Business + Marketing

The Value a Photographer Assistant Brings 

April 6, 2023

By Abbey Pleviak

In this episode of The Portrait System Podcast, host Nikki Closser speaks with Erin DeGroot, a Southern California portrait photographer who also offers her services as a photographer’s assistant. DeGroot shares tips for networking and building relationships. 

DeGroot discovered her love of photography in a dark room photography class in high school. After getting her first DSLR in 2010, DeGroot began shooting family portraits and weddings. Soon after, she discovered Sue Bryce Education (now The Portrait System), which helped her develop her craft, pricing, marketing, and sales. DeGroot was just getting ready to open a home studio and go full time when the pandemic hit, and like many others, DeGroot had to put her plans on pause and consider other alternatives. 

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During the pandemic, DeGroot looked deeply at the work she had been doing, and she realized that behind-the-scenes is where she thrives the most. This, combined with her ability to see into others’ situations and provide for their needs, encouraged her to seek and accept work for other photographers.  

In addition to networking online in photography groups and nurturing connections over time, DeGroot says attending industry events has helped opportunities arise for her. She says when networking, one shouldn’t try to meet as many people as possible, but rather, “if you can go in mindfully and intentionally, that you’re going to connect with the people that resonate with you the most, I think that you can develop quality relationships versus quantity.” Her secret to making good connections? Finding out what people need in their businesses and offering those services.

[Read: How Collaborating with a Wardrobe Stylist Can Level Up Your Portrait Business]

In addition to client portrait photography, DeGroot offers behind-the-scenes assistance with second shooting, photo editing, social media, customer support, and more.

© The Portrait System

To learn more about Erin DeGroot and her work, visit her website.  

The Portrait System Podcast helps portrait photographers navigate the world of photography, business, money, and much more. Hosted by Nikki Closser, the podcast is powered by The Portrait System, a comprehensive, online educational platform that teaches all aspects of running a successful portrait photography studio.