Quick Tip: A Faster Track to a Career as a Photographer

Posted by on Monday May 14, 2018 | Business

Sami Drasin at work in a hotel room during the time she was Renee’s studio manager. ©Christa Renee

School is out. Lots of photography school graduates are probably asking themselves: Now what? How do I get my career as a photographer started? Assisting is one path, but working as a studio manager is a better apprenticeship, according to photographer Christa Renee. “I always tell everyone not to assist. Find a photographer you respect and be their studio manager for a year,” she says. After college, Renee worked as a studio manager for Catherine Ledner, and later worked for a few months in Stephanie Rausser’s studio. “I learned more than I ever learned in school and more than I ever would have learned on set,” she says. “I think that’s why I started shooting so early.”

“It’s a hard job. It’s kind of thankless,” Renee warns. “You’re not on set doing fun things, you’re in a hole on a computer.” But the tradeoff is that studio managers learn how to run a photography business, handle creative calls, estimate jobs, produce shoots, and meet creatives and other people who can help you launch your career later on.

Renee recalls how Sami Drasin, a former studio manager who is now a photographer, was involved in all the behind-the-scenes work essential to running Renee’s advertising photography business. “She got to listen in on and be involved in conference calls, which you don’t get to see as an assistant. That conference call training alone is worth doing a year as a studio manager,” says Renee. “Photographers are kidding themselves if they don’t think they have to be good on the phone. It’s a sales pitch. That’s not something you learn in school or on a set.” See more at “A Fast Way to Learn How to Be An Advertising Photographer.”

Quick Tip: Launching a Career without Assisting
Quick Tip: How to Learn What They Don’t Teach You in Photo School
Advice from Editorial and Fine-Art Photographers about Succeeding in Advertising



Quick Tip: Get the Right Insurance (It Could Save You)

Posted by on Tuesday May 1, 2018 | Business

To save money, photographers cut all sorts of corners, especially when they’re starting out. Photographer Christa Renee emphasizes the importance of carrying proper insurance from the start. “There have been a couple jobs recently where I would not have even been able to do the job if I didn’t have insurance,” she says. “Two different... More

Quick Tip: To Survive, Pay Yourself

Posted by on Tuesday March 27, 2018 | Business

Edward Curtis
Edward Curtis self-portrait

Photographer Tomas van Houtryve was recently reminded that financial security doesn’t just take care of itself, even for the most successful photographers. That reminder came while he was reading a biography of renowned 19th century photographer Edward S. Curtis. “Curtis fell into a trap, which many photographers [do],” van Houtryve explains. “He never put in... More