Tokyo Photo Assistant

(and sometimes digital tech/production support, as needed)

On an assisting job at O'Hare International Airport in 2013. Photo by  John Boehm

On an assisting job at O'Hare International Airport in 2013. Photo by John Boehm


NB: As I currently have to maintain my work visa through a couple of day jobs, please understand that there are some limits on what I can offer. I love assisting, though, and would love to help you out if you're coming to Japan for a job. The caveats listed below aren't meant to dissuade you, I just don't want there to be any unpleasant surprises for either of us. Transparency is a good thing.


I'm an experienced freelance photo assistant previously serving photographers in Chicago and Dallas, now based permanently in the Tokyo area. I have assisted on just about every kind of shoot (primarily commercial), but have the most experience on editorial, architectural/interior, product, and fashion shoots.

For client list, specific skills/experience, and other information, please contact me. I am always happy to take some time to consult with new or existing clients as needed. In addition to photographic assisting, I may be able to provide some digital tech or production support assistance, depending on your needs.

    Ten reasons to work with me:

    1. I see my primaryresponsibility as doing everything I can to help you accomplish what you’re there to do.
    2. I am reliable, punctual, and I don’t complain.
    3. I have over 20 years experience practicing photography and 5+ years assisting.
    4. I can rig, fix, and make just about anything using just about anything.
    5. I value hard work, am able to work independently, and I follow directions well.
    6. I know when to shut up and never, ever gossip.
    7. I don’t make calls or get on social media in the middle of your shoot.
    8. I am honest.
    9. If I don’t know how to do something, I say so and learn how.
    10. I assist because I find value in it and genuinely enjoy helping my clients get the job done. I don't have to assist, I choose to assist. 


    • Assisting
      • ¥40,000/day based on a ten hour day, OT billed at ¥6,000/hr in 30 minute increments
      • No half days
      • Travel days by negotiation
    • Planning and logistics
      • Typically charged at an hourly rate of ¥5,000/hr
      • I can help you research and arrange some or many parts of your visit, whether it's just for your shoot or also for some vacation time you're taking while here. This includes consulting on cultural matters relevant to your visit. 
    • BTS (Behind the Scenes)  and Social Media Photography
      • Documentation of your trip and behind-the-scenes images of your shoot to use for social media and other purposes
    • Digital Tech and Production Support
      • Let me know what you're thinking about and we can go from there. If I don't feel like I can provide what you need, I'll happily help you find someone who can.
    • Other
      • What do you need? What do you have in mind? Even if you're not sure, let me know and we can talk through it.

    A few quick caveats:

    • I do not currently have a driver's license in Japan. I hope to have this resolved by the end of 2018. That said, I can help you arrange a car service to transport you and your gear. 
    • My Japanese language skills are currently quite basic (but I'm working on it). Hire me for my photographic skills/experience, not as an interpreter. If you need to hire an interpreter for your job here, I can help with that. 
    • In order to maintain my work permission, I have a legal obligation to keep my two part-time jobs. These commitments can often be rescheduled to other days, but with that in mind please contact me as early as possible regarding any possible job. 

    David Munson worked here at the JCPenney Marketing (Commercial) Photo Studio at the Corporate Headquarters here in Plano, TX. In the mid-2000’s he worked for me for several years. David was a most excellent assistant and one whom I would certainly hire again should he be available locally. His attention to detail and ability/intention to follow directions was superior, and I knew that I could always count on him. He always did very well at whatever was asked of him, and he always had a good attitude. If you are considering hiring him, I would most certainly recommend that you do so. You will be glad that you had him as part of your team.
    — Bart McFarlane

    Relevant Policies and Procedures

    • I do not publish my telephone number publicly, but will make that plus any other useful contact information available to anyone I work with.
    • All jobs are invoiced within 72 hours of the end of the job. Payment is due within 30 calendar days of invoice date.
    • Payment can be made by cash or credit/debit card in person or by credit/debit card online. International bank transfers are expensive for everyone involved so I try to avoid them. 10% discount on invoice total for payment made on the last day of the shoot. 
    • Kill fees apply to international jobs cancelled less than 72 hours before start of job. 

    Inquire Now

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