I can’t remember what shoot I was on where I finally said to myself, “I can’t do this successfully alone.” I want to say it was back in 2009, in Tulsa at a wedding I was shooting. I could have the dates wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was right around that time. I immediately started day dreaming of having an photography assistant.
I thought about hiring an intern, but that would mean I’d have to raise my prices to pay them. I have a really hard time asking any intern to work for free, though there was a time where I did and I learned a lot. But still, I wanted to keep my prices reasonable (also why we have a home office and not a store front studio yet), but I also needed help. About 3 months later I was at an Imaging USA convention and I heard Jeff and Julia Woods speak (they’re an amazing husband and wife wedding photography team). It was then I remembered I had an assistant, a life long assistant, my husband Bill. And
after much pleading and coercion and begging because he loves me Bill agreed to assist me on shoots.
There was a slight learning curve at first. He definitely blindly agreed to help, I’m certain he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. If he had I’m positive he would have said no, or at least thought about it a little harder. But I taught him about light and light manipulation and angles. He was already pretty good at hauling equipment and props around. He picked everything up rather quickly (he’s smart like that) and soon he started mentioning little posing and location ideas and thoughts during shoots that were pure genius. I stopped having to ask him to shade certain things or pop light here or there because he just saw it and knew.
Then there were the children. I hadn’t had much of an opportunity to see Bill with children, other than briefly with his niece and nephew in Philadelphia. I had been told by different folks that he was great with kids. But it wasn’t until he started assisting me on family and kid shoots that I realized how truly fabulous he is with them. And they absolutely love him to boot! And sometimes while shooting the parents, or a different combo of kids, I turn and I see this…
…and then I melt a little. Cause it isn’t just that he acts goofy to get them to laugh or smile, but he plays with them and entertains them while I’m working with other members of their family. And seriously they love him. (This little one said she’d like to come home with us.)
I have tons of these kinds of pictures of Bill being awesome at what he does floating among client photos, but the photo above is from a more recent shoot and it absolutely kills me. Maybe it’s pregnancy hormones. Maybe it’s that in three short months he’ll be holding our little girl. I’m not entirely sure. But what I am sure of is that he is going to be a fantastic dad and I couldn’t ask for a better photography assistant.