Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Do You Need a Photographic Assistant? - 3 Ways to Get an Assistant Without Paying an Extra Dime

by Michael Abela

Do you find yourself in awkward situations where you cannot handle all your photographic gear, use reflectors effectively or direct a model properly? Do you constantly feel the need of an extra pair of hands during your outdoor photo shoots? I can assure you that you are not the only photographer to find yourself in this type of situation. Maybe it is high time you consider a photographic assistant.
You like the idea, but on the other hand you do not want to add to your expenses. I could not agree more with you. What if I told you that it can be easily done without adding extra costs? What I want to share with you are some hints how to go about in getting those extra pair of helping hands, without paying an extra dime.
A Model's Acquaintance
As a general rule if the model is over 18 years of age i.e. an adult, the model can come unaccompanied. On the other hand, it is a normal practice, that a model brings with her an acquaintance. This can be a sister, brother or simply a friend. A model might find it encouraging having a friend to support her. But there is more in it for you. While shooting, you can ask politely this person to hold for you a reflector, a flash or any photographic equipment. In return, the person would appreciate being involved in taking an active role during the photo shoot. It would make the person feel that he is part of the team rather than just a spectator.
A Student
Another way of having someone to assist you is by getting over a student. Novice students in photography would welcome your invitation without hesitation. It would be a way to expand their knowledge and know how in their respective field. The advantage of having a student to assist you is that most probably he is already familiar with photographic gadgets and photo shoots.
A quick phone call to one of your local photographic societies would be more than helpful in passing you names of students that are interested to work with you. This is a win-win situation both for you and the student.
A Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist
The chances are that a model would ask for a makeup artist and a hair stylist. I always advocate that makeup and hair should be done by professional artists for a photo shoot. There are occasions that a model would do her makeup and hair but usually it is not the case. Most of the time a makeup artist is present throughout the whole photo shoot, in order to assist the model in doing any touch ups needed. Due to the nature of an outdoor photo shoot, the model is more exposed to natural elements, such as sun and wind. A makeup artist on site is vital in most circumstances.
So what is in it for you as a photographer? Again, you have a pair of extra hands that can come handy in assisting you while you are doing the actual shooting. A positive thing in having a professional makeup artist around is that they know how to offer that little extra help, when needed, without much fuss. All this is attributed to their vast experience working with other photographers.
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