There are very few overnight successes in photography. The craft is demanding, the business is complex, and editors, art buyers, and curators are always on the prowl for the next hot style. It takes an original vision combined with real-world experience for young photographers to get ahead, and, for many, that means becoming a photographer's assistant. In this special portfolio we celebrate this tradition and the new talent now emerging from within the profession itself. We have located the 10 best young photographers in the country who are now or have recently been assistants. In addition, we look at how the job of the photo assistant is changing; go on set for a glimpse at a day in the life of an assistant; offer a salary survey; and talk to a number of established pros, who recount the traumas and rewards from their own days as assistants.
Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu Amy Gayeski
Anthony Lindsey Bjorn Iooss
Christopher McLallen Kirk Edwards
Mark Mahaney Raymond Graber
Thomas Holton Timothy Devine