Working as an Assistant (for a Magazine, Publicist, Photographer, Stylist, etc.)

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by mishahoi, May 11, 2005.

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  1. mishahoi

    mishahoi loaded and locked

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    I'm going to be hitting the streets eventually trying to get a job as an assistant stylist, and it would be nice to know some of the qualities that those established in the industry would look for if given the option of having an assistant.

    so what would be on your list?

    and not just stylist, what about the photographers here? or the editors? what would be your dream assistant?;)
     
  2. tristan

    tristan New Member

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    Well at least a bit of experience freelancing and someone who's not a party monster. I need to know that you can do returns, and take over on set if I'm busy with something else. A book would help too.
     
  3. Jump

    Jump New Member

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    do you look for alot of pictures in books or a few very good ones
     
    #3 Jump, May 11, 2005
    Last edited by moderator brava: May 11, 2005
  4. tristan

    tristan New Member

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    honestly, I'd rather see four or five excellent shots, than one or two good shots and then a bunch of okay ones.
     
  5. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    you MUST be able to do light sewing/alterations...
    ie-hem pants, buttons, etc...
    know how to use a steamer and press a dress shirt perfectly...

    reading and writing skills are important...you may have to keep track of the designer credit information during the shoot, or you may have to write a sample request email to various showrooms,etc...
    good manners and friendly demeanor...
    you have to be somewhat charming...

    you MUST be extrememly organize, listen carefully, and take direction well...
    a positive attitude and willingness to work hard are essential....

    a vast knowlege of the market...showroom and retail, men's and women's...
    because i do all of the above...
    even some knowledge of the interior design world and home stores because you may be asked to find props for a shoot...
    you should know the city well and be able to get around it quickly...

    and you have to be smart and be able to think for yourself...
    have some basic common sense ...
    and be very good under pressure...
    this is important...

    it's a VERY good question...i'll add to this if i think of more...
    i don't care about a book.. i may ask you who your favourite designers are...
    that's a favourite interview question of mine...
    i usually look for a recommendation from someone else...
    and some experience on set is really necessary-
    (so get some experience even if you have to work for free!!)
    :flower:
     
  6. .francesca

    .francesca about to fall or fly

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    i'm a photographer and while i've never needed an assistant, i have some ideas about what i'd look for in one. it depends on whether i want them to be something of a partner in crime with me, and in that case we should have similar aesthetics in common and a similar vision. we should obviously be able to get along, and i'd like it if they were able to contribute creative opinions, regardless of if i want theirs or not :)

    if i'm looking for just a straight up assistant, they should be good at taking direction and orders and staying out of my way when i need them to and being at my beck and call when i need them to. they should obviously know what i'm talking about when i say i need kodak 400NC. they should know something about lighting and how to load different types of cameras. all of this stuff applies to the one above, it just wouldn't include being as much of a creative voice as i might be.
     
  7. jonpettersen79

    jonpettersen79 New Member

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    Photographer's Assistants

    How much is a photographer assistent’ fulltime wage for a newbie-assistant and for someone who has been working as an assistant for a few years?

    I guess it differs a lot depending of how successful the photographer is, but let say the photographer is a pro working for bigger magazines like Vogue, Numero and so on..

    For example, it would be extremely interesting to know the wages of assistants working for any of these photographers:
    - Mert & Marcus
    - Steven Meisel
    - Patrick Demarchelier
    - Vincent Peters
    - Paolo Roversi
    - Mikael Jansson
    - Bruce Weber
    - Camilla Akrans

    Thanks! :D
     
  8. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    First ... I've never met a "fulltime" assistant ... they all seem to be freelance and most assist several photographers. In L.A. it seems that most assistants are paid $100 to $150 a day ... and that includes assistants to Patrick Dermarchier and Jerry Aveniam (I've worked with a couple of shooters who have assisted these guys). It's not who you are working for it seems ... more like your level of skills and their trust in you to be able to set up lighting the way they always do it ... so long time, trusted assitants may get a bit more but it seems to be pretty standard at around $150 a day for a skilled assistant.
     
  9. fouroclock

    fouroclock New Member

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    What do assistants do, and can they "move up" into being photographers themselves?
     
  10. FC5

    FC5 New Member

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    Assisting is generally seen as the best stepping stone to becoming a successful photographer - far more effective than any college.

    Because of that a lot of assisting work is done unpaid, or for pretty low rates.

    Sure there are freelance assistants, but it it also possible to assist full time (or pretty close to it) either for a studio or for a photographer. Roles vary from bag carrier (virtually never paid) to 'do-everything-except-press-the-button' types - who can gain a great deal of trust and mutual respect from the photographer.

    Look through the photographers section and see who has assisted and then gone on to bigger things.
     
  11. jonpettersen79

    jonpettersen79 New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies!
     
  12. Lena

    Lena etre soi-meme

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    even over here where wages are a bit lower an assistant gets about 100-150 euros per shoot, meaning that in some cases one can make around 300 a day with double shootings

    all photographers (like stylists) sarted from being assistants ;)
     
  13. fouroclock

    fouroclock New Member

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    How does one get to be an assistant in the first place?
     
  14. Sweets

    Sweets New Member

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    you gotta ask... i love assisting, and i always tell the photographers that i dont want their money because i feel like they're doing the bigger favor by letting me sit in and hold a reflector... then again im not assisting steven miesel hahah
     
  15. Sweets

    Sweets New Member

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    p.s. if i was assisting steven meisel i wouldnt ask for a wage either... i would just come in (10 minutes early of course), perform a short bowing ceremony, and take out my notepad and pen and ask if he would like cream and sugar...
     
  16. young_divine

    young_divine New Member

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    high end ads / beauty / still life:
    $450 - 1st assistant
    $400 - 2nd assistant

    magazine editorials:
    $250 - 1st assistant
    $200 - 2nd assistant
     
  17. jiji7

    jiji7 New Member

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    Is proficiency with Adobe Illustrator important for editorial fashion assistant jobs?

    I don't believe it is according to job listings I have seen at condenast.com for instance. The listings never mention anything specific on computer skills with creative design programs.

    Would you please weigh in on this?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  18. tctra

    tctra Member

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    what makes you think you'd be touching a computer in the first place with that job?
     
  19. seanutbutter

    seanutbutter the crying of humanity

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    ^ Don't you touch a computer with most jobs these days?
     
  20. jiji7

    jiji7 New Member

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    ^exactly. you never know.

    most designer assistant positions I have seen ask for some proficiency in adobe photoshop and illustrator. I figured maybe with this position, even if hardly, it might come in use.
     

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