How many weddings have you been to in your lifetime where there was a single photographer snapping shots faster than the speed of light? Well – almost! You generally don’t see a photography assistant as everything is happening in real time and many of the tasks allocated to an assistant aren’t necessary under this setting. Fashion photographers, on the other hand, invariably have one or more assistants with them at each and every shoot. Have you ever wondered why this is?
A Photographer Needs to Stay with the Lens
Many of the tasks assigned to an assistant enable the photographer to stay with the lens. When lighting needs to be adjusted, the assistant can reposition the lights whilst the photographer looks through the lens. At the moment the lighting is perfect for the shot he/she is trying to capture, it is easy to have the assistant stop right there. The same holds true for positioning the model, changing backdrops or even running for props that would enhance the setting the photographer is going for. If the photographer was to stop every time an adjustment needed to be made, it would take hours to get a single shot as opposed to moments with the help of an assistant.
Many Assistants Are Apprentices
Most high powered fashion photographers worked their way up through the business. Whilst they may have a degree in photography, that is just the beginning of their work behind the camera. Most educational programs do have an internship where students get hands-on experience, but that is nothing to the life they will lead as a fashion photographer in the real world. Assistants are often interning under master photographers to learn the finer points of photography in real settings with real models. Without this experiential training as a photographer’s assistant they would be at a loss when presented with their first big solo project.
Sometimes It Is Not What You Know but Who You Know
If you are still wondering why anyone would want to be a fashion photography assistant, bear in mind that the world of fashion is a highly competitive industry. Just take a look at the portfolios of some of the UK’s leading fashion photographers, such as the acclaimed fashion photographer at Europe’s premier Creative Content Agency, Fashot. You will clearly see that it took years of networking and successful photo shoots to land some of the jobs they get. And to think it all begins with a job as an assistant to a renowned photographer.
If you are thinking of entering the glamourous world of fashion photography, remember it is not all glitz and glam. A lot of hard work goes into this career and as technology continues to advance, the tools of the trade will continue to evolve as well. So then, to sum it all up, every fashion photographer has at least one assistant to do those tasks which would take the photographer away from the lens. That one moment could be critical so an assistant is, for lack of a better term, his/her right hand man.