Working as Photographers Assistants is one of the best ways of learning the inner workings in the commercial photography industry. In addition working as a Photographers Assistant is also the best way to sharpen your: on-set technical, production and lighting skills.
As the photography industry evolved from film to digital, the role of a Photographers Assistant has evolved and Photo Assistants must now become more technically proficient in lighting than ever before as their roll on set increasing evolves to that of: "Lighting Technician".
Traditionally, Photo Assistant skills were taught by the Photographers they worked with and other Photo Assistants.
The more you assisted and the more diverse a group of photographers you assisted, the more you learned; thus, the better your skill set become and the more value you as an assistant you had to bring to the production.
Our Photo Assistant Boot Camp compresses much of that learning time into a 2 day intensive hands-on workshop.
In our Photo Assistant Boot Camp, attendees will be working with every piece of equipment that they would regularly come across during your first 6-9 months of working as a photographers assistant on commercial shoots.
Our proven method of teaching old-school photo knowledge, on set skills, set-etiquette, and business practices mean you are better prepared for working in real world studio situations.
Our workshops have trained people from the following studios:
Christopher Michaud, Gregory Heisler, Russell James, Timothy Hogan, Michael Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, Sand Box Studio, Industrial Color, FotoCare rental, American Express publishing, QVC, Publishers clearing house, Conde' Nast studio, Scheimpflug digital.
When I first started working in the commercial photo industry as a photo assistant I had the privilege of working with some amazing old school photographers as well as many of the famous NYC. photographers whose images we have all admired for years.
In the past most photographers did their own lighting and had exceptional photographic skills both of which they were willing to pass along to those photo assistants willing to put in the time and effort to make themselves a valuable member of the photo team. That changed during the early to mid-90's when a new crop of photographers were better known for their outstanding Art Direction skills, and came to rely on ther photo assistants for all on-set production and lighting skills.
We've all attended those photo workshops or events were you walk into a room and are greeted with row upon row of folding chairs. This is hardly the most appropriate way to teach photography of any sort. It makes very little sense to teach lighting or photography in an environment that is in no way connected to the realities of the "Commercial Photo experience".
For that reason I have for the last 12 years have been presenting our Photo Assistant Boot Camp, and Studio Lighting Workshops in many of the real NYC. photo rental studios of all descriptions, shapes, and sizes that I have personally been working in during my 20+ years in NYC. From huge 6000 sqft. spaces with 20 foot ceilings to 1200 sqft. photographers lofts in mid town Manhattan. Because there is no constant or standard that any photographer or assistant should expect to find. As a professional it is our job to be adaptable to any working environment or situation and be the best possible and most skilled individual on the photographic team in order to create the best possible images.
At our Studio Lighting Workshop I attempt to create as close to a real world shooting environment as possible that is also interlaced with the learning experience.
Within the first hour you will be handling pro-studio lighting equipment and setting up lighting scenarios. At the same time you will be introduced to the equipment that is being used across the country in pro rental studios and high-end commercial shoots.
Were other similar events will have you listening to sales reps talk about a manufactures equipment, with use you will be learning and using those studio lights almost immediately.
I created these workshops because there are few old school photographers or experienced photo assistants around any more to teach the basics so we have taken it upon ourselves to do so. I have also seen first hand that the photo schools simply are not teaching the skills needed to work in the real world of commercial photography.
And because I had the great fortune to have worked with and learned form some of the most knowledgeable people in the photo industry, I feel that it is incumbent upon me to pass that knowledge along to others for as long as it remains useful.
While I would hope that everyone would attend our workshops, which have helped produce some of the finest photo crew members working today; I can not stress enough the importance of educating yourself by attending as many professional photography workshops as you possibly can.
"There is no one right way of doing things" in photography (and anyone that says other wise clearly does not have a clue) and the tricks and tips that you will learn at my or others workshops will in time prove to be invaluable.
James Sullivan 2013
I was lucky enough to have assisted James
on a shoot that was in a building that hadn't been opened to the public for maybe
20 years or a fashion shoot on the busy streets of New York, or right in the
middle of Times Square, a simple studio shoot for an ad campaign, and few
All these shoots have one thing in common "NOTHING"!
was always different, the lighting was different, the pace of the shoot was
different, the PROCEDURE in assisting was different, even what we wore during
the shoot was different.
So I signed up for the workshop and never looked back. James experience in the field is absolutely priceless.
This class is not just for assistants, it's for aspiring photographers that want to go pro.
wanting to become an assistant, this workshop is definitely a must. James vast
experience in the field becomes obvious as soon as he starts the workshop. He'll
give you hands on experience with the equipment that you'll encounter on the set of
a professional shoot. He'll also give you hands on experience with the different
ways the equipment may be used all whilst listening to his different experiences
and scenarios will help you troubleshoot when you find yourself in a similar
situation. He'll give you hands on experience on lighting a subject the way the
photographer would want it lit. He talks about etiquette on set to ensure you
will be hired again by the photographer. James will be able to help you
anticipate what the photographer needs before the photographer realizes it
himself. This all helps get you hired again and again, which thus helps you
start your business.
