UPDATE: There are a few spots left in the 2012 Photo Assistant Workshop. You can secure your spot with an email money transfer. Email Rebecca to registser... rbaran@gmail.com

Why hello! My name is Rebecca Baran and you've reached a very poorly designed website about a photo assistant workshop I run in Toronto Ontario. The next workshop will be held Saturday June 9th and Sunday June 10th, 2012 from 10am - 5pm ish. Please email me at rbaran@gmail.com to register. Space is limited, so please register early rather than late.

FACEBOOK EVENT located here: www.tinyurl.com/assistant-workshop2012

17 Carlaw www.17carlaw.com
ARTAX www.artax.ca
Headshots www.headshotsrentals.com
Westside Studio www.westsidestudio.com
CM&P www.cmandp.com


I used to be a photo assistant in Toronto, from roughly 2008-2011. When I graduated in 2008 from Sheridan College I took a workshop put on by Susan Toth re: photo assisting. I found it very helpful in giving me a bit more confidence to get out there and start assisting. In 2011 Julie Belanger (she's a producer over at Full Serve Productions, I used to work a fair bit with her when I was assisting) called me and asked me if I knew of any new assistants. A lot of assistants were moving on, and she asked if I knew if there was a workshop happening. I said no, but maybe I should organize one?

So I did. The first workshop which happened in June 2011 was a huge success. We had lots of people attend, and tons of people come share information. It was held at the lovely Silverline Studios, where I worked part time as a Studio Manager. We had a mix of people attend. Recent grads! People who graduated a while ago and wanted a refresher! Photo assistants that had recently relocated to Toronto and wanted to make some contacts! People who were making a career change!

When I advertised that there would be "industry professionals" coming to speak, I couldn't specify which ones... just in case a job came up and they had to bail. But I knew I'd be able to wrangle up some great people, and I was thrilled with how many got involved! Aric and Gabe from Westside even brought a generator. (They also brought cameras, digital backs, and tons of helpful info as they are both full time 1st assistants at Westside.) Headshots and Silverline also pitched in a ton of gear, and we split into smaller groups to get hands on experience.

Along with Aric and Gabe from Westside, a few other assistants that came out to share experiences, advice and demo gear: Marvan Kwan, Jason Mortlock, Michelle Z, Helen Yousif, Dustin Parr, and Mike Watier. Brook Wedlock also assisted us!

Photographers Finn O'hara and Hasnain Dattu dropped by to shed some light on how to get gigs and what makes a great assistant.

Producers Julie and Raff from Full Serve Productions also shared their insight.

Also thank you to Nicola from Art Tax for coming to give us tips on taxes and freelance work.

At the end of the second day I passed out a survey so people could anonymously give me feedback on the weekend. Everyone was happy and said they would suggest the workshop to others. The feedback from the surveys will also help me to make the next workshop even better.

Here are a few things people had to say:

"The best part of the workshop were the guest speakers, they were honest and made me feel comfortable to ask anything."
"I learned a lot that I did not know from university - specifically how the industry runs, what is expected of you, how much you should charge, etc."
"Great demos! Great tips!"
"Take home booklet is nice!"
"Everyone was so nice and really enthusiastic about despensing advice and helping you get a foot in the door!"
"Loved hearing from pros from all parts of the industry."
"Very glad I attended! This weekend was even better than I had hoped!"
"This helped give me confidence and more motivation to go out and do this! Really encouraging."

The next workshop will happen Saturday June 9th and Sunday June 10th, 2012 from 10am - 5pm ish.. Please email me to register. ps Lunch was delicious too.