What makes a good assistant

December 12, 2016

Behind most stylist’s is a rock star assistant and over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some lovely assistant’s. I always look for a stand out CV one that catches my attention and the writer has used some creative process to stand out from the rest. This makes me think the person will be ready to push boundaries and use common sense.

Assistant’s can lend a helping hand with anything from simple administrative support, preparing mood boards, budgeting, to running round town sourcing props and of course, general shoot day assisting. 

But what makes a good assistant? It might seem obvious but the most basic and honest traits can take you the furthest and a love of bubble wrap and sellotape…

Organisation:

A stylist’s job is fast-paced, with many responsibilities. It’s essential to stay organised and manage our time and workspace effectively.  House of Grey, normally work on  at least two or three jobs at once and a good assistant will help balance the workload to make sure we meet key deadlines.

Shoot days:

On shoot days the photographer, stylist and client will have their hands full getting the best shots that they can from the shoot and liaising with the client to make sure all the brief is being fore-filled.  A huge part of shoot co-ordination is problem solving.  On occasions, assistants don’t alway’s work with much direction, so judgment, or an ability to make good decisions without supervision, is always helpful ( this comes with experience).  Shoot’s can be very busy so assistant’s need to anticipate tasks or recognise problems and always come with solutions rather than problems will definitely take an assistant far . This coupled with being hands on and jumping in can get you very far in this industry. The role covers so many areas and anticipating what a stylist needs next is always super helpful and very recognised by stylists.

Teamwork:

Assistant’s are such an important part of a team and the best assistants will do any job big or small. Making a good round of tea & coffee is a great way of establishing and maintaining relationships (& moods) on the shoot’s. (making sure the team are looked after really helps with keeping the shoot moving, no one likes to be hungry). It also gets you remembered by the team!  Assistant’s who see themselves as ‘partner’s’ to their stylist have the best shot at improving their skills, getting more/repeat work and moving forward on the job…