Two Years as a Studio Manager
At some point last year, Chris and I were trying to figure out what to put on my Crisman Photo business card. It may seem like a trivial discussion, but it was one that I struggled with. After seriously considering head of maintenance, lead beekeeper, and THE MAN (chris’s suggestion), I decided on Studio Manager.
Although this was the title that I signed up for, my experience as a studio manager has felt like so much more. Keep reading for some of my thoughts on the past two years…
When I wrote about this on the blog last year, I was shocked at how quickly the first year went by and equally shocked by how many ridiculous and awful light test photos Chris has of me. In case any of you are worried, rest assured… there have been plenty more:
Yup. That happened.
On a more serious note, all of the light tests show a really important part of how Chris and I work together. Although the title says studio manager, I’m not physically confined to our studio space in Philadelphia – I’m more of a studio manager at large, working as a full time first-assistant for Chris, traveling with him to as many shoots as I possibly can.
In the past two years, I can happily say that the number of shoots I’ve missed can be counted on two hands. So what does that mean? It means a lot of travel, a lot of long days on set followed by sometimes longer nights working in hotel rooms, airports, and rental cars – it means working hard all day not only as an assistant, but also a producer, blogger, editor, emailer, phone-caller, coordinator, manager, jack-of-all-trader.
Nowadays, it also means a lot of light tests where I’m on my cell phone. In the two years that I’ve worked with Chris I am consistently amazed by just how much time he spends on the phone, talking with clients, editors, producers, reps, retouchers, and everyone else necessary to make our shoots run smoothly. The minutes add up to hours, the hours must add up to days, and by this point, I think the days have to add up to weeks. I’ve also noticed that it’s a growing trend that I am spending more and more time glued to my phone, whether it’s producing, checking in at the studio, or planning our next move. It’s a good thing I’ve got a lot of anytime minutes.
Looking ahead, I can see the work that makes up the title of Studio Manager continually evolving. That’s fine by me. I hope that it keeps taking me lots of amazing and inspiring places – that I can keep shooting, sharing, and reporting behind the scenes to everyone out there through this blog. It’s a genuinely exciting feeling knowing that every day when I go into work, wherever and whenever that may be, I’m going to be doing my best to create the best work and live the best life possible.
All things considered, it has been a great few years of working hard, playing hard, and taking tons and tons of photos. I wanted to finish this blog post with an inspiring and prolific phrase, but I have to fall back on the tried and true (and maybe a little trite) adage:
Time flies when you’re having fun.