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Category Archives: Studio Practice

Photo Studio Practice: Finding an Assistant

Here are ten tips on how to find just the right assistant:

1. Write out a list of things you will need them to do on a weekly basis.

2. Determine the number of hours per week you will need them.

3. Decide what the best days would be for you to have them in your studio (home office or brick and mortar.)

4. Decide if you want to pay an assistant or hire them as an intern for work experience as their pay.

5. If you decide to pay them, you will need to set up a W2 or 1099 for them. 1099s are easier and you can just get their Social Security number and have your tax person send them a 1099 at the end of the year.

6. If you decide to have a work for trade internship, clearly define the agreement. For instance “For every 25 hours of work you give me, I will give you an hour of private lessons.” What I do is “pay” my assistants who work for trade $15 per hour to go as credits towards whatever they want: photography lessons, Photoshop or Lightroom lessons, or actual portrait sessions.

7. Ask around first. Remember there is “strength in weak ties.” You never know who is looking to assist in your area of expertise so put the word out EVERYWHERE.

8. Go to the local community colleges in your area. Connect with the department chair of your field of expertise and give them a physical job description for them to post up and email out to the students. They are more than happy to do this and you will most likely find some really eager people.

9. Connect with your local High School Career Resources person. They are the ones who work closely with the Juniors and Seniors to help them figure out what Colleges and career paths to take. They really know the students and can usually hook you up with someone who is incredible. Just tell them the type of person you are looking for and they will pass your info on to the students.

10. If you are involved in a Church or Synagogue, these can be great resources too. Let a few people know you are looking for an assistant and the news will travel like wildfire (especially if you or your spouse is involved in any women’s groups.)

Click HERE to learn more about FINDING AN ASSISTANT (You’re on this Page!)
Click HERE to learn more about HIRING AN ASSISTANT
Click HERE to learn more about TRAINING AN ASSISTANT
Click HERE to learn more about FIRING AN ASSISTANT

Click HERE to go back to the beginning of this discussion.

Copyright © 2010 by Jen O’Sullivan http://www.jenosullivan.com

Beverly Hills Wedding Photographer, Jen O’Sullivan is a boutique wedding photographer who specializes in portrait journalism.

Jen O’Sullivan Boutique Wedding Photography | 357 South Robertson Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California, 90211 | 310-494-6547

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Photo Studio Practice: Hiring an Assistant

Here are ten tips on how to successfully HIRE an assistant:

1. Write up a list of thoughtful questions to ask. Click HERE for a list I use.

2. Create a simple form for them to fill out. Go to any local store and ask for an application, then copy it for yourself. You may want to email this to them and have them email it back BEFORE you meet.

3. Meet with them at the place they will be working if for a studio position.

4. Meet with them at a neutral place such as a coffee shop if for a production position.

5. If you are meeting in a coffee shop, or the like, YOU pay for their coffee or drink.

6. Dress professionally. It will show them what you expect of them. If you show up in ratty old jeans and tennis shoes they will start out with a “friend” impression of you rather than a “boss” impression.

7. Bring a note pad, and actually take notes. If you are interviewing more than one person, believe me, you will confuse them. You will need to make the most informed decision. After all, this is YOUR baby!

8. Do not let the interview take longer than 30 minutes. This is not a time to get chatty. Keep it professional.

9. Have a list of work responsibilities for them as well as the agreement in plain terms. Go over it with them so they fully understand what you are looking for and what they will get in return.

10. Look for these key things when conducting the interview: body language, are they giving you eye contact?, are they slouched back or perched forward on their chair?, what are they wearing (note their shoes,) are they well groomed (look at their finger nails,) do their answers seem rehearsed?, are THEY taking notes? It is not that all these things are super important, however they will tell you a little bit more about them. People put their best foot forward (or at least they should) with interviews, so look at the details.

Click HERE to learn more about FINDING AN ASSISTANT
Click HERE to learn more about HIRING AN ASSISTANT (You’re on this page!)
Click HERE to learn more about TRAINING AN ASSISTANT
Click HERE to learn more about FIRING AN ASSISTANT

Click HERE to go back to the beginning of this discussion.

Copyright © 2010 by Jen O’Sullivan http://www.jenosullivan.com

Beverly Hills Wedding Photographer, Jen O’Sullivan is a boutique wedding photographer who specializes in portrait journalism.

Jen O’Sullivan Boutique Wedding Photography | 357 South Robertson Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California, 90211 | 310-494-6547

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