bumping up for more response and awareness! no more PAs out there liao?
You can add me to the list.
I have years of experience assisting full-time and freelance, locally and overseas.
Well versed in all camera formats(4x5, medium and 35mm) and lighting equipment(Norman, Speedotron, Profoto, Elinchrom, Comet, Balcar). Comfortable in the darkroom(B&W and color) as well as in front of the computer.
Experienced on location and in studio.
that's cool! thanks for replying! are you still assisting?
I do still assist on occasion, if and when the price is right.
I don't post much in the forums but read alot to learn from you guys. I have been looking and wondering how to become a PA. Don't have contacts but willing to learn the trade, Could anyone advise on how I could go about being a PA? Would love to learn from the old birds..
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Have you wondered about the beauty we capture through our lens is a creation from Someone..
Hi drumma you can add me, I'm assisting a commercial studio fulltime. Wouldn't mind meeting fellow assistants out there. Cheers.
Taboos for assistant (personal experience):
1. request to bring, or brought camera to shoot along with the photographer for commercial shoot (products, food, fashion, interior...etc), to use as their folio.
2. kept asking when can they start shooting commercial jobs
3. tried to adjust/modify the main photographer lighting + angle
4. told clients behind the photographer back that the photographer is not that good, he can do better
5. try to direct the shoot, as though it's his own shoot
6. buaya the model/talent/client/makeup artist and ignored the photographer to a certain extend
7. last min cancellation of jobs, like last nite before the shoot or hours before the shoot.
8. think too highly of themselves and asked for experienced crew rate when they're very new
9. kept asking questions during the shoot. behaved as if they're being paid to learn, not work.
10. kept asking for a copy of the image to add to their "folio". Sometime use it as their own shooting folio.
11. very busy assistant. always on the phone, messaging or calling, or MIA, like 15mins toilet break, smoke break every 15mins, and kept asking when is the shoot going to wrap. and after the shoot, request to leave immediately cos got appt/date, most of the time from the location, and expect the photographer to bring everything back himself.
but what i noticed is that most of the times it's the newer ones who do such things, the experienced assistants don't really do such things.
and if they commit taboo no.1, they will do the rest very soon.
But i had assisted photographers from hell before too:
1. treat PA like animal, scold and insult like the the whole family owe him money
2. take advantage of PAs eagerness to learn aka free labour. Most common excuse is: Assist for experience, no money, but meals and transport provided. We have a few here in CS actually.
3. job cancelled, but failed to inform the PA until very last min, and wasted the PA's day
4. felt threaten when the PA seemed to know more than them, and start to badmouth the PA. (YES, it really happened), especially those newer photographers.
5. super duper late in paying the PA. HELLO, PA also need to eat one, ok?
6. Make the PA carry everything. Seen PA lugging bags on their shoulders, pushing trolley, struggling to move around, photographer just bua long long walk in front with camera. Especially those photographers who like to bring their whole studio worth of equipments out for a simple shoot.
7. rare case, but there're photographers who claimed the assistant's work as their. especially when shooting in studio without client, photographer started to get lazy and asked the experienced PA to shoot instead. and claimed credit for the work.
ok, enough said, will add on if i remember anymore.
anyone has any more to add?
feel free to add to the list
- The more things you know to do the better you can command your pay
- Are you going in as 1st assistant or 2nd or 3rd or just a runner
- And also whether the photographer requires someone of your skills. Market is pretty poor now, I'm guessing some photographers come in here looking to pay peanuts for people looking for an experience. Just saw one the other day.
Currently I can live with my pay but can't do much else, of course i'm learning a lot too so can't complain.
i think it's time to meetup! This is just a chill out, get to know each other in this industry kind of session. Professional photographers who started out as PAs are most welcome to join us!
I've sent PMs to the few PAs who have responded in this thread.
If you're a PA and would like to join us this coming thurs, 24th july 7pm, you're welcome! Please PM me first. No gate-crashers. It'll be better if you have at least a few PA experiences, if not u'll catch no ball.
that's about it! Thanks!
Hi Drumma, do add me to your list as well!
Some background on me...
- Currently 22, finished NS full time few months back.
- Currently working part time with a crew that shoots group pictures for schools during the day.
- Enrolling in uni next year
- Available to work on weekdays evenings and weekends
- Pretty much an amateur in shooting at the moment, some works can be found on my Flickr site
Last edited by Rawbeansta; 27th March 2010 at 02:05 PM.
Canon EOS 6D | 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM | 24-70mm f/2.8L USM | 50mm f/1.4 HSM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
we have a sizable no. of 4-5 ppl and 2 pending for this coming thurs!
Just a blunt reminder, particularly to those who whats to become a PA.
A PA's usefulness is to ASSIST the photographer. That means, assisting, not learning. The PA's primarily function is to make the photographer's life easier when on the job, that includes carrying and fetching water, and more carrying of stuffs. If the PA can learn something on the side, if the photographer wants to part with some advise, that is bonus.
(Treating a PA badly is not part of the deal and should not be tolerated. A PA doing anything other than assisting ought to be sacked unless it is agreed upon explicitly with the photographer.)
I do not shoot commercially nor professionally. I had over the years, requests, to come "assist" me when I am shooting. I now decline EVERY single such request. Nearly everyone wants to come and "shoot a bit". However, from my stand point, if that is what you want, you are not really assisting me, and if you are not assisting me, why are you at the shoot. I used to agree to set a short period of time to allow the PA to shoot when I am all done. But, most wants to whip out their camera after every set. Now, I just say no.
Remember, assisting means ASSISTING, not shooting a bit.
(I am sure the above does not apply to the seasoned, experienced and professional PAs. And this rant was not aimed at them. )