I love photo assisting, and I love everything about it!  I love all the experiences, the early mornings, the long days, the late nights, the heavy lifting, the getting wet and dirty, even the cuts and stitches. I love it all! I have experienced a lot in my years of photo assisting. From 14 hour days in studio shooting cars with hot lights and no air conditioning, to 14 hour days in 100+ heat in Moab, UT. Setting up eight remote cameras for basketball games, to setting up 30+ remote cameras and 52 packs and heads in the New Orleans Superdome with a team of five assistants. There have been countless assignments of setting up portrait sets for two to three hours, only to get a celebrity or athlete for only five minutes. I have even been held up at gunpoint while out of town working on a shoot. With these experiences I bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding, and at 47 years old, I still want more. I am a third generation San Diego native, and I now live in my father’s childhood home. It was during my sophomore year in high school that I fell in love with photography. I grabbed my father’s Canon AE-1 to shoot my friends surfing. One hour later I realized I completely screwed up five rolls of film. I was pissed! The lady at the lab saw this and then took the time to teach me some basics about shutter speeds, apertures, and film speeds. I was hooked! I earned an Associates Degree in photography at San Diego City College, and soon after I started assisting commercial and editorial photographers. Six months after getting married, I started working as a first assistant for John McDonough, and the rest of the Sports Illustrated staff photographers, and did so for 15 years. As a kid growing up, I always dreamed about being able to work while traveling. Thankfully for the last 20+ years as a photo assistant, I have had this opportunity. I owe a lot to my wife and son, and I am forever grateful to have a family that loves and supports me in my career assisting the world’s best sports photographers from Sport Illustrated, and the finest commercial/advertising photographers in Southern California. I have gained a lifetime of adventures and experiences, but I still want more!

Shawn_Cullen_About