11:45 am - Assisting
So there's been quite a few people asking about have to become an assistant cannon in two d who I believe is from las vegas, says matthew said that he learned a lot a ton actually from working with a lot of high class photographers who are already established like the victoria secret shooter absolutely how did you go about attaining that assistant position? Can you talk a lot about you lately and gladly? Because I think if I had never been an assistant, I would have never been a photographer, so I've learned everything and, you know, I became an assistant after going to art school, the school teaches you all the rules again, and then I get to new york and became a photographer is assistant well, first me back up, I first became an intern when I worked for free for photographer I work for free, for I'm going to say, maybe two months as an intern and, uh, she referred me two good photographer that she knew so this guy's looking for photographers assistant and I think you're great, so she...
gave me a referral to another photographer, and he hired me as a full time assistant and his name is bruce book this isn't in the eighties late eighties, and I work for bruce for a year as a full time photo assistant, and bruce did nothing but catalog we were always traveling doing catalogs and I was the on ly assistant tried to learn he taught me howto pack for location we were always flying somewhere to shoot catalogs for sears and j c penney's that was his client base is always models always locations and it is always just me as the only assistant and was shooting film, so I below the film had to keep a a data sheet at the time writing down all of the stops shutter speeds now it's in the camera for you back then I dry anything down and pick the meter reading is all this stuff, but that taught me this business at that first year working for him, I start working as a freelance photo assistant working for civil photographers and then I get paid a day wait to work with different guys monday, tuesday, wednesday thursday funny that we're for a ton of photographers for another like two years that was my experience assisting and then I graduate from assisting into shooting but those three years, three a half years of being a full assistant set the foundation for me to my career taught me everything and by working with different photographers was fantastic like a c all working photographers all of them and they all shoot differently they'll have their own special way of of lighting, of tweaking lights or tweaking whatever and relate to the subjects I watched clients and how they related photographers differently as well, because you see everything you see production, you see, they get the job, how you plans for the job, how he shoots two job, hard to live, it's a job and how you keep going and running the business. Being an assistant teaches you everything is the best training I think can do to learn photography. And I didn't just work forthe active types I worked for, you know, forty photographers, guys who was shooting buildings, you know? And I was always going up to shoot ceos at the time in the world trade center. So this one guy I worked for, he only shot corporate stuff, so we were always in the world trade center at the time, shooting corporate portrait ce so I get I had a full range of seeing everything, even still life I work for still photographers. I learned right away and it likes doing still life. But it was a great training for me. Thanks for that question. And I think that's really interesting. A lot of us try to if you're out. Well, what is the one thing that we think we want to dio before actually trying? Different things to find that so I think that's really great advice I thought I want to shoot sports, right? Right so what advice would you have then? I guess for people to how to figure that out there a lot of ways to learn that being assisted now as a matter of fact, a p a has courses going around america right now teaching people how to be photo assistance and I'm actually teaching one chicago next month I'm teaching a workshop for people who want to become photo assistance my brother brian smith is doing one here in seattle at the end of this month and I didn't want in l a couple months ago this know what happened in new york? Ah a couple months ago as well epa has thiss assistant workshop training course that teaches you how to use all the gear how to be an assistant, what to do once said it's actually very, very good way have a photo cmo in the chat room and says yes I went to the epa photography workshop and l a and guess who was one of the teachers you think folks let us know in the chat room if you want matthew to come back and teach it this workshop here are created by that greater that would make jon and I couldn't get together that's right that's right get right side that great love that I oh, no, I was going to say, since john doesn't have a mic way, we're saying that john, go teach this as well. John cornyn, cello cello one thing I wanted to point out that you said was the internship because I think a lot of us even if we really have the photography dialed in, we think that we should be able to earn money and it's hard it's hard as an adult to give your time for free and we all have bills to pay, but there is there is only a certain way into a lot of fields and that is very true this giving you have to go give, you have to give in order to receive and it is hard getting in. I want a back drop I won't go back on that as well, because it wasn't hard it was hard getting the internship. It was hard getting the internship. I sent letters to harper's left and right trying to get in and meet people this before I moved to new york move back to new york. I was born in new york, I went toe south carolina doing high school and moved back to new york after art school, so I'm back in new york twenty of these internships and it was hard it was not like oh can get an internship work for free no, I had to call go see multiple photographers and interview with them to see they let me in as an intern for free, and I was hungry for it. I was hungry for it, and