Photo Assistant Basic Training Workshop 2023

Sat 04th Nov, 2023 – 10:30am–4:00pm

Posted by APA Admin Posted in Workshop

Sat 04th Nov, 2023


$25: APA Members
$40: General Public

Register Now

Dodd Camera studio space


Join us for APA Chicago's photo assistant basic training workshop on Saturday, November 4. Launch a career in the photo industry with this tried and tested program developed years ago by APA. With panel discussions, equipment demonstrations from industry professionals, and hands-on training, attendees will gain the essential knowledge and confidence to build their Pro Assistant reputation. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of professional assisting behavioral guidelines, including contemporary set etiquette, and discover how this valuable training will get you more callbacks – more repeat clients, more work.

All attendees will receive the official Photo Assistant Handbook produced by PhotoShelter and APA. This handbook details crucial assisting principles with photographer and first-call assistant interviews. Includes written job description for assisting, 12 problems that photo assistants are expected to solve, building relationships, managing your finances, and much more.

Master assisting professionalism and get booked solid.


  • 10:15 AM: Doors open / Check-in
  • 10:30 AM: Panel Discussion & Q&A
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch (provided)
  • 01:00 PM: Gear demonstration / Hands-on training
  • 04:00 PM: Workshop ends

Morning session: panel discussion

Questions and topics the panel will cover:

  • How an aspiring assistant should approach a photographer.
  • How to get your first assistant job.
  • How do I find photographers to work for?
  • What rate should an assistant charge
  • What is the difference between a tech and an assistant?
  • How long should I wait to get paid?
  • Who besides a photographer should I contact to get assisting work?
  • What do you look for in a photographer you work for?
  • What should an assistant bring to a shoot?
  • What questions should an assistant ask when called for a job?
  • What do you say if asked if you are a photographer too?
  • What do you do if you have to make a call? Cell phones on set?
  • Networking and social media?
  • What non-photo skills should I have? Social Media, blogging, self-promotion, etc.
  • How should you dress/appear?
  • What about mixing male/female assistants?
  • Travel, Overtime, Cancellations?
  • Assistants as employees/freelancers?
  • How should an assistant pick up gear and equipment before & after the shoot?
  • Interns? Are they paid?
  • How much of your work do you shoot while being a busy assistant?

Afternoon session: gear demonstration/hand-on training

The afternoon session begins with a hands-on workshop with much of the gear an assistant will most likely encounter on most professional photo shoots. Many aspects of assisting will be explained in detail, i.e., strobes, hot lights, flags, scrims, set etiquette, and the assistant kit.

This is a great opportunity to learn from (and network with) professional photographers and first-call assistants.


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