Knowing your place is behind the camera

Updated: Sep 5, 2018


Recently, I was offered a "ride-along" with a co-photographer who mainly does fashion photography. Honestly, I have almost zero interest/experience in fashion or modeling photography. Still, I was excited to see the inside scoop on what he does.

We arrived in the West Bottoms of Kansas City to meet the aspiring model, Ashley.

We all know models are asked to have a certain look and, well, Ashley had that look.

We drove around to find the best location. It was then I noticed Matt's process was much more laid back than mine. I'm a planner. Not that he didn't plan, but he did a lot more "winging" of it than I would have been comfortable with. He brought some "outfits" for her to try. To my surprise, she was perfectly comfortable changing at the back of her car. The fact that all her intimate parts were showing for the whole block to see didn't phase her at all. When the men in the buildings above started shouting, that's when I would have lost it. It was obvious Ashley wasn't new to this. Personally, I hide from that kind of attention. She seems to relishes in it. It's the difference of personality between wanting to be behind the camera and wanting to be in front of it. Ashley and I know our places.

At this point, I think I was so intrigued by how this 23-year-old aspiring model was handling herself, I forgot to be a good assistant to Matt. He would never say so and bought me lunch afterwards anyway, but my advice to a new photo assistant is to try not to be distracted by all that's going on. It's good practice to put yourself in the photographer's shoes and think ahead for them. Be ready to carry props and tools. Be ready to set up equipment. And please... don't blind anyone with the reflector!

If you want to be the hero someday, keep an extra memory card in your pocket!

Thanks for the ride-along, Matt! Cheers!


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