Friday, February 12, 2010

9 Qualities of a Great Photo Assistant

Yesterday, in the proverbial dawn's early light, my assistant Brad Wenner and I drove spring-green Hwy 280 to a shoot in Palo Alto. Cruising south in my MBZ bomber under blue sky after rain storm ~ spray of pink clouds, we spotted a crescent-shaped haiku: a most perfect arc drawn by a most perfect compass. And I realized it was the last day of ox-year! This little beauty of an orb was ushering in the tiger-year new moon of today.

Our shop talk was silenced by the sight of this dainty white line, and we were, like, "When was the last time you saw an old moon in a clear sky at dawn?" Made me think about what I look for in a photo assistant. Weird, but true.

So, here's my list-in-progress.

My perfect photo assistant...
1) knows more than I do about some stuff, and doesn't hesitate to share.
2) does odd duties with a glad attitude because we are in this together and because I always pay day of shoot.
3) will work to the cliff of big hunger, and carries condensed calories in this eventuality.
4) anticipates my needs to the point of being psychic.
5) makes their own art, in whatever form (being a voracious reader of literature counts).
6) has upper body strength.
7) is a great conversationalist (see number 5) while traveling to and from, but is quiet during shoots.
8) arrives exactly on time, not early or late.
9) is a master of the Easy Hang (see number 7, then times it by an airplane ticket and a rental car), with the capacity to share spiritually-uplifting moments that happen randomly along the way.

Yesterday, at the sight of the fingernail clipping of an old moon, Brad and I both kind of drew in our breath. The sound of a good assistant.

Gung Hei Fat Choy to the great assistants of my past/present/future. You make me look good, and you are Masters of the Easy Hang.

All you future assistants out there, send me your resume. Seriously.