I would what I would have worked for six months or so my for free. You just work a night job or you work in a restaurant or you do whatever you do to make it work because I wanted so badly to get in this industry. So you do whatever it takes and that's what I did if I saw what should happen in the streets, I was so excited, so I'd stop and watch this should happen. I'd just stay there for hours and watch them shoot that was so excited like, oh my god, it's a fashion shoot going on right now, it was so exciting for me, I didn't want to lead, I want to be around it all the time and I still love it now. Now go find people who are that hungry as well. It's great to see. And speaking of which, tyler babin, cap tyler, I hope you're watching this today hey was in our class last year and he sent me an email time it was, I think, nineteen or eighteen last year, and I think he was from atlanta or florida where but somewhere in the south, and he wrote me an email a couple weeks ago saying that he is moving to new york to be a photo assistant, and I was so happy to hear that because he has so much talent and going there is going to develop his career and give him a career to be in the hardest place in the world to learn the industry and learn from the best. So good luck, tyler, wherever you are and tyler, we would love to follow you ensure your story with all of our people here in creative live because the fact that part of that journey was likely him being here with you a credible I've is pretty darn amazing it's great to see that season by tonight, brand new and and start their career and, you know, they have promise he's worked with beautiful yeah, his work it's fantastic. Yeah, so it's, good to see you. Good to see a question from alan birch. Is there much market for an intern older than college age? Should one forget about interning if they're in their thirties or forties? Absolutely she definitely do because I've had interned tour of those ages for sure if they're hungry enough, absolutely if you're hungry and you want to learn this business absolutely don't intern for, you know two years is going crazy like that it's just to get you in the door and learn the business great part about being a photographer is that you're not a model and you could be any age that's very true get started any age is a matter of fact that some suffers and start their careers after having other careers there's a very famous photographer who was a dentist and had a full career as a dentist and left do his hobby as a career and has an amazing career he's an amazing photographer I saw two hands go up so I had to both you guys got your both had other careers that what you're saying what were you doing before photography? Well, I wasn't television entertainment I worked for a major studio in hollywood for almost seven, eight years programming in research I've been in ninety for ten years I've bean completely on the technical side of things and I fell something was missing you know it's one plus one equals two were in art world you know it could be well five defending on interpretation I think it's a great feeling I love this industry I love it how we doing on time we are doing great you have can go for another ten minutes or we can go toe whenever whenever you want we'll use that ten minutes teo I can put my presentation from yesterday for second yes I want to show an image in that presentation that you guys will be doing after the break is that possible all guys that so I'm not sure exactly where it is the presentation but I know it's in there um way couldn't this is a tight shot and there's a shaft of light going by the girl's eyes memorable very memorable so today they are doing that so this shot's don't one light if you got his herbie speak before you know I'm a big fan of using one light to do a lot of different things and today you're going to do that and uh the light will be behind the model the main lights going to be behind the model so there's not a typical class it also know anything else about that at all but this is about the connection with the subject will be using one light will be using foam core boards yes there we are and we're doing that we would turn that into a jury campaign hope it's not like raab casco fine so it's all about figuring out how to make this work there's only one light in this shot the lights behind the model so you were very closely very intimate you have an assistant working with you to make this shot work and the three of you the team will make this work you have a lot of fun doing swell so that's our next shot this all about connection defined that great shot that energy it would turn this into because a jewelry campaign we'll shoot it like we're doing an ad for a watch or ring or diamonds whatever the staff's brings us as the priest piece of jewelry that was shoot will turn this into that jury story it's going kind of fun don't take a couple more questions take three more sure let's find you a good question let's see, we have a question here. Well daniel james t cooke asked do you think it's harder now than when it was when you first started to get into assisting yes and no I think was harder in some ways before because um it was very technical you had to know aa lot mohr thing you have to know today um we're shooting film there was a lot more to know it was more demanding because you had to uh be aware of a lot of different things not just um the lights it would be aware of loading film, which is a big deal and keeping track of your shooting ah big catalog in the old days or a fashion story you can shoot two hundred rolls of film so you've got the assistance back then had to load the film, download the film label a film even note of which role is which for each thing is a lot to do today, you don't have that it's a lot easier in that way. But then again, it's much harder, because you have a lot more photographers than you had ten years ago. What, twenty years ago, because digital has made it very easy to transition into the photo world. So before we film, it was much harder to learn the discipline. But you also get the foundation, so it goes back and forth.