Best advice: Be nice to people! Make genuine connections. You can work hard and be kind. Treat everyone on set with respect and just try to be helpful to anyone you can be.
I’m about to hit my two year mark and cross over into my third as an assistant. I have a degree in photography and imaging but started my first year post-grad assisting to gain more on-set experience.
Year one (2021- 2022) part-time job at a tabletop prop house, supplemented by assisting. I was very green and grateful for the opportunities and chances given to me. I worked mainly on food sets and my average assistant rate was $400. I was mainly working smaller jobs with just the photographer and me.
Year two (2022-current 2023) managed to get on some larger productions at the end of year one that helped me gain experience. On these sets I was mainly second or third assistant, with a rate somewhere between $400-500. As the year progressed, my hours at my part time job became significantly less because I was fortunate enough to have assisting opportunities that took precedence. My goal is to be able to full time freelance by the end of 2023. I began working more frequently on larger productions and have worked up to first assisting on a couple of them. My rate is usually between $600-$750 and I’m still picking up work at the $400 rate as well for smaller productions.