Your first assisting gig tomorrow? / by Conor Callahan

New to the photo shoot scene? First shoot tomorrow? Well here are a couple rules/guidelines to follow for success in the biz.

1.) Show up on time and stay late to help

There are tons of dollars/cash money/ paper…however you want to say it, into putting on shoots. Strolling in late looking hungover with a Starbucks in hand is no bueno. Yes, life happens and there are moments when you may be 5/10 minuets late. If you know this, always communicate to your producer/photographer so they know your arrival time (and apologize profusely). When a shoot is wrapping always ask what you can do before you leave. Getting to happy hour is a rare occasion so best not to plan on it (unless you are cleared to go due to wrapping up early).

2.) Be a yes or a yaaaaas person

Being eager to help, whatever is asked of you is essential to being asked to work on the next shoot. Remember, this is a competitive industry and there are 10 other guys/gals in line for your job.

Just like my first boss told me at orientation….Leave the attitude and laziness at home.

3.) Mind your P’s and Q’s

You are a reflection of the person who hired you. Be polite and refrain from talking about your last night stand or your drunken night out especially in front of clients. Again….no bueno!

4.) Wear good shoes

THIS. IS. A. MUST. Most photo shoots are shot in studios/locations with concrete floors and some with flights of stairs. Make sure you have shoes that won’t kill you after standing on your feet all day and running errands at lightning speed. Oh, and a little aspirin to help with back pain at the end of the day doesn’t hurt either.

5.)This is not a party

Photo shoots can appear to be tons of fun (which they often are) to the newbie. Music playing, constant flowing of food/drinks, jokes and standing around waiting for the next shot to be put up can let some lower their professional standards faster than their first stint in a cubical. However, when these lighter moments occur, look for things to help out with. Someone is going to be tidying up. Does the producer need help organizing receipts? Need anything researched? Does the set need to swiffered? Does the photographer need a Starbucks? Don’t just stand around, try to help (unless of course you are asked to just stand there).

6.) Send your invoice on time

A producer can not send the final invoice to the client unless they have everyone’s invoice. Having others wait to get paid because you’ve put off invoicing is not the best way to be remembered by the producer. So get to the computer with the quickness that you do putting up your latest Instagram post. Trust me…its cool to get paid!

7.) Don’t be wasteful

Sure there are 100s of varieties of LaCroix water in the fridge and an endless supply of paper towels at your disposal. Does that mean you can “taste the rainbow” of flavors and throw away half a can of Coconut Flavored water? Don’t think so! Being wasteful is not only bad for the environment…its not cool to do on a shoot.