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FAST CLASS: Portraits Under Pressure

Lesson 15 of 19

How To Work with Assistants

Victoria Will

FAST CLASS: Portraits Under Pressure

Victoria Will

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Lesson Info

15. How To Work with Assistants

Lesson Info

How To Work with Assistants

So now I want to talk to you about having an assistant because they're the backbone of your shoot When you're on set, how many of you guys work with assistance? Two people. I think that's very telling. And I totally understand why you do. And I understand why you don't. But I'm curious. Um, well, I think else I'm gonna sort of gas. A couple reasons why the people who are here who don't work with assistance don't. The first reason I would guess is sometimes they're expensive and you don't have budgets, and that's a real thing. The second thing is that working with other people can be challenging, and sometimes it's easier to just do it yourself than have to explain it to somebody else, right? And then the third reason which was a big hang up for me when I was starting, is that I was really intimidated by the fact that it was very likely that the assistant knew more than I did, and I didn't know how to handle that. And the reason I'm bringing Tim on today is because I'm really wanna emph...

asize to you guys, if you want to take your work to the next level. At a certain point, you're going to have to start working with assistance and having that relationship and learning how to navigate. It is incredibly important not only for your work, but also if you have that skill, you will also be able to handle a producer. You'll be able to handle an art director over your shoulder. Creative director A. Really, you know, Bridezilla situation. It really it allows you to to just really have control over the team. And if your team is really great, then you can focus on the art and on the work and on the portrait. And that's what you want you want when you walk onto set. And when I walk on to set, I know that Tim has my back. He and I are working together in a very intense collaboration, and I actually hate the term photo assistant. I really dio because not only is Tim, and most of all of my assistants are terrific photographers in their own right, but he's not assisting me. He's actually my teammate that day, and what he's bringing to the set is invaluable.

Class Description


Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: Portraits Under Pressure with Victoria Will

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  • Leverage new techniques for choosing the light and locations for a successful portrait
  • Know how to build a rapport and utilize clear communication with your subjects
  • Set up a developed concept as well as how to light on the fly
  • Use successful strategies for marketing yourself as a photographer and how to get your work in front of editors


Portraits require more than just great lighting and equipment. Sometimes a shoot doesn’t go as planned. The location is drab, the client isn’t in the best mood, or you forget to charge your camera batteries. Great portrait photography artists are able to think on their feet, connect with their subjects -- and capture great images under pressure. The best portraits often come from portrait sessions that didn't go exactly as planned, when challenges turn into assets.

Celebrity portrait photographer Victoria Will shows you how to use your environment to capture a unique, sharp image that reflects the person in the portrait. She’ll also highlight how to quickly evaluate a less than perfect situation and make it work for you and your subject. Take your portraits from amateur to near Mona Lisa gallery worthy by learning how to shoot portraits under pressure.

You’ll watch Victoria photograph real people in limited settings, discovering multiple opportunities in a limited space. Learn her three portrait musts for preparation, point-of-view, and connection. Gain insight into how to make every frame count and how to get the shots the editor requested, as well as those that speak to your vision. Learn how to make your subject feel comfortable in only a few moments while capturing exquisite photo collections in Portraits Under Pressure.


The photographer looking to improve their portraiture through thoughtful lighting, creative techniques and leveraging the environment around you to get a consistent appearance.

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