Over the past 12 months, I've been given the opportunity to present a series of Guest Lectures to aspiring Photography students about becoming a Photographic Assistant.
The first was on a slightly ad hock basis after being asked by Lottie Davis to step in last minute to talk as part of a programme of lectures to students of the prestigious Falmouth University Photography course. Following on from my boss Pål Hansen's talk on his career, I spoke to the students about:
My background and How I came to be an Assistant.
What an Photographic Assistant is and differing types of Assistants
My role with Pål and what a average week looks like
The different roles I play from day to day
The benefits of Assisting
What makes a good Assistant
I ran through some of the different shoots I've worked on using Pål's images as examples ie. editorial/commercial etc. and finished offering advice to any would be assistants. I found that the students seemed really interested and had a lot of questions. I think the gap between a Photography Student and an Assistant seemed much more accessible that the gap between a Student and an established Photographer so they really wanted to hear what I had to say.
I was then asked to speak to participants of the DEVELOP scheme at The Photographers Gallery. The scheme aims to help young people get into the photographic industry by providing a wide range of talks, guest lectures and workshops. As a youngster, I had no idea about the photography industry, let alone how I'd go about being a part of it, so I jumped at the chance to being involved in helping people establish ideas on prospective routes into the industry.
Shortly after the talk at TPG, I had spoken to a past tutor at Nottingham Trent who decided it would be a great idea for me to talk to the NTU Photography 3rd years about Assisting. My partner Imogen (whom I met during University), who works as PA to the artist Yinka Shonibare MBE and co-ordinates the Guest Projects initiative at his North London studio, was also invited along to talk and answer any questions about her route into the Arts industry.
***On a slightly side related note, I am also proud to announce that we were asked to be Alumni Fellows of NTU, a role that I'm really excited to fulfil in the future and it was an absolute honour to be asked.***
If you would like to read the article published by NTU, please click here.