APA National APA - Never Stand Alone - United We Lead the Photographic Community

This popular event was last presented on February 22 & 23, 2014, in San Francisco, and the details below pertain to that specific past event.

Be sure to check the APAnational.com homepage periodically for exciting upcoming APA National Event Tours, or use the sign-up link there to receive email updates.


San Francisco: Feb 22 & 23, 2014: Photographer / Sony Artisan of Imagery Matthew Jordan Smith is teaming up with APA New York Chapter Co-Chair and photographer Tony Gale to present Photo Assistant Basic Training, developed and offered for years by APA chapters.

Get a major head start on a career in the photo industry.


With panel discussions, equipment demonstrations from industry experts, and hands-on training, attendees will come away with the essential knowledge and confidence to build your own Pro Assistant reputation. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of professional assisting behavioral guidelines, including contemporary set-etiquette, and discover how this valuable training will get you more call-backs - more repeat clients, more work.


Master Assisting Professionalism. Get booked solid.

Day One

Kicks off with the popular "Assistant Panel" which includes experts on working as a photo assistant. Get real world answers to all questions from the attendees. Following the panel discussion will be exciting live software and equipment demonstrations with industry reps from Sony, Profoto, Datacolor, and PhotoShelter. Learn from the pros. Industry reps will be on hand to answer all your questions.


Day Two

Full on, hands-on workshops with much of the gear an assistant will most likely encounter on the majority of professional photo shoots. Many aspects of assisting will be explained in great detail, i.e. strobes, hot lights, flags, scrims, set etiquette, the assistant kit, tips on getting work, billing, and how to deal with the dreaded cancellation. Following classroom discussion and demonstrations, participants will work along side the Pro Photographers to discover crucial pro assisting skills.


Separate registration for each day, required.

Day One - APA Members: Free, Non-members: $40

Day Two - APA Members: $40, Non-members: $80


San Francisco: Saturday & Sunday, February 22 & 23

9:00 am - 5:00 pm each day

Location: The Nine Studio, 349 Ninth Street,  San Francisco, 94103

Day One Panelists include:

Tony Gale - APA NY Chapter Chair, Award-winning Photographer  (Moderator)

Matthew Jordan Smith - Photographer / Sony Artisan of Imagery

Kayla Lindquist - Director, Sony Artisans of Imagery Program, former Photo Assistant

Shane O'Neill - Pro Photographer, Tintype Specialist, former Photo Assistant

Drew Sherman - Expert Photo Assistant, Emerging Pro Photographer


© 2009 Matthew Jordan Smith                     © 2010 Tony Gale                                      © 2014 David Robin     © 2010 Deborah Jones


Work directly with all four great photographers during the Sunday Workshops!

Day Two Hands-on Workshops with:

Photographer / Sony Artisan of Imagery Matthew Jordan Smith

APA NY Chapter Chair, Award-winning Photographer Tony Gale

Acclaimed Advertising, Music and Editorial Photographer David Robin

Prolific Advertising, Editorial Food Photographer Deborah Jones





All attendees are entitled to enter a special raffle for:

One: SONY NEX-6 Camera                                                                   
Two: Lowepro bags
One: Blinkbid license
Two: PhotoShelter one-year free Standard accounts
One: Adobe Lightroom 5

Must be present to win. One prize per winner, one drawing each day.


View the Get More Work: Photo Assistant Basic Training Video from the APA Los Angeles Event, April 30 - May 1, 2011





Tony Gale is an award winning, portrait/lifesyle photographer. Tony was raised in Bellingham, Washington (90 miles north of Seattle) and spent most of his time as a child exploring the woods behind his parents house. At 19 after visiting Bruce Lee's grave in Seattle, and taking his first photo with a disposable camera, he bought his first camera. He promptly broke it and bought his first SLR. At 21 he moved to Seattle to pursue photography and in fall of 2000 moved to NYC, the center of the world.

Tony taught photographic lighting at Parsons the New School for Design in NYC for four years, he has also taught at SVA in NYC, judged photo contests, and has traveled the country leading workshops for American Photographic Artists.

Tony is also an avid triathlete, and volunteers with the Brooklyn Tri Club on the events committee.

