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Why & How to Co-Shoot and Assist

What does Co-shoot mean? It means when two or more photographers get together to shoot

It is a good way to plan something big, wherein production costs could be high. Co-shooting will help you split the expenses and make it easier to create more in lesser time. For example if you want to hire some professional models, hire a bigger location, travel to a far off destination, all this can become much more expensive. It also helps make a bigger team and a bigger team is sometimes safer to create, not many people want to bother bigger teams. So makes it safer too. Also if you have a weekend and have multiple models to shoot with it will give every one a rest, a break and some variety. It could be a win-win for everyone in terms of economy, safety and creative variety. You also have more hands to plan the production.

But when you co-shoot you must discuss thoroughly with each participant what the broad idea is, what are each ones expectations, what are each ones boundaries etc. One must also discuss things like how will you share the resources and make a detailed plan for who will shoot whom in what sequence and how. It is important to note that in a Co-shoot you only want share the resources and not your frames. It is important that each creator, creates on his own, and does not encroach on the other ones time and space and frames. Else, it becomes a workshop where everyone makes same frames and has not much creative value. There has also to be clear discussion on what is a common resource and what is not for sharing. Clear planning and communication and adherence to all of the above will result in a fun filled much more economical, guilt free creations. You must be careful to Co-shoot only with those who have basic ethics, etiquette to honor all of this in true spirit.

My experience with co-shoots has been a mix of very good and very bad. But, I have now decided not to Co-shoot and stick to shoots that I can control entirely on my own.

What does Assist mean? Assist means packing, carrying, setting up and taking care of the photographer's gear. It may also include running errands for photographers. One can learn a lot by assisting good photographers, you get you handle equipment and gear, which can help you make and informed purchasing choice for yourself. You can learn how various photographers think and create by watching them. You can then decide what works for you and what will not. You can also get a chance to network a bit while assisting.

But it is important to remember, that assisting almost never involve any shooting other than maybe BTS. You may however, request the photographer, if you can shoot for a small amount of time at the end of the shoot. Most of them will oblige. You must remember to ethically credit everyone involved on the shoot for your pictures.

My idea of assisting is never do it. cos i feel, it pushes you to become a clone of the photographer you assist. I feel creators must be self taught free to create.

Good Luck Creating......

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