James will go over simple techniques that will make a huge difference on lighting. None of these techniques are obvious, again, all through his experience of what works and what doesn't, is passed down to you. Everything you learn in this workshop will help you get hired over and over again.
If you're an aspiring photographer, this workshop is invaluable. If you're
starting to build a book, unless you have your own equipment and studio space,
you'll need to rent. Most studio spaces rent equipment as well. This workshop
will help you walk in any rental studio and use any lighting equipment the
studio has to offer. This in itself helps you conceptualize your shoot. Through
James' vast experience in the field, he will go through lighting with you. Show
you the most efficient way to make the lighting work. What tools you will need
to get the lighting you want whether it be a light modifier or a specific color
temperature, he'll give you hands on experience on how to accomplish it. He will
introduce you to lighting equipment you may never have thought of using.
He had a notebook full with notes from past shoots that was being passed around. I couldn't stop reading it.
Every page had diagrams, power settings, distances, etc etc etc with Polaroid's of the actual results, this to me was a goldmine. "
Rico - 08/10/2012
About the Instructor
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: You do not need to bring any thing except maybe a note book for taking notes.
Q: Where will the seminar take place?
A: A rental studio located in New York City, I'll forward the exact location to those attending in a confirmation email upon sign up.
Q: Can I bring a video camera or audio or other reordering device to take notes for me?
A: NO, we do not allow any audio or video recording devices at this or any of our events.
Q: Will lunch be provided?
A: YES, I love to eat just like you. We supply coffee and water, but any breakfast is up to you
Q: How many people will be attending the seminar?
A: There will be a maximum of 16 people attending to ensure everyone receives plenty of one-on-one attention.
Q: What are the hours of this workshop?
A: Saturday - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Sometimes 6:00 PM)
Q: I consider myself a student / amateur photographer can I still attend?
A: YES! This workshop is open to all levels. That being said it should be noted that this is not a 'Photography 101' type of workshop attendees need to have a working knowledge of photography. We focus heavily on the on set production elements of commercial photography. So Photo School students, those new to photo assisting, advanced amateurs, and those photographers who rarely to never use professional studio lighting are best suited for this workshop.
Q: What will be covered at this workshop?
A: Most of what will be discussed at the workshop or that is discussed in our eBook includes:
Q: What will happen after register for this workshop?
A: Once you have completed your registration and paid via PayPal I will receive a notification. At that Time I will send you a confirmation email.
Q: I consider myself an amateur photographer; can I still attend?
A: This time around, we are emphasizing the professional level of the seminar. We will not be covering photography and lighting basics and we expect you to know how to find proper exposure and be familiar with lighting equipment. We will also be discussing experiences Melissa has had during her career as well as providing tips and suggestions on marketing and promotion. David will also be teaching advanced retouching techniques so you will need to know how to navigate Adobe Photoshop CS3. The purpose of this seminar is to enhance and further the skills you already have, and help you take a step closer to becoming a professional fashion photographer.
Q: Are you affiliated with any professional photography groups or organizations?
A: NO. I have over the years attempted to work with well known photo groups
Q: Do you offer any type of discounts?
A: Yes, I offer a "Refer a Friend Discount".
Q: after taking this workshop will I be recommended by you o 1ProPhoto.Com or 1ProCrew.Com?
A: 1ProPhoto.Com & 1ProCrew.Com only recommends seasoned first assistants that have
over the years proven to other assistants and photographer that they have the skills needed for us to recommend them.
Q: What if I need to cancel?
A: We do not offer refunds on the workshop. We will however, credit you the full amount you have paid to be applied to any future workshop. You may also independently sell your spot to someone else. Please read the full terms and conditions on the Registration page for complete details.
Q: Hey James, why are you going to charge assistants and students for this info, you should give it away for free?
A: "Speed costs money, How fast did you want to Go?
Studio 225 Chelsea in NYC.225 West 28 Street (Between 7 & 8 Ave.)
PLEASE NOTE: We do not allow the photographing of any portion our events in any fashion including but not limited to: iPhone, iPad, or other mobile devices.. If this is a problem for you please do not sign up. Unfortunately it has become necessary to implement this rule due to previous workshop experiences.
"Refer a Friend Discount".
After you successfully signed up for any of our workshops both you and I will be notified by Paypal. At that time you may then refer a friend to our workshop and have then email me directly.
I will then send them an email with a link to our discounted registration page. And after they have successfully signed up I will instantly refund $25.00 to you. Please limit 4 discounts per full paid user.
Those receiving the discounted course fee are not eligible for any further discount offers.