Tony has been featured in All the Photographers, Jasmine Defoore's blog, the Agency Access Lab, and the Photoshelter Blog, Whohub among others.



Celebrated photographer Matthew Jordan Smith has worked with some of the top names in entertainment today including Halle Berry, Jennifer Connelly, Jamie Foxx, Mandy Moore, and Oprah Winfrey. Singer and actress Vanessa L. Williams, television personality Star Jones Reynolds and basketball legend Michael Jordan have all chosen Matthew to create their personal portraits while Pantene, L’Oreal, Revlon, HBO and Showtime are just a few of the international clients that have used his artistry to showcase their vision.

Matthew’s knack for relating to his photographic subjects on a personal level led to the creation of his first book published by St. Martin’s Press, Sepia Dreams: A Celebration of African-American Achievement Through Words and Images in the Fall of 2001. Sepia Dreams is a collection of photographs and interviews with fifty African-American celebrities whom speak candidly about the motivations and qualities that enabled them to find and embrace their dreams. E! Entertainment featured an interview in which celebrities Samuel L. Jackson, Halle Berry and Taye Diggs speak about their involvement with Matthew in making Sepia Dreams.

A native of New York City, Matthew has taught at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. He is also an active volunteer with several art schools including Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and RIT. He is a Board Member of Kids With A Cause Europe and APA/LA. Matthew resides in Los Angeles.


David Robin is a portrait and beauty photographer with more than 25 years of experience who has photographed celebrities from Christy Turlington to Ray Charles. He has won numerous awards, including the New York Art Directors Club Award for his Sony “Street Style” campaign and the Western Art Directors Club Award of Excellence for his Norwegian Cruise Line imagery. Clients include Levi Strauss & Co., Gap, Sony, Coca-Cola, American Express, BMG, Blue Note, and PolyGram Records. David’s personal work has been exhibited in galleries around the country and is included in the collections of American Express, Bloomingdale’s, Grey Worldwide, and Levi Strauss & Co.



Originally from Florida, Deborah graduated from Brooks Institute in the late 70's and left immediately for Manhattan.  After two years of assisting in New York, she found a fertile photo community in San Francisco.  Here she continues her advertising career with clients such as All-Clad, Kashi and Kikkoman.  For sanity, the advertising is balanced with a healthy dose of editorial work--most notable cookbooks.  With chef Thomas Keller, she has a over a million books in print.



Shane was born in Dublin. Seventeen years later, a career counselor told him an office job was not for him. So, he decided to be a photographer. Promptly got a camera. Fell in love with B&W film. Made a darkroom in his attic. Attended art college. Graduated. Got a U.S. visa.  Moved to San Francisco, for one year. On the fourth day, decided he would never leave. Spent the next few years assisting like crazy - everyone and everything, from shoots with celebrities to shoots with coffins. Went to the 1870's and rediscovered tintype photography. Fell in love all over again.

Shane travels for his commercial jobs, shoots for his fine art projects, and spends time with his family. Still in San Francisco. Never had an office job. He assisted for 6 years in Europe and the USA -- working on shoots for funeral homes to major music acts such as U2 , Metallica.  He also assisted for a Lands End catalog on location, as well as major National ad campaigns. 



Drew is a Bay Area photo assistant, digital tech, and photographer. In the past 25 years he has bounced back and forth between analytical and artistic careers, first as a software engineer at Microsoft in the 90’s, then as a glass blower in Seattle, next as a development manager at a start-up in the Bay area, and finally as a photographer. He is hopeful that in digital photography he has found the right mix of analytical and artistic endeavors to keep him happy for the next 25 years.

Starting from scratch three years ago he used networking and connecting with other assistants, involvement in local photography organizations, and a system of cold calls and follow-up that has resulted in him having steady photography and assisting work. Photographers he has worked with include Hunter Freeman, Sarah Dunn, Kevin Twomey, Robert Houser, and Christian Peacock. He regularly does pro-bono work for local non-profit organizations such as Make-A-Wish and Friends of the Urban Forest. When not behind a camera or assisting someone behind a camera he can be found playing computer and board games or, with his wife Danielle, trying to teach his dog Rufus not to bark at other dogs.



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