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Thread: Photographer's Assistant?

  1. #41
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    Default P.a

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian
    Short version (of a long story)...

    I landed a job working in a camera store in the mid 1970s when I turned 15, it was a part time job, after school and Saturdays. The shop owner had amongst his clients the local community newspaper (published weekly) and the editor/owner saw some of my work and was impressed enough to ask me to shoot part time for them during school holidays and on Sundays. I PA'd for their main photographer for a year and then was sent out on my own on simple assignments and the rest is as they say history.

    that's good that u been train by the pros....hahaa...is it tough to P.A for them??

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian
    One thing I should add, getting a slot as a PA is NOT easy as most of us who employ PA's are extremely choosy as to who we hire. If you've got less than several years solid experience behind the lens or a load of talent and a work ethic to match they you are unlikely to make it as a PA.
    hi...i'm realli interested in being a P.A....so must u come out with a portfilo or thing like that to apply???so wat can u suggest or wat sort of training we must have to be a good P.A??

  3. #43
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    hmmm, my duties...

    1. get instructions from the photogrpher
    2. set up the lights, props, backdrop (very heavy)
    3. set up the camera & the right lens (very easy)
    4. prepare the products to be shot. (very tedious)
    5. hold bounce card, mirror, cutter...etc (standard)
    6. jaga the equipment during outdoor shot.
    7. clean up everything. (shiong)

  4. #44

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    U know, my fren worked as pa, only got about $800 a month, had to work 6days a week. and sometimes more than 12 hrs each day. If not helping the photographer, she had to be in the shop, helping to promote the photography packages. Overexploited! She quitted the job after 3 mths. She had an engineering degree but just loved photography.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    hmmm, my duties...

    1. get instructions from the photogrpher
    2. set up the lights, props, backdrop (very heavy)
    3. set up the camera & the right lens (very easy)
    4. prepare the products to be shot. (very tedious)
    5. hold bounce card, mirror, cutter...etc (standard)
    6. jaga the equipment during outdoor shot.
    7. clean up everything. (shiong)

    icic....so the first day being a P.A u already know how the lighting should be put???wat sorts of lens the photographer need...and already had a solid base on photographing liao lah???haha...??

  6. #46
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    you get the instruction from the photographer mah!
    first few times, they will teach you how to set up the equipments.

    lighting always change one. in fact it is the most important thing when he is designing the shot.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    you get the instruction from the photographer mah!
    first few times, they will teach you how to set up the equipments.

    lighting always change one. in fact it is the most important thing when he is designing the shot.

    icic...
    so u mean...u dun need experience or knowledge first lah???cos they will teach u as time goes bye??

  8. #48
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    something like that. depend on your luck.
    some photographer are very kind and entertain our stupid questions.
    some snap at you...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    something like that. depend on your luck.
    some photographer are very kind and entertain our stupid questions.
    some snap at you...

    that cool....thanx alot...u boast my confident man...hahaa...u got lobang??

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    Just to put another side to the coin - there are some assistants who are simply not worth the kind of money posted here. Attitude problems and all. I recall personally seeing a couple who I felt my photog friend should have just sacked... them asking for ridiculous pay for a pathetic effort.

    So don't get carried away thinking that all PAs should be getting such dreamy cushy pay scales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azure
    Just to put another side to the coin - there are some assistants who are simply not worth the kind of money posted here. Attitude problems and all. I recall personally seeing a couple who I felt my photog friend should have just sacked... them asking for ridiculous pay for a pathetic effort.

    So don't get carried away thinking that all PAs should be getting such dreamy cushy pay scales.
    hahaa...me actually looking for a no pay one....just can provide me with 3 meal...transport...can liao....but must teach me and i can learn things lor...and not just running errand...

  12. #52
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    you spoil market. get lost

  13. #53
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    dun take it seriously

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by roosevelt
    hahaa...me actually looking for a no pay one....just can provide me with 3 meal...transport...can liao....but must teach me and i can learn things lor...and not just running errand...
    i don't think so that any photographer would take u in as u've got no prior knowledge. it would be very hard to convince any self-respecting photographer to give u a job, u understand?

    maybe u should read up on some self-help books in the meantime, to boost ur photographic knowledge and geto know about studio lightings and such.

    and, not all photographers will teach u their trade secret or watever u want to know.

    running errand is part and parcel of the job. to some, a large part.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

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    Quote Originally Posted by roosevelt
    that's good that u been train by the pros....hahaa...is it tough to P.A for them??
    It was very tough, I had a very hard taskmaster who was both scathing and merciless when I screwed up through my own stupidity. However he was also a master at explaining how to do things better and had loads of patience where it was needed. He really did ensure I got an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of good composition, exposure and timing.

