Assistant Photographer: Patrick Sampson

Patrick Sampson Tips

  1. Stay ahead of the game! - Always try and foresee what's about to happen in the shoot. For example, if you're coming to the end of a set up and you're not busy, go and get everything ready in the next set up so the shoot can move seamlessly from one set up to the next. Use your initiative to ensure the shoot goes as smoothly as possible. 
  2. Don't be scared to offer up ideas. - If the photographer isn't sure of something on set, you can offer up ideas. If you have a good grip on the concept of the shoot and the Photographer needs input then offer up your idea. Even if the Photographer doesn't go for it, it might make them think differently about where to take the shoot and the results could be better than previously imagined. nb. Be tactful with this, you'll be able to gauge whether your points will be appreciated.
  3. Don't forget to focus on your own work. - It's easy to get stuck in the rut of Assisting and trying to make money but you must put aside time to work on your own projects. Don't spend all your time helping to push Photographers' careers while letting your own work faster. 
  4. Get to grips with Video. - With the decline of print media and the rise of the digital world, publications are utilising the internet and videos keep the viewer fixed on their subject matter for longer. A picture speaks a thousand words but videos have 24 frames per second...
  5. Talk to people - Don't take a total backseat just because you're the Assistant. Be approachable and friendly and build relationships with people. If a Picture Editor on set mentions an exhibition they've recently been to that you've also seen, pipe up! Building a rapport with people will bring great benefits.