Detroit People Photography – Assisting

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Detroit Michigan People Photographers Mary DuPrie

People Photography in the Detroit area for paid work is mostly commercial. So dealing with people is key… and assistants are people.  You need a great team for high end work.  If you have one bugaboo in the group it changes the flavor of the mix.


Testing comes and goes, it seems to run in waves.  When I need to bolster up a part of my book or even add a new category I’ll probably offer a flurry of testing.

People ask and offer their help all the time.  So how do I decide?  Lot’s of factors come in to play, some major some minor.  These are just my quirks but might give you some insight.


Presenting a problem in your reply.. I don’t care how far you have to drive, what time you have to get up, how late we’ll stay… fill in the blanks.   I have my own problems to think about.

Someone who just casually puts it out there that they would like to “help” sometime.  If you casually ask once and nothing else… it will leave my brain immediately… you’ll probably need to pester me.

I want someone who is more aggressive and pursuing photography.  Someone who is not a full blown competitor but coming up the ladder.  Perhaps a landscape photographer who is struggling shooting people and who will not eventually be setting up shop right down the street.


Someone who is not struggling financially and probably has a good job already.  Shows up very well dressed (over dressed).  No jeans and t-shirts.  Pretend it’s a paying job.

An assistant who cleans up during down times… always straightening and putting things away if not needed.

Assistants that are proactive versus reactive.  Not over chatty with clients… you’re kind of invisible, like a ninja!  A great co-host.


People that show up then tell me that they have to leave… I need an open end time, you never know what might happen.  Ask me for my address and info… stuff that would be easy to find if they just put a little effort into it.  Not thinking about the next step without micro managing.

These are just a very few highlights…

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