8th July 2005, 10:44 PM
hi. just here to share my experience earlier on and probably to vent a little of my frustrations.
i was in Fotohub along beach road at about 5.45pm and while i was looking thru my friend's negatives, another customer, whom i will assume is a photographer, approached me. his intention is to ask me whether i would like to be his assistant.
he started the conversation in defensive mode, saying something like, "would you like to be a photographer's assistant ? BUT you cannot play me out at the last minute."
i was enthusiastic in taking up the offer because this could be an opportunity for me to learn different styles and different working methods. therefore, i asked him the following questions :-
1. what is the working hours like ? ( i asked this because i am still a full time student, and i do not want to promise him anything yet because im afraid the working hrs will clash with my lecture time. )
2. what do i need to do ? suppose carry reflectors, lights etc ? ( asked because i want to know what will my main role be, and whether if i can cope )
3. is it based in a studio or outdoor wedding shoots ?
i was then given short answers and before i knew it, he just walked away to the other side of fotohub, saying, "wah you ask all these questions, you are not suitable to be an assistant, lah."
i was shocked at his unprofessionalism and i was speechless. i was embarassed in front of other customers and the staff of fotohub and i was thus put in a spot.
others might think that i ask alot of questions, but i think all the questions i asked was neccessary because i do not want to promise him that i will assist him and in the end, i cant do what he wants me to. i am a freelance photographer myself and i believe i know my stuff to a certain extent. i may not be the best photographer but i believe that i deserved to be treated with a certain extent of respect even though im just 17.
what do you guys out there think ?
and to this maybe-professional photographer with an unprofessional attitude ---->
8th July 2005, 10:47 PM
first thing. u asked too many qns at one go. sometimes its like its either u dunno the jobscope of the assistant and u irritated the photographer.
if one person ask me all at one go. i think i will walk off too. not say walk off. i think i will say the same thing too.
btw. if pple ask me too many qns, its either questioning my ability or professionalism or the person asking simply dunno the purpose of asking, or like u, ask because u are enthu or not.
whether u enthu or not. no use. its how to ask qns. ask smartly not like machine gun.
8th July 2005, 10:52 PM
looked like the 'photographer' has been let down too many times.
8th July 2005, 10:53 PM
he is looking for cheap labour probably but yeah
i think you have too much questions at one time, you should chat with him.
nobody want an assistant who is too "smart" or think they are "smart"
8th July 2005, 10:54 PM
Asking questions is not wrong. He simply backed off because he felt threatened and unable to cope with your queries.
You are probably better off not working with him, since he is insecure about his own abillities.
8th July 2005, 10:57 PM
Well, during my time when I working as a assistant, I need to know how to using 4x5 and 120, can handle darkroom, and must have class 2 and 3 driving license, and own a bike.
8th July 2005, 11:01 PM
firstly let me clarify, glennyong.
i asked him the questions one by one. i didnt not machine gun everything at one go. i asked, he answered. and after he answered, he didnt say anything. that would indicate that it will be my turn to speak.
secondly, i will want to know my jobscope before i can promise him anything. i do not want to promise him immediately because if i do, and i am not up to standards and his requirements, i will then be playing him out in some sense.
thirdly, he quoted me an amount, which is least of my concerns. that means that he will be paying me. as he is paying me, i will want to make sure that i am able to perform up to his expectations.
thus if i promise him right from the start without knowing anything, and in a case that i will not be able to perform because i do not have enough knowlege in a certain area, he will not be happy with me and this will lead to a lose-lose situation, which i believe everyone wants to avoid.
8th July 2005, 11:01 PM
i would not judge a person so quickly based on one-sided narration.
anyway, fotohub service area is hardly an appropriate place for conducting a job interview.
8th July 2005, 11:02 PM
If you can ask this kind of questions, you already have an awareness of what is expected of you. Next time if someone ever ask again, or if you apply to be a part time assistant, just quote him your rates. It is a dog's life anyway, actually do everything. So no need to ask in the first place.
8th July 2005, 11:02 PM
I don't see any mistakes asking questions or giving answers (these are valid questions in my eyes), better to know the person right away than finding it out later on..........
8th July 2005, 11:14 PM
agree that it can be a dogs life..
but i want to be sure of his requirements, and meet his requirements since he will be paying me to do these stuff.
as catchlights said, he need to know 4x5,120, darkrm process and things. if this is that photographers requirements, i will not be able to meet his requirements.
8th July 2005, 11:14 PM
8th July 2005, 11:17 PM
i can say that i asked him politely.
i was keen on taking up the offer and i treated him as if he wld be my future employer.
8th July 2005, 11:22 PM
assuming that your recollection of the events are as what actually happenned, it's easy to see why the looser is looking for an assistant.
8th July 2005, 11:31 PM
That's what most studios looking for during my time as an assistant.
Originally Posted by allcowsmoo
Maybe you just tell him you are a fulltime student and what can you do, let him decide whether you are a suitable candidate or not, if he thinks you are suitable, than talk about money and you can decide to take the offer or not.
8th July 2005, 11:41 PM
you're better off not working for such people. why bother anyway? study hard, get a well paying job, you'll do well.
8th July 2005, 11:42 PM
8th July 2005, 11:46 PM
well.. even if u asked him one by one polietly. maybe what u can actualli do is like ask some qns and like ask for his namecard and discuss about the details later.
sometimes, seriously, when pple ask me lots of qns. it tells me alot about their personality.
photographers look for assistants who talk less and do more. although i myself also a student. i would rather look for someone who knows what to do den to employ someone who dunno this and that. and eventually eat up my working time.
IMHO, i believe the photographer walked off because either he got irritated because u prolly questioned about this professionalism, or u become smartie.
8th July 2005, 11:48 PM
Fotohub is not a suitable place to conduct an interview, and there is nothing wrong in asking qns. If he can't ans those qns, then I think he has an inflated ego.
9th July 2005, 12:00 AM
i would suppose that since he started the conversation at that spot, i would continue on the conversation. if he decides to give me more time to consider and give him a call, he will give me his name card, since he was the one who approached me.
Originally Posted by glennyong
and oh yes, talk less do more. if i dont know what assistance he requires, and i just turn up on the day of shooting. and when we both realise that i dont have knowledge in a certain area, because we DIDNT talk, only then would i eat up his working time.
what i asked allows me to understand what assistance he needs, and whether it is in my knowledge or not. if it is not, i will honestly tell him, and it will be up to him whether to hire me or not.
Last edited by allcowsmoo; 9th July 2005 at 12:01 AM.