So, I've finally adapted my logo.
I am very proud to be a photographic assistant, and I love my job. THERE'S NO 'BUT...'. I'm still an assistant and will be for a good while yet.
I have had many a discussion about the way the UK seemingly has an issue with the role of the assistant being a permanent one. In the US, you can be a valued, well-paid, experienced assistant all your working life (if you so wish) and it's not treated by all as a transitional period. In contrast, I've been told by a more than one European photographer that assistants are considered photographers in their own right that ALSO take on assisting roles as they start out, but are mostly hitting the ground running as a photographer. I think I've spoken to every photographer I've ever worked with on the subject; from fashion to food: if you're assisting in the UK, you're there to learn for a couple of years and are looking for the time when you break out on your own.
(That time can vary, of course, and if you don't actually WANT to shoot for a living or are perhaps someone's 'full timer' for an extended amount of time or you simply don't give a damn what people say about how long you've assisted, this won't apply!)
In my experience, photographers don't WANT their assistants to be full-time photographers. If it's not "What do they need to assist ME for, if they are already making money on their own?", it's a small concern that they might be experienced/cocky enough to spark a relationship with their clients (bad ettiquette to say the least!) or an ego situation that maybe this 'photographer/assistant' might not be as willing to do the more tedious stuff that an assistant might do without thinking - anyone want a cuppa?
Me? I still enjoy filling up the kettle, mucking in with the washing up or fetching lunch just as much as I enjoy stepping into the 'digi-op' role, experimenting with lighting and new techniques, ordering in equipment or retouching on the day.
I've been either a full-time studio assistant or freelancer for every single day I've lived in London - and I moved here in May 2011 - and don't intend to stop assisting for a while yet...BUT (there's the 'but'!) in my efforts to become a food photographer one day I'm interested in getting a few small jobs, meet some new clients and try to work these in amongst my assisting for a little while longer.
I have worked with some brilliant and talented photographers and met some bloody great assistants who have since turned into bloody great photographers. Personally, I think the 'first-one-in-in-the-morning-last-one-out-at-night' kinds of day have made me into somewhat of a hard working and knowledgeable photographer (and might one day make me an empathetic and generous employer like many I've known!) and I'm grateful for all those who have answered my questions patiently and given me tips and feedback over the years.
TLDR: PLEASE CONSIDER/CONTINUE TO HIRE ME AS AN ASSISTANT, but I'm looking to the future and working slowly towards it...starting with my logo.