Assistant Photographer Apprenticeship Level 3

Duration: 18 months

Assistant Photographers (or Photographic Assistants) generate original imagery. They work for larger organisations on social, commercial, government, scientific or specialist applications or for smaller more specialist photographic studios. Their work may be inside or outside, with digital or film cameras and producing still or video images.

Our programme is led by Anthony Milner, professional photographer and trainer with experience in architecture, interior, fashion, studio and product photography.  Anthony has completed projects (some front covers) for publications such as Vogue, Grazia, House & Garden, FHM and World of Interiors as well as corporate assignments for:

  • B2C: Aston Martin, Tesco, Google, McDonald’s, Vodafone, Barratt Homes, Persimmon Homes, Chesterton Homes and Mexx.
  • B2B:  Royal Institute of British Architects, Canary Wharf, Wimpey Homes, Savills and Frank Knights.
  • Ministry of Defence.
  • Individuals at his former high street portrait studios.

Course Summary

The apprenticeship focuses not only on the knowledge an Assistant Photographer needs in order to be competent (outlined below) but on the skills and behaviours such as developing a strong work ethic, being adaptable, honest and able to plan, organise and communicate.

Being able to work efficiently with digital imaging software, identifying what needs to be emphasised in the images and taking images that achieve the viewpoint, composition and point of focus, including appropriate depth of field. Finally backing up digital images files whilst on assignment and recording metadata clearly and accurately are all key to success in the role.

Key learning includes shutter speed, aperture, ISO, meter reading, camera types (Nikon, Canon or Sony), digital photography, full frame.

How reciprocity failure can impacts exposure time. Camera flash, studio lighting, studio light heads, light meters, camera batteries. 

Location – working indoor and outdoor; with people or objects. Working natural, studio. Event lighting. How to use available light including combinations of daylight, free-standing lights and camera mounted flash. How to safely handle, assemble, set up, operate and store photographic equipment in different environments and situations. The causes of common faults in photographic equipment and user-permissible maintenance, fault-finding and minor repairs.

Using Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom. Image retouching, file types, image storage, pre-sets and raw files.

Knowledge of equipment, colour management, hardware calibration, additive and subtractive colours, JPEG vs TIFF files.

Embedding copyright statement, metadata, image file types and formats, assigning keywords and content types, concepts.

Meeting types, strategy, needs and expectations, budget, brief, equipment for the shoot, client types, customer service.

Understanding job roles, photography sectors, (printing, sales, photographer, assistant), job opportunities. Advantages and disadvantages of freelancing vs employment.

When and how to obtain consents for use of images. Ensuring that licenses to use own work are issued in writing.  H&S compliance including  COSHH, PPE, environmental issues and legal and copyright issues.

Computer security (viruses and password control), file and system security and access procedures. Maintaining accurate and accessible records.

Using chemicals, printing and creating images, film – ISO, photographic papers, darkroom procedures and the principles of monochrome and colour printing and colour casts.

Joining a professional body, good housekeeping, how to handle enquiries, questions, comments and complaints. Clients’ needs and expectations. Developing your own personal style.

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Delivery Model

The course is delivered through once monthly full day seminars plus expert coaching and high quality online resources. We deliver nationally.

All teaching is presently delivered remotely and there is an active programme of starts despite Covid-19.

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