Supporting those who support us

Today I am asking for your help to support the ones that support me…

I spent almost 3 years as a camera assistant.

It was a great time in my life where I got to learn the craft of photography, experience the ins and outs of advertising shoots and at the same time travel to new countries and have experiences I had only dreamed of.

Parallel to my job as an assistant I was constantly working on my own images, trying to develop a portfolio good enough to be able to take the step from apprentice to photographer.

During these years I was under continuous financial pressure. I barely made enough money as an assistant to live in San Francisco, so all shoots I did to practice my skills and build my body of work was funded  by borrowing from family and friends and moving money from one credit card to another. I remember vividly the day I decided to forgo all reason, be late on my rent, and spend the little money I had on a 500 dollar Scottish highland cow. My stylist and I had some inspiration images of a model with a lamb. I ended up with a 500 dollar cow….

One can think of this as irresponsible or crazy, but the cow was the coolest ever and I just felt it was something that had to create.

Later that year the image made it into the PDN Photography Annual, as my first image ever included in a competition. Through this exposure I got some attention which in turn validated the path I was on.

I was however about to give up on my quest to become a photographer many times as the financial uncertainty and stress made it hard to see the reason for continuing on. Eventually I did get there. I slowly started to get hired to create images and have now done so commercially for almost 20 years.

I am sharing this story to give some context to the very dire situation many photo assistants find themselves in today during Covid 19. If our current situation had happened at any time during my 3 year stint as an assistant/apprentice I don’t think I would have made it to where I am today. I would have tipped off on the wrong side of the financial edge I was balancing on and would probably not have made it back up…

About a week ago, fellow photographer and PROEDU instructor, Tim Tadder launched the initiative – Art for Assistants.

The concept is simple; Photographers selling our images in signed, fine art editions to help support our assistants with some bridge funding till we can get back to work.

100 images at 100 dollars, raising 10 000 dollars to support the ones who supports us. The larger goal is to get 100 Photographers to get onboard, raising a collective 1 million usd for out of work Camera assistants.

So today I ask for your help; Please help support my crew by buying a print for 100 usd. You can choose any one of the 4 images on the fundraising page. Or if you feel generous you can buy all of them for a 400 usd donation.

You can donate on gofundme here:

There are many other photographers joining in on this initiative and if you search Art for Assistants on you will see some extraordinary images being offered. Beyond supporting people in great need you also have a chance to start off a photography collection for a very reasonable investment.

My gratitude and thanks goes out to all of you who have donated so far and to Tim Tadder who started this initiative. And please read below for more info on Art for Assistants

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!


Art for Assistants is a campaign to turn paper and ink into financial support for photography assistants during the covid-19 epidemic.100 limited edition fine art prints available for $100

While the world works to heal itself and take on this tragedy headfirst, we want to make sure we are supporting those who always support us. To do so, we are asking you to join us in “Art for Assistants”, a campaign to turn paper and ink into financial support for photography assistants. 

We will be selling 100 limited edition, 11”x14″ prints of  the four images on the go fund me fundraising page.
Prints are selling for $100 each, but of course, donations of any size are welcomed.

If you would like to donate, but on a smaller level you can purchase Erik’s First tutorial, Acuities,  for 29 USD. If you are a photographer and want to nominate an assistant to receive this tutorial for free you can do so by sending a message to @erikalmas on Instagram.

One hundred percent of proceeds from the sale of these photography prints (with an exception of the 3% that goes to GoFundMe) will go to cover the living expenses of our team’s dedicated sidekicks, who no longer have the opportunity to work due to Covid-19. 

With Epson’s support of ink and paper, “Art for Assistants” will mobilize the world’s greatest image-makers to sell limited edition prints, in order to raise money for all the assistants heavily impacted by the lack of work during this time.  When our fund raising closes we will pass the baton to two other photographers to keep the donations and the crews going. 

We encourage you to share this campaign with your audience and greatly appreciate your time, consideration and donations during such a challenging time.

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