Assisting is a traditional pathway to a career as a photographer, but that’s not the only route. Photographer Christin Rose started as a photo editor, which led to a job as a photographer’s rep, then to work as production coordinator, and finally to a career as a freelance producer. All of those jobs prepared her for a successful (second) career as a photographer, she says.
Rose’s advice to aspiring photographers to say Yes to any opportunity that comes along. Take work as a photo assistant, a production coordinator, a styling assistant, or anything else related to photography, she says. “Do something in the industry. Just get in.” That will enable you to build relationships critical to launching a career as a photographer later on, she explains.
The work experience also adds up, and has contributed to Rose’s success as a photographer. Rose says her stint as a rep, working with Chris McPherson, Jeff Minton, Christa Renee and other photographers, taught her the business basics. As a freelance producer working for clothing retailer PacSun, she worked with creative director Greg Crawford and photographer Nicholas Maggio on advertising shoots all over California. “I got to learn so much about production, and it’s been invaluable in pursuing a career as a photographer,” she says.
Rose still faced the challenge (like all photographers) of building a professional portfolio. But the lesson for aspiring photographers who worry about being sidetracked in other industry jobs is that many paths can lead to a career behind the camera.
To find out more about Rose’s career launch see “From Producer to Photographer: How Christin Rose Made the Transition.”
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