Photographers assistant

What they do

A photographer's assistant undertakes many of the tasks required in organising photographic shoots and ensures that they run smoothly.

Their work can range from basic manual tasks like helping the photographer carry bags and set up lights to organising images as they are shot. Other tasks include loading film, logging shot film, numbering rolls and keeping track of frames on test rolls of film. Established assistants will have an in-depth knowledge of the techniques and styles that a photographer will need to complete a shoot.

Working conditions

Photographer's assistants can be required to work long hours on shoots that, depending on lighting requirements, may take place at any time of the day. Shoots can also be scheduled in varied weather and climatic conditions outdoors. Alternately, photographer's assistants will work indoors, working alongside photographers in a studio, or undertaking digital photo manipulation in an office setting.

Tools and technologies

Photographer’s assistant’s need to be familiar with a wide range of photographic equipment, which, depending on the type of photographer they work with may include either digital or film cameras, lighting equipment and film processing and developing or darkroom equipment. They may also be required to be competent in photographic manipulation software such as Photoshop.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a photographer’s assistant without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in photography or photo imaging.

 The Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging, Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development (Photography) and Advanced Diploma of Photography are offered at TAFE colleges throughout Western Australia.

 Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

 You can also study a degree in photography. Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Learn more about your study options.

Required registration and licensing