In today's world anyone who takes a picture with an Iphone or any digital device is a photographer. For those who have studied, assisted professional photographers and have been working at their craft for years we all know that the difference between photographer and Photographer. If you are being published, and making a decent living and working professionally with a team, you are a Pro you made it. As a Pro even an excellent one, you often need the help of an assistant. The valuable help of an assistant can be the difference between having a good shoot and a great shoot or even an awesome one. If your assistant is always a step ahead and the lighting is ready before you are ready for a quick light check or if he or she is holding exactly what you were going to ask him or her for, or if your assistant makes sure that your equipement will not get full of sand while shooting on the beach you know you are well assisted. I have had the opportunity to meet such wonderfully gifted and passionate assistants that always had my back. Some of them became really talented and professional photographers. BUT if your assistant for instance is talking way too much to the other team members, stopping you while shooting to give you their real opinion on the shot, distracting the team and/or showing off his or her latest skydiving video's and not paying any attention to the work at hand while you are preparing the lighting set up yourself you know they are not committed and that assistant needs to go!
For those of you serious about becoming photographers in the future, being an assistant to a professional Photographer is extremely important! It will shape your understanding of lighting, equipment, processing techniques, interaction with models and team members and client relation.
If you focus on learning I guarantee you that learn you will!!! Here is also a good read from Tyler Mitchell http://www.fashionphotographyblog.com/2012/02/and-now-a-word-from-my-assistant/ the assistant of Melissa Rodwell Fashion Photographer.
Below in the group pic, me (1st on left) and the team shot of the Samuelsohn campaign with client ad agency, stylist and assistants, and my assistants including ingenious Eric Piché (far right) the one holding the tripod that he had cleverly extended to trigger my Pentax 67 film camera so he could be in the shot. Enjoy the article!