Assisting Commercial Photographers – What To Bring

I’m down in Calgary over the weekend, and some of next week assisting a top notch commercial photographer in the city. I was hoping to finish editing this cool promo shoot of Thomas and I, but my laptop is dirt old, and the file is mega huge, so it was getting to be cumbersome. Look forward to that, but for right now, I’m gonna talk about my, like, feelings, and stuff 🙂


Basically I’m nervous. I’m very capable, and know what I’m doing, but it’s always a game of good impressions. Even though this isn’t my first time working with the guy, this is a BIG shoot. So ya know. I know once I’m there I’ll just have to loosen up and go with the flow, but it’s gonna be nerve wracking a bit at first.


I suppose it’s like anything – performing, sports, etc. – if you’re a little nervous, that adrenaline makes you sharp, ready, aware.


Even so, I’ve taken it upon myself to be extra prepared, for the sake of the photographer…. and potentially that first impression we talked about. I’ve heard from other assistants that it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit, in case the principal photographer forgot a backup, or even their backup’s backup, or after everything has failed. You get the idea.


So here’s my tiny case I’m bringing, crammed with as much randomly useful stuff as I could think of. Ideally, this would all be located in your fanny pack, but I am not cool enough to own a fanny pack. One day.. maybe.

In there is a flashlight, light meter, Exacto knife, lens pen, hardwire sync cable, velcro crap (cause who could like… velcro stuff), bunch of AA bats, Tape (there’s another kind not shown), backup CF cards, clamps, and tiny eensy weensy clamps.


Not everything ever, but who knows. And fyi, if you were in the situation where something went wrong and you could save the day, don’t be an obnoxious moron and make a scene of it. The best thing you could do is quietly point out to the photog that you’ve got a backup, when you notice they’re sweating bullets and you think it might be this, for example. The photographer looks good, and that’s really why you’re there. To make him have the best impression. Not look like some hero with masking tape…


More updates on the assisting thing are to come, so keep your eyes peeled.





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