Breaking into the Photographic Industry (Assisting)
  • squeeze
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    Breaking into the Photographic Industry (Assisting)

    by squeeze » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:22 am

    Hi All.

    This question has been bugging me for years about the pros and cons of becoming a full time photographer. Obviously i do have a deep sense of passion doing what i love as a hobbie. On the other hand. what has stopped me from doing this is the lack of financial security not having a permanent full time job in this industry.

    Though, im planning ahead giving myself between 6 to 8 months to be fully comfortable to go without pay (or less pay) to break into the industry

    Are the any profesional photographer out there can reccomend how would one person start assisting? or how to look for assisting work? what are the criteria's that a photographer look for in a photographers assistant?

    any help would be great! :)

    Squeeze
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    by Dug » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:54 am

    Good luck !

    I doubt there is a photographer in Australia that enjoys full financial security.


    Depending on your skills and location I would be looking at 6 to 8 years to really crack the market.

    What kind of photography do you plan to concentrate on ?

    What experience do you have ?
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

    Edward Weston

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    by squeeze » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:08 pm

    Dug wrote:

    I doubt there is a photographer in Australia that enjoys full financial security?


    :lol: that is true.. though i wouldn't mind doing something i enjoy ;)

    Dug wrote:What kind of photography do you plan to concentrate on ?

    What experience do you have ?

    essentially i've been shooting for 4 years on and off. covering a wide range of events, music festivals, live gig photography and the social photos. but those days have been by gone although i still cover the occasional live concert photography for a few street press.

    Ideally, I wouldn't mind breaking into still life(advertising), or food which is my other passion :lol: and the odd fashion photography it is help
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    by Dug » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:25 pm

    Get a portfolio together of your best work and knock on doors.

    We have "wanna be" photographers ring up every week or so looking for work I always say the same thing, "No work but I would be pleased to look at your portfolio" 99% of them never call back or make an appointment to show what they can do they expect a job to drop from heaven upon them.

    Find some photographers you would like to work with and make a real effort to get in touch with them personally.

    Show them you are keen. In my own limited observation many young photographers feel they are so good the world should be offering them whatever they want on a plate. In reality it does not work like that !!! :wink:
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

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    Re: Breaking into the Photographic Industry (Assisting)

    by David Anderson » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:21 pm

    squeeze wrote:Are the any profesional photographer out there can reccomend how would one person start assisting? or how to look for assisting work? what are the criteria's that a photographer look for in a photographers assistant?



    I was sitting at my fave cafe on morning having breakfast & a cofeee while waiting for film to get done when a guy sat down at my table, he looked me in the eye and said with great conviction - "I'm going to be your assistant".
    I hired him on the spot because he was 6'5, solid and just out of the army.

    He worked for e for almost three years.. :D

    You wont get a job in photography by waiting for it to find you. :wink:

    What I look for in assistants -

    They have to have a car and be a good driver.
    They need to know when to be quiet and out of the way.
    They need to be very organized.
    They need to have a passion for photography and be ready to earn little money while learning.

    What you learn while on the job is much better than reading it in a book or seeing it in a classroom, but it's a very hard job at times and there's no room for the lazy or slow.

    There's a shortage of experienced free-lance assistants in Sydney at the moment.

    To get work you need to hand out cards at the hire studios and camera shops and meet as many photographers as possible..
    ANSEL ADAMS ~ When words become unclear I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate I shall be content with silence.


    www.davidanderson.com.au
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    by Dug » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:32 pm

    A good assistant is worth their weight in gold

    a bad assistant can cost you their weight in gold.
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

    Edward Weston

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    by Dug » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:36 pm

    I like an assistant that does what they are told then at the end of the day asks "Why did we do it that way" Ask questions when it is quiet never when it is busy.
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

    Edward Weston

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    by kangas » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:42 am

    Many years ago a friend asked me the same question.

    I adviced him to have a look at the armed services or the police.

    He joined the navy and never looked back, still there.

    Worth looking into


    kangas
    " No Worries "


    kangas
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    by Dug » Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:31 pm

    kangas wrote:Many years ago a friend asked me the same question.

    I adviced him to have a look at the armed services or the police.

    He joined the navy and never looked back, still there.

    Worth looking into


    kangas


    How many years ago and what was his name ?

    I worked witha few Anchor W@nker photographers in the 70's :lol: :lol: :lol:
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

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    by trac44 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:14 pm

    Dug wrote:I worked witha few Anchor W@nker photographers in the 70's :lol: :lol: :lol:

    This could be a smaller world than we ever imagined. Does the name "Shorty" Needham (submariner) mean anything to you?
    Cheers
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    by Dug » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:57 pm

    No but i bet he knew people I knew :D
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

    Edward Weston

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    by kangas » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:59 pm

    Hi Dug, his name is Keith Mc Carron.

    His first job after his training was the Melbourne aircraft carrier farewell world tour. How lucky was that :D
    " No Worries "


    kangas
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    by Dug » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:39 pm

    HMAS Melbourne was still our flagship when I was in.

    I photographed one of her Skyhawk jets doing a belly landing at Amberly :D

    It was a good landing ( Any landing you walk away from qualifies as a good landing )

    They took the pilot for a fly in one of our F111s the next day ( His hangover from the night before in the officers mess was appalling. )
    "Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be."

    Edward Weston

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    by elffinarts » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:48 pm

    Getting assistant work in Brisbane isn't exactly easy, well, that is to say, you can find assistant work here but finding work with a quality pro who will actually teach you good constructive lessons while you work your ass off rather than just feeding you crap - well, that's another story. I've worked for some pros and learned a truckload very quickly through their good communication and attitude but I have also worked for pros who did nothing but talk themselves up while lumping shit shots in my lap to process.

    Having said that I'm wondering if the lass that my boss recently employed to be my assistant will lose her "I know, I have a diploma" attitude and make an effort to learn Lightroom tomorrow. As another aside, and following the off topic thread, I nearly had the go ahead to join the air force as a photographer about a year ago but the wife then got all freaked about it... so back to catalog fashion work.
    Mark Greenmantle
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    by Fusionize » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:47 pm

    Sorry to revive this, but one thing i have learnt is just talk to people.

    We have finally decided on a wedding photographer, his work I just love(for anyone interested it is Mark Lorton). We got on to myself doing landscapes etc, he offered to take a look through my stuff and offer criticism etc on what he thinks I should do to improve in areas etc. So I am having a few things printed up ready to go in after christmas, for me, that is the best way to start, learn and apply, get feedback and apply more. For me, having someone whose work I admire so much take time and go through my stuff is a great honour.

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