Essential Equipment for a Photography Assistant

Equipment List of a Typical Photo Assistant Kit Bag

This list of equipment includes some of the most common items an assistant should have in his or her photo assistant kit bag. It’s not necessary to carry every item listed. When shooting on location you should bring all of these items with you because photographers can be forgetful and when you cover their ass by producing an extra pocket wizard or USB cable the thankful photographer will remember who had their back.

When shooting in a studio, many of these items will already be at the photo studio, in which case you should use the photographer’s material. However, coming prepared or being able to improvise on the spot impresses any photographer. And impressing the photographer means being hired more often and generating great word of mouth referrals.

These photography tools and materials are great to have on your own shoots so if you don’t have them yet it’s time to shop. This list is based on my experience as an advertising and commercial photographer. If you want to be a photo assistant read this.

Typical Photo Assistants Kit

Smart Phone
Sensor Cleaning Kit
Sensor Loupe
Map of area / Google Maps & Navigation on your Smart Phone
Contact info for local rental/repair houses
Shoot info sheets
Soft haired paint brush (1”)
Adjustable pliers
Needle nose pliers
Small Headlamp or Flashlight
Lens pen
Antistatic brush
Antistatic cloth
Lens Tissue
Double sided tape
AC line indicator
3 Prong, 2 receptacle splitter
Glycerin in a dropper bottle
Spare USB/Firewire cable, various types
Spare sync cords, various types
Spare Pocket Wizards
Measuring tape
5 Piece precision screwdriver set
Extension cords
Small clamps
Scotch tape
Packing tape
Large & small notebook
Fine tip markers
Armour All
Cleaning cloth
Baby wipes
Compressed air
Lighter fluid
Pull ties
Gaffers tape
Black tape
Assortment of mirrors
Monofilament line
String or twine
Velcro tabs
Museum putty
Stop watch
Leatherman multi-tool
Swiss army knife
Cotton gloves
Snacks – for you and the photographer
Money (cab fare, lunch money, coffee money, etc)
Appropriate Clothing – for the day’s shoot

What’s In Your Photo Assistant Kit?

Tell us what’s in your Photo Assistant Kit. We welcome suggestions for this list so leave comments. Better yet, upload photos of the photo equipment you carry in your Photo Assisting Kit.