The friendships you make in this business are pretty awesome, and they can come out of nowhere. Years ago a young model wanted to be photographed by me. She had just turned 18 and she just loved my soft hazy light photos and my art nudes. She kind of grew up the way I did, where nudity was never a big deal. To many people have way too many hang ups about nudity.
What is funny is that after our third or forth shoot together is when I ended up hiring her as my assistant. I am one of those people who would probably forget my head if it wasn’t attached. I was out picking up lunch for my wife and her staff at her photo shoot. Robyn (my model and soon to be assistant) and I were shooting at the beach when I got the call to pick up lunch. As we were waiting for lunch I noticed how Robyn was making sure I didn’t leave my keys on the table, reminded me to get the salt and ketchup for the fries, then to remember the fries. This is when I asked her if she wanted a job.
I had been looking for an assistant for a few weeks without any real prospects. The problem with finding an assistant these days is so many people just want to learn from you for a very short time and then move on to start their own photography business. So you end up teaching someone new every 6 months or so. This gets old pretty quickly. But when I noticed the way Robyn could so easily predict my next move I knew I had to offer her the job!
We did notice one major benefit to her being my assistant. I always had a model for any idea I could come up with and she always had new photos for her book! My boudoir clients loved her, she could help with posing and she is just great with people in general. Unfortunately she moved to New York and I moved to Palm Springs so our working relationship ended, for now at least.
I have thought of getting another assistant/model, but you cannot force these things. This worked for us because we had already known each other, we had worked together many times and she had also worked with my wife several times. We already had a great working relationship. But this is why I say things happen for a reason. I now know what I would like out of an assistant and it also helped me guide my own style and changed the way I did things with my business.
From the very first time I photographed Robyn I knew I was going to like her. Her mother was at the shoot with her and her mom was simply as cool as they come! Someone who understood art, someone who understood beauty and who really encouraged us to push ourselves to get the best images possible.
I was already booked for her sister’s wedding this year, but my associate shooter photographed it. I was lucky enough to be able to swing by and see all of them at the end of the wedding. It was great reconnecting with her in person, and seeing Robyn with her sister and mom reminded me of our very first shoot together and how this whole friendship began. Sometimes you need to step back and just appreciate the people in your life and always remember where you met them because you never know when you’re going to meet someone new who will unknowingly inspire you in many different ways!