When you think of photography, most people believe that it is a one-person job. However, the truth could not be far from it. Photography, if not anything else, is a joint effort between many elements, be it people, props or nature, and you, as a photographer might already be privy to the fact. While most photographers choose to work alone on their photography and videography projects, there are numerous benefits to hiring some help. If you’ve been thinking about hiring a photography assistant or a videography assistant, and don’t know when to, we have just the thing for you. Here’s a guide on how to know when it’s time to hire an assistant:
- When you have back-to-back photo sessions
When you have multiple projects, especially back-to-back, you will need a way to keep your ideas and yourself fresh. As a photographer, you will always be brimming with ideas. However, if you’re working on a clock, and have photography sessions and video projects with different clients in a close window, you will need help. This is the time you should start looking for an assistant to help you keep your ideas organized and fresh. Be it a birthday party, a wedding, or any other type of event, your assistant will help you organize your day and provide valuable advice during sessions, along with helping you in keeping your plans for the shoot in place.
The best way to hire a professional photography assistant is to keep tabs on your schedule. Most photographers do not think they will need help. However, when the busy weeks come by, you may find it hard to keep up with your schedule. So, the trick is to check your calendar and mark the days of your photoshoot assignments. As you fill up your calendar, start making a list of the things you will need, the venues you’ll have to visit, and the type of assignments you have. Once you have a list, you will be able to hire an assistant who is the right fit for the job. Hire an assistant before the busy weeks start so that you can easily manage your time, clients, and schedule.
Hiring an assistant to help you during the busiest days of your work will help you to get to the venue in time, and will help you to organize your schedule better. Furthermore, for a photographer and videographer, the reasons to hire a photo and video assistant are the same. The only takeaway is to hire an assistant before your days become busy because once the season starts, you won’t have the time to sift through multiple portfolios to find the best fit for an assistant.
- When you have photoshoot assignments with many clients
As stated above, many photographers and videographers like to work on their assignments by themselves. However, when you have a big event to capture, such as birthday parties, and weddings with many people in the location, you may find it hard to manage everything at once. You’ll have to capture the client, the client’s family, and friends, the details of the venue, and other photos your clients may request you for. When you have your work cut out for you, it is best to have an assistant.
For events with multiple people, and multiple things to shoot during the photo session or videography assignment, an assistant will help you to maintain a timeline of events and capture some shots of the event. However, this will depend on the credentials of your assistant. For example, if your assistant is a photographer in-study, you can assign some work from your assignment to them to maintain a no-fuss assignment day. If the assistant is not studying or a trained professional in your domain, you will not be able to ask them to help you out by shooting videos and photos. However, they can help you with other parts, like helping you with your responsibilities, during the day of the shoot.
Before the day of your assignment, sit down with your assistant and discuss the plan for the day. Whether you’re photographing or you’re shooting a video, discussions with your assistant will help you to come up with an action plan for the assignment. That being said, speak to your assistant about what you expect from them, and talk about how their skills can be useful for the day of the assignment. If you want your assistant to help with the shoot, for photo or video assignment, you can tell them of their responsibilities and give them some pointers as to how they can help.
- When you have one-on-one sessions with clients
Whether you’re handling an engagement photoshoot assignment, a birthday video assignment or you have a baby photoshoot scheduled for the day, an assistant’s help will go a long way with one-on-one sessions with clients. The thing is, during an event, your clients will not be as conscious of the camera as they would be if it is just them in front of the camera. You see, the blanket of many guests at a venue helps them avoid that sort of camera-consciousness. However, when you deal with a person, their babies, or a pet-and-parent type of photo session, it is just you and the client. Even if you’re comfortable and try ice-breaking, there’s a huge chance that they will still be camera shy.
For an effortlessly smooth photo session with your clients, especially during one-on-one sessions, you should consider hiring an assistant for extra help. An assistant will help your assignment by talking to the clients, being a support system to them, and distracting them if they become too camera conscious. What’s more, an assistant during one-on-one sessions will help you to improve your work by suggesting some impromptu ideas.
Apart from this, during one-on-one photography sessions, if you’re working alone, you will have to set up the background, correct your lenses, speak to your clients, help them become comfortable, switch spots and come up with ideas all by yourself. But if you hire an assistant, you will have some help. You can divide the work, and tackle the photography or the videography assignment in a shorter duration.
Videographers have so many things to capture and make the end product look timeless. For a no-fuss videography assignment, an assistant can shoot certain details or could work with the cameras, capturing moments. Your assistant can be put into different roles as well. For example, you can have your assistant shoot the B-roll footage, while you concentrate on the A-roll footage. However, this is only possible if your assistant is trained in the field.
A note to remember: photo and videography assistants are not second-shooters
A common misconception among photographers and videographers is that an assistant will function as a second shooter. However, that’s not true. Sure enough, your assistant, if trained in the domain, can function as a second shooter. Primarily, the term “assistant” for photographers and videographers means a second set of hands to help out with carrying equipment, styling sessions, and helping you with other things that you’d require during the shoot.
Pro tips for hiring a professional photography assistant
When it comes to hiring a professional photography and videography assistant, one of the things to keep in mind is the budget. You should start looking for an assistant only when you check your finances and see a window of opportunity to hire one. When you start looking for a photography and videography assistant, you should look for some specific qualities, like enthusiasm to learn and whether the applicant is brimming with passion for the domain. Additionally, to hire an assistant, you should start with an interview, and see if they’re a good fit for the job. Furthermore, you should discuss the difficult matters, such as travel expenses, snacks, and remuneration. Be as clear as possible about everything with your assistant.
With that said, hiring an assistant can turn out to be an amazing investment. An assistant will make your photography or videography assignments easier; and will help you save a lot of time. Before you hire an assistant and think about the qualities you’d want your assistant to have, check your finances and your schedule. Furthermore, you should also, consider your assignments, be it for photography or for videography. If there are many assignments, especially in close proximity, you should hire an assistant right away.