How to find the perfect photo assistant

Having an assistant can make your life as a professional photographer that much easier. The right photography assistance can help with the little details, giving you more time to plan and execute your shoot, but how do you find the perfect photography assistant?

The right assistant is professional and conducts themselves in a professional manner. This person will be working alongside you and with your clients. Having a professional assistant reflects well on you, your photography business and vice versa.

The perfect photo assistant

Second to professionalism is attitude. You want an assistant who will work as hard as you do. Sure, knowledge of photography is important, but those skills can be taught. Having an assistant who works hard is invaluable. If your assistant is positive and enthusiastic, your clients will have a positive experience as well.

Also, look for the ability or willingness to do what it takes to get the shot. This may entail laying on the ground to get that perfect angle or even performing menial tasks, but whatever they do, the assistant has to be willing to go the extra mile. Keep in mind that your assistant is there to make your shoot go smoothly and successfully.

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Thought not essential, it is important that your assistant understand the niche you’re working in. Having an interest in your subject or experience in your chosen subject matter of business will help you mesh with your assistant. For example, if you primarily work as a wedding photography, having an assistant who is interested in portraits and events may be beneficial. Someone who understands your focus will be better suited to helping you get the shots you need.

Be sure to interview several people and discuss your needs as a photographer clearly. Explain what you’re looking for in an assistant and the demands of the job. You want to be as upfront as possible to be sure you find the perfect assistant for you and your business.

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Creativity doesn’t have to be mandatory when it comes to picking a personal assistant, but it can certainly help. Your photography assistance can help you pick angles, backgrounds or set up clients during a shoot, this is where creativity can really shine in a photography assistant.

Of course, some of these traits may be more difficult to analyze in prospective assistants than others. When in doubt, always fall back on consistent skills, the rest can be learned as they work with you and your clients.

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Some of the key things to look for when hiring a photography assistant are:

  • Professional - dress and carry themselves in a professional manner
  • Attitude - working hard and doing what it takes to make you and your clients happy
  • Prepared – prepared for the shoot, bringing everything needed to make a shoot successful
  • Punctual – on time for scouting, shooting or other assignments
  • Strong work ethic – they work hard to give your clients the best experience possible

Remember, the basics can always be trained or taught so if you find someone who is reliable and works hard, don’t be afraid to take them under your wing.

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