lessons they’ve learned from
a favorite employer.
The most valuable lessons about succeeding in the business of photography aren’t taught in schools; they’re usually learned on the job. For a new gen- eration of photographers to learn the ropes and understand what it takes to be a successful pro- fessional, the photo community depends on photographers who are both good managers and good teachers.
We asked PDN readers to tell us about their best bosses. Here
are some of the most compelling responses. You can find more
examples this month on PDNOnline.
© GAS TON LACOMBE
“He always asks to see what I’ve been working on, he goes
through my work and critiques it and, on occasion, has passed
jobs down to me to challenge my skills and help me further
develop my portfolio,” says Lacombe of Hutchens.
Gaston Lacombe on Jeff HutcHens
Gaston Lacombe was hired shortly after graduating from pho-
to school to assist photographer Jeff Hutchens in Washington,
D.C. What he appreciates most about Hutchens, he says, is “his
patience and readiness to teach.”
“I probably would have fired myself if I had been in charge,
since during my first jobs with Jeff, I dropped things, I broke
things, and probably acted inappropriately once or twice,”
Lacombe explains. “But Jeff turned everything into a teaching
moment, instead of an angry outburst. When we returned to
the car after the shoot, he calmly took the time to go over every-
thing I had done, correctly or incorrectly, to explain how he ex-
pects his photo shoots to go. If I had done things incorrectly, we
would take out the equipment and try again together, repeating
the action or working the piece of equipment until he trusted
I had learned how to work with it. And then, on the way back
home, he always asked, and still asks today: ‘So what did you
learn from this shoot?’ or ‘How would you have approached this
shoot?’ These conversations usually lead me to consider aspects
of the shoot, or of working with clients, that I had not previously
considered, and that are not taught in school.”
Left: Gaston Lacombe (left) and Jeff Hutchens at Momenta Workshops,
Animal Rescue Organization, Cape Town, South Africa.