How To Assist The Best Photographers In The World

Have you ever wondered what it takes to assist the most successful photographers in the world? 

Commercial photographer Monte Isom has had the opportunity to assist many of the world's most famous photographers. We recently teamed up with Monte to produce a tutorial on the business side of commercial photography called Making Real Money and in this tutorial we filmed a series of videos we call "Story Time." In this excerpt from the tutorial, Monte tells his story of working toward being a professional photographer starting at the age of 17. Before shooting for himself, Monte assisted over 100 different photographers and eventually made his way to NYC to assist Albert Watson himself. 

Sometime in the future, we will be releasing more hilarious stories from Monte's story time so stay tuned to our Youtube Channel. If you liked to learn more about Making Real Money, check out the promo below. 

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24 Comments

John Skinner's picture

It's was... interesting. I tend (at this age) to find people in their <30's to overuse the word 'literally' to a point where I can't take them seriously. This was a big detraction from the tale. But that said. It was an interesting journey that some of us can relate to on some level... Meeting A brought us closer to B, in turn brought more players of the alphabet into our lives.

Simon Patterson's picture

"I'm just gonna go ahead and, like, literally...oh that's awesome!"

The use of "literally" in this vid didn't grate on me so much as it did you. But any of the above redundant buzz words can certainly provide a real distraction from the content of some videos.

It’s “story time”. What is the normal level of redundancy in a bar talk with friends? I assume, high.

Simon Patterson's picture

That video was very well done, and interesting. It is amazing how much our lives can be affected by those we meet, as we're doing our best at the thing we're committed to at the time.

Peter Timmer's picture

Why the f do people think there should be ice in whisky... you should drink whisky at room temperature.. This is such a common mistake, it's a mistake created by photographers and marketeers putting ice cubes in every drink you can imagine. It might look nice but it destroys your whisky.. ask any whisky connoisseur and they'll tell you to get the f out :P

Nice story though.. :)

Patrick Hall's picture

What do you think of these then? https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B014W4YZTQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_42?ie=UTF8&qid=15...

I like a chilled whiskey myself. Yes the nose will be a little weakened but I like it to open up a bit more as the ice melts. Def need ice on bourbon straight from the barrel as it is over proofed to begin with.

Stas F's picture

Don't forget to put on your monocle, when you hold that glass, sir

Stas F's picture

Jokes aside, you can also use that Peugeot glass to get free refills with your Big Mac.

Richard Borain's picture

Depends on the type of dram

Never, ever, ever, ever put ice in a single malt scotch. A couple of drops of filtered, room temperature water to maybe bring out some extra flavour.
If you ever travel to Scotland, you will be stopped at the border and they will then publicly strip and flog you. Rightly so, of course

Bourbon, on the other hand, can be iced without losing any flavour at all (its the corn, I've been told)

Patrick Hall's picture

Well this was Rye which is more similar to Bourbon than Malt Scotch

Richard Borain's picture

In which case, those Scottish border officials won't be making arrests any time soon

Us Canadians typically put ice in our Rye. Ice in our Bourbon. But not usually ice in our Scotch. Realizing they're all whiskeys, we do treat them differently.

"Why the f do people think there should be ice in whisky... you should drink whisky at room temperature."

It's cultural. Americans love ice in their drinks. Your part of the world obviously doesn't.

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco's picture

Lee seemed to like that whisky for not liking whisky haha

This is really great content - I'd put these episodes into a podcast for sure. Interview more photogs while drinking and turn it into a podcast!

Keep in mind that we have 5 more episodes to release from that night... I end up drinking way too much.

We probably will start doing this with other photographer too. It's fun and easy.

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco's picture

I think thats whats great about it. Very natural. So Natural that I'm almost talking back to monte - "Yeah bro, I had this one job... shit"

5 episodes from one night hahah EPIC

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco's picture

If it wasnt 11 am id pull out some whisky... Might have to turn this back on later tonight haha

Tony Broussard's picture

That was a cool interview. It really drew you into the conversation as if you were there.

Yes, please. We'll have another!
Now I have something else to work towards. Success will be measured by the day I finally get invited to FStoppers for a drink!

Mitch Stroup's picture

Im a photo assistant in LA, I relate to so much of this and made me laugh so hard. This is the type of stuff Fstoppers should post regularly.

Patrick Hall's picture

You should hear the stories we didn't record or weren't able to record. He's worked with literally almost any celebrity you can imagine and some of them have some awful stories on how they treated crew, photographers, assistants, etc. But there are lots of fun stories that are coming out on our channel so make sure you subscribe

Joe Black's picture

Great article. Much respect to Monte Isom.