Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Next UP on The Bitter Photographer's Crew: BP's First Assistant:Jack S. Tud

Jack is an all around great guy and the Bitter Photographer would be lost without him. Jack is the Tonto to BP's Lone Ranger. The Starsky to BP's Hutch and the Tina to BP's Ike.

JT is always willing and eager to pitch in whenever something needs to be done. Whether it is loading a camera, picking up BP's laundry or giving BP one of his patented all over massages. The Bitter Photographer especially likes those when his girlfriend is out of town or in a bad mood. Mmmmmmmm.


Anonymous said...

My assistant is a selfish prick who is only interested in the next freebie meal. If he wasn't so damn good at at handing me lenses, I'd put his fat ass on a bus to Texas.

Anonymous said...

Assistants make your whole thing do-able. The money is not great and we are essentially putting our careers on hold to work with you photogs. Honestly, I learn all I can from a photog in the first 5 jobs or so, from there on it is really just a job, not a learning experience. I've never met an assistant who is "selfish", because he wouldn't last long in the biz with that attitude.

A photographer who has helped many assistants said...

The arrogance of thinking you can learn all you can learn from a photographer in five jobs or less.

You can distill decades of experience of lighting, production, client relations and travel experience in five jobs?

There are selfish assistants as well as assistants who want to learn and give. I prefer assistants who want to shoot, who are motivated and excited by the profession. Give me a couple of years with a good assistant and he or she will be much further along in their career with a real understanding of the business. that takes much more than five jobs.

One of my former assistants is a multi-million dollar fashion shooter who has stayed "hot" for many years. I knew when he was my assistant, he would go on to an amazing career. He was talented, dedicated and far ahead of his time. He never whined about printing all weekend on rush jobs or being on a corporate or non-fashion shoot. His attitude was he was there to help and to learn.

Sounds like the first poster has a gripe about an assistant. I''ve had assistants flake out on me, get sick, show-up hung-over and i've had assistant work very hard with long hours and appreciate the opportunity. It is a tough business. Attitude is the most important part of the equation, plus be willing to work long and hard.

Treat your assistants fairly and they will treat you the same way. Treat them harshly and they will find someone else to work with.

Anonymous said...

regarding the last post, couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

I like assistants who like to work. I like assistants who know when to be quiet. I like assistants who know what they are doing. I like assistants who can keep their ego under control. I like assistants who know what they want to do.

I dislike assistants who think they know everything.

typical pro said...

Assistants come in two flavors, those who think they know better all within 5 shoots of working with a photographer and those who are clued into the fact that it's not about the set-up or even the light placement or camera, it's almost about everything BUT that.

Almost every assistant I've used who thought they knew it all because they'd seen a similar lighting set-up many times before takes awful photos. Usually they are missing soul in the photos. And frankly it makes them shitty assistants.

The ones that know there's something beyond the lighting set-up, set, production, whatever, take excellent ones, or at minimum passionate ones.

Simple as that.

Any assistant could probably learn how Terry Richardson works from looking at youtube, but I'd be damned if they can take his photos and shoot for Nike tomorrow.

That attitude from assistants shows their incredible ignorance.

I want to work with assistants who have passion and if they have it I'll teach them everything I possibly can and treat them like family.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Why are you "pro" photographers and assistants at each others' throats? Assistants work their asses off for the photographers. Photographers work their asses off for their assistants. If you don't think your assistant works their ass off for you, you aren't working your ass off for them. You need to help them begin their careers.

Assistants, if you think your photographer's a prick, you're a prick. They're gonna prove to be the biggest factor in training you towards success.

It's entirely about attitude on both sides of the fence.

Come on, give a little love to each other.

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