Photography Assistant Duties

Typical Photo Assistant Duties at the Studio

The following list illustrates the typical duties of a full time assistant. Part-time or freelance assistants are expected to perform most of these tasks except for the ones listed under “Pre-shoot Basic Preparations” and “Non-Shooting Days”. A photo assistants duties on set will vary depending on which photographer you work with, the type of photography and the fees you are charging as a photo assistant. However, you should be able to accomplish these tasks efficiently if you expect to make it as a photo assistant.

The tasks listed here are typical for a photo assistant in my commercial advertising photography studio though the tasks are common to many types of photography studios. If you can do all of these tasks well, congratulations, you are a First Assistant. If you are still working on mastering some of these jobs, keep working at it, and consider becoming a photo intern or Second Assistant.


PRE SHOOT – BASIC PREPARATION

-Open new assignment docket
-File purchase order in docket
-Scout locations
-Prepare or acquire backgrounds
-Set construction
-Rentals of equipment or props
-Arrange for transportation of models, stylists

PRE SHOOT – MATERIALS PREPARATION
Check stock and type of:
-printer paper for contact or print orders
-printer ink
-batteries
-props or accessories
-foamcore bounce & flag cards
-seamless
-CC (colour correction) filters
-gels

PRE SHOOT – STUDIO PREPARATION
Clean:
-Studio: mop / sweep floors
-Soft boxes, stands and surfaces
-Dressing room, washroom, processing rooms, lounge, shooting area, kitchen

Put away:
-Stands, clips, tape & cards, take out all trash, clean and put away all dishes.

Client services:
-Fax, phone, paper, pens, computer, etc.
-Provide Wi-Fi access to clients
-Arrange for snacks & beverages

PRE SHOOT- CAMERA PREPARATION
-Charge Batteries: camera, slaves, and computer
-Clean cameras and lenses
-Verify there is enough disk space on computer
-create a session in the capture software
-Verify CF cards are empty
-Load CF cards into holders
-Cameras on tripods and leveled

PRE SHOOT – SET PREPARATION
-Background set up and cleaned
-Set leveled
-Table, cartons and / or board set up
-Shadow cards / fill cards cut to size
-Paper towels, Q-tips, cleaners, etc.

PRE SHOOT – LIGHTING SET UP
-Rough in lighting positions
-Focus light for view camera
-Pocket Wizards (Sync cords) in strobes and camera
-Extra strobes with slaves
-Black gobo for flare on standby

SHOOTING
-Check for potential lens flare from lights
-Check for potential flare in lens
-Make sure slaved strobes fire
-Create session on computer
-See that clients have all that they need
-Order lunch (check for special diet needs)
-Take phone messages
-Document the set: prop, camera & light positions. Power outputs, gels & modifiers for lights