Preparation for Assignment

I went MIA for like 5 days now, so here am I reporting in at – yes, I’m alive and well.

Last week was really hectic as 101 things pop-up (eg impromptu meetings, inconveniences caused by changes from other party, ad-hoc assignments). The last article was published on Thursday. 🙂 That’s because I was busy preparing for an overseas assignment on Friday.


Here’s a quick report on how I prepared for the assignment, perhaps it’ll shed a light or 2 on what goes on but before I proceed any further, I just wish to state that the sharing is based on my experience. The experience varies from project to project, and from one photographer to another.

Equipment Planning

On this assignment, food photography was priority. Event and interior being secondary. All were to be accomplished within the same day. I had to plan based on the limited space I have to I decided to bring 2 DSLR bodies, 3 lenses. 3 flashes. 3 light stands, a few light modifiers and 20x AA batteries. No notebook computers. No tablets. Just purely photography and communication equipment.

Route Planning

Prior to the assignment, I studied the location of the assignment and planned my day and place of stay accordingly. This is important when it comes to getting sufficient rest before work, and being able to reach on time. 🙂 I reached Singapore some 6 hours before assignment time, so I had time for breakfast, check-in at the hotel and even manage to catch a few hours of nap before heading off to the project venue. Even so, I was half-an-hour early so that gave me time for lunch.

Assistance Required

Prior to the assignment, I was considering whether or not to bring an assistant along in which I finally did and it was well worth it. My assistant ( who happens to be my wife 😛 ) helped in various tasks during the assignment so I could focus better on what I was doing.

Cost Planning

I planned the outing to be a 1-day trip, reached in the morning and depart the following morning (2D1N). While I kept my cost down by keeping to only 1 day stay, I spent a bit more for a better hotel for comfort and security. That aside, I took cabs instead of buses and MRT for travel. They may cost more but it spares me a lot of hassle and energy – we’re talking about more than 10kg weight to lug around. I also made sure both my assistant and I, had proper meals to keep us going throughout the assignment.

*Regarding the image below – I used my handphone camera to take a photo of the photo that was shown on my DSLR’s LCD screen.

In Summary

As a photographer (service provider) – you MUST know your equipment and the nature of your assignment, knowing what is suitable for the job will help you reduce your overall carrying weight. You also need to know your route so you are able to be punctual. Don’t skimp on assistants, they can improve the experience not just for you but the client as well. Don’t skimp on cost, cut on what is unnecessary but spend on what is required.

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