    Mind you he wasn't half as tough as the owner/editor of the paper who tore strips of me regularly for wasting film, taking too long in the darkroom and so on.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by roosevelt
    hi...i'm realli interested in being a P.A....so must u come out with a portfilo or thing like that to apply???so wat can u suggest or wat sort of training we must have to be a good P.A??
    You need a hell of a lot more than a few pretty shots to be considered for a PA spot with any half decent pro. You need to demonstrate more than a basic understanding of photography as well as having a personality that suits the pro's business.

    I for one won't even consider someone for a PA position who's not had at least 5-6 years behind the lens, preferably with Medium and Large format experience as well as a level of knowledge that is that of at least an advanced amateur photographer.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian
    You need a hell of a lot more than a few pretty shots to be considered for a PA spot with any half decent pro. You need to demonstrate more than a basic understanding of photography as well as having a personality that suits the pro's business.

    I for one won't even consider someone for a PA position who's not had at least 5-6 years behind the lens, preferably with Medium and Large format experience as well as a level of knowledge that is that of at least an advanced amateur photographer.
    Hmmm....strict rules though that's probably what other pros would look for in a PA too.......however it's difficult for someone to accquire Medium Format or Large Format experience, since a 35mm SLR setup with a few good lens will break the bank of most graduates or anyone < 30.

    Not to mention studio experience (buying a setup is too expensive but so is renting one on a frequent basis)

    It's good you had the chance to work in a camera shop and also found someone who appreciate your shots and has the necessary abilities to offer you a position.


    I don't mind picking up a job as a camera repairman at either some large camera corporation's service center or some private camera repair shops servicing old cameras.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Hmmm....strict rules though that's probably what other pros would look for in a PA too.......however it's difficult for someone to accquire Medium Format or Large Format experience, since a 35mm SLR setup with a few good lens will break the bank of most graduates or anyone < 30.
    Not the case at all. You can get in to Medium format for a couple of hundred bucks (A Seagull TLR for example) and around 600 or so for Large format. (older 4x5 from the 50s with a single lens and a couple of backs, or a Speed Graphic, Crown Graphic) .. While MF and LF experience isn't needed for all PA jobs it is a real advantage for anyone who wants to PA in any of the following fields: Architectural, Interiors, Commercial, Industrial, Scientific, Aerial, Automotive, Studio Portraiture.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Not to mention studio experience (buying a setup is too expensive but so is renting one on a frequent basis)
    You don't need studio experience per se, but you do need to have a good understanding of the technology involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    It's good you had the chance to work in a camera shop and also found someone who appreciate your shots and has the necessary abilities to offer you a position.
    Yes I was lucky in that respect, however it wasn't all luck, a large part was talent, and a lot of hard work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    I don't mind picking up a job as a camera repairman at either some large camera corporation's service center or some private camera repair shops servicing old cameras.
    Do you have any idea how picky service centers are when selecting trainees?

    Most of the private camera repair shops (Here in Australia and in most other countries) have ex factory technicians working for them, guys who often have 30 or more years experience.
    Last edited by Ian; 7th February 2004 at 03:56 AM.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  19. #59

    Default Work for.....

    I have work for Mike Skelton as a PA before. His is one of the top photographers in Australia. He works based plenty on digital imaging since the early 90s. He's works towards more to advertising projects. He is based in Sydney. His works.........

    http://www.skelton.biz/home.php

    Man did I get hell from him but it was worth the ride as the things that I learn was excellent. The time spend (9 months) to be his PA was much more than what I learn from college 3 years.

    What Ian said is true. You need at least some basic Large and Medium format experience to be a PA. Without this basic knowledge, a Pro would not hire you. Whatever you have when through, I am sure it was worth that trip!

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake
    i don't think so that any photographer would take u in as u've got no prior knowledge. it would be very hard to convince any self-respecting photographer to give u a job, u understand?

    maybe u should read up on some self-help books in the meantime, to boost ur photographic knowledge and geto know about studio lightings and such.

    and, not all photographers will teach u their trade secret or watever u want to know.

    running errand is part and parcel of the job. to some, a large part.
    i see....thanx alot man...learn something new....so any book that u can recommamd??

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