Photo Assistants & Careers

Moving from Assistant to Photographer

April 15, 2016

By PDN Staff

© Jesse Dittmar

“If you knock it out of the park and you’re nice, people are going to think of you for the next thing they need,” says Jesse Dittmar, who took this portrait of Tom Hanks for The Washington Post. Dittmar credits this ethic for his successful transition from assistant to photographer. 

Working as a photo assistant can provide a great grounding in photographic technique and the fundamentals of running a business. It’s also, for some assistants, a steady and reliable way to earn income. Leaving that behind to launch a solo photo career takes some planning, persistence and a lot of enterprise. In these interview excerpts, former assistants explain what it...

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