist across a variety of genres, and then focus on the area I wish to get into.
  • Always assist for people I admire.

I haven’t thought much into who I would consider assisting but this have got me thinking about how I could open up my options and the experiences I could gain within the different genres of photography, if I looked at several areas to help me determine through my experiences what I would like to focus on more.

Portfolio:

  • Showing enthusiasm for photography, knowing the basics and having an interesting take of things.
  • Aim for about 25 to 30 pages, it’s a lot to take in if you have more.
  • Fewer strong images rather than more that are weak or very similar.

I have previously put together a portfolio during my 2nd of the foundation degree at the City of Bristol College and have already gone by these indications. However since starting my 3rd year here at Plymouth University, it has come to my attention that I wish to revisit my portfolio. I would like to make a much stronger and more varied selection of images as I feel some might be too similar to one another and not show a full range of my skills and creativity.

Knowing the industry:

  • Get your head around all kit.
  • Downloading trial software/ workshops to learn more about programs that different cameras shoot to.
  • Photography magazines/visually interesting magazines, websites and blogs.
  • Photographic organisations and clubs.
  • Online blogs where you post your work.
  • Membership associations like the AOP.

From reading this advice I feel I could do more. There are bits of kit and software that I do lack knowledge of, something which I could improve and understand in more depth. I should also take more advantage of the photographic organisations and associations that are available to me and which offer great support and guidance. The AOP for instance I am greatly aware of have been for some time. I will look towards the AOP for guidance into the paths I wish to look into and work towards.

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