Well-executed, creative attempts to get hired by a photographer as an assistant, producer, re-toucher, etc, are few and far between. That said, I was inspired by the following letter I recently received (posted with permission):
Obviously you folks are stacked with talented, energetic folks over there at CJ inc.
But that’s not going to stop me from trying to get my foot in the door over there. I recently left my post as studio manager, assistant, photographer, post-pro guy, painter, espresso master, steamer and dog walker at XXXXX Photography (www.XXXXXXXXXXXXX.com ) It was a good run there and I’m looking forward to some changes and meeting new photographers. I feel like a free agent, although I would rather be a secret agent.
I can wrap extension cords in fancy figure eights, I can create clipping paths for hours and steam motocross pants even longer. Most assistants can after doing it a couple years. (I attached a resume)
I find it takes much more to be a valuable assistant, that’s why I got an iPhone. As far as dedication and work ethic go……A few years back I had the fortunate opportunity to take part in a crevasse rescue demonstration. I strapped the climbing harness on, waved to my rope team and did my part by hucking myself off a glacier. I plunged toward the icy water in the middle of the Yukon Territory. It was sort of like bungee jumping except on a climbing rope. There I hung, 100 feet above the water, they caught me. I think it’s important to trust your team. Next time, I’ll remember to have the rope next to me instead of between my legs when I jump off. I’m tying to give the impression that I give 100% (I don’t believe in 110%, but that might be a topic for your blog down the road.)
I play soccer, ski and mountain bike. I never made it professionally at any of those so I bowl and play kickball in order to get the thrill of winning. Curling is next on the list.
I hope some day there is an opportunity at CJ inc. I look forward to challenge. I really respect the amount of work and energy it appears comes from the organization.
Thanks for posting the Superman game on your blog and thank you for considering me if anything opens up over there.
That letter was very well-written IMHO. For someone like that, there are opportunities.
What did I like about it?
1. It’s unique but not weird or freaky. He seems skilled, knows his stuff, and demonstrates that he knows something about my brand; specifically, my work, style, blog, career, etc. He’s articulate and tells my why he wants a job from me and not some other operation down the road.
2. He knows that I’m less interested in his portfolio and more interested in his go-get-em, attitude, skills, usefulness, humor, wit, and general intelligence.
3. He’s seems to have solid photography experience, knowledge, and genuinely seems interested to become an outstanding team member. Regardless of office staff or crew sizes, producing shoots and making images involves teamwork. Crucial home run to know that – he hit that one out of the park, simply and subtly.
4. He doesn’t seem to have fretted too much over the details of how he contacted me. There were no gimmicks, yet it was interesting. He seems comfortable and genuine that we might be a good match and has presented his ideas clearly, honestly (seemingly), and cleverly. His note happened to be an email, but it could have been a snail-mail letter all the same and it would have got my attention due to THE CONTENT. Ultimately, it was about his skills, experience, and the personality he exhibited in his contact.
Now, here’s the kicker: despite being one of my favorite letters of all time seeking employment, I still didn’t hire him. Why? Just unlucky timing. We’re all full up with a killer staff for the time being. But just like A Photo Editor holds onto good promos, I’ll hold onto his info and give him a ring when the time comes.