So Tempted …

I get a lot of email from folks looking to “hire” my students. Some are legitimate and turn into good opportunities, but most … well, most fall into a category that I would, at best, describe as vile. The most recent example:

Wedding Photography Assistants Needed!

Hi Photography and Journalism Professors! Can you please post this to your photography listserv, or forward to any students who might be interested?  Thanks so much!

Hi Photography students,

We are looking for newbies to be wedding assistants for this upcoming year.  We need people with minimal experience who can hold lights and cameras.  This is unpaid assistance that can eventually become a paid shooting job.  You would not need to have any equipment or even shoot at the weddings, although you can, this is just an inquiry for people who are looking for wedding experience.  Please send us an email if you are interested! Thanks!

So, let me get this straight: you’re contacting people who teach photography because you want “newbies” and “people with minimal experience who can hold lights and cameras?” Gee, I don’t know … most of my students have some skills that I have taught them. And they have experience from shooting 15 or more assignments in my class. Plus most of them work for other publications.

If they’re in my class, they are neither “newbies” nor “minimal(ly) experienced.”

And while I appreciate the enthusiasm (as evidenced by the excessive number of exclamation points), no. I won’t forward this to my students. Unless you feel like being publicly ridiculed. Because I’m betting you don’t discount for “newbie” brides and grooms and charge the experienced ones more, do you?

(As for the title to this entry, I am so tempted to list the business and let brides and grooms know that the wedding photographer they’ve hired thinks inexperienced people are qualified to record their special day.)

Mark E. Johnson

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