1st Edition

The Photographer's Career Guide to Shooting Production Stills for Film and Television

By Jace Downs Copyright 2022
    216 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Based on the author's real-world experience, this book provides a comprehensive guide on how to develop a professional career and client base as a unit stills photographer in the entertainment industry.

    Industry veteran Jace Downs takes readers behind the scenes as he explores production from the perspective of a unit stills photographer. Honest and entertaining, chapters cover the production environment, set etiquette, equipment, dealing with difficult talent, shooting on set, developing a client base, joining the union and much more.

    Accessible to those within and outside of the entertainment industry, this book is ideal for intermediate level photographers looking to expand their skillset and client base, as well as for aspiring photographers who would like more insight into photography work in entertainment production.


    Part I: Introduction to Unit Photography

    1. What Is Unit Photography?

    2. How Production Stills Are Used

    3. Why Unit Photography Is a Great Job

    4. So What's the Catch?

    5. A Final Word About the Pros and Cons

    6. A Day in the Life of a Unit Photographer

    Part II: A Brief Introduction to Production

    7. Production vs. Distribution

    8. Production Roles and Departments

    9. Key On-Set Phrases

    10. Set Etiquette, Priorities and Politics

    11. Working with "Sensitive" Talent

    Part III: The Unit Photographer's Kit

    12. Equipment Overview

    13. Selecting a Camera System

    14. Selecting Lenses

    15. Computer Hardware and Software

    16. Travel Lighting Kit

    17. Protecting, Acclimating and Carrying Your Cameras

    18. Weather Gear

    19. Insurance and Pro-Gear Organizations

    Part IV: The Art of Unit Photography

    20. Looking Back and Ahead

    21. How to Read a Call Sheet

    22. The Lay of the Land

    23. Who and What to Shoot

    24. Getting Complete Coverage

    25. Shooting Positions on Set

    26. Camera Settings for Unit Photography

    27. Editing and Image Delivery

    28. Beyond Publicity Stills

    Part V: The Business of Unit Photography

    29. Tips for Starting Your Career

    30. Who Hires Unit Photographers?

    31. Developing a Client Base

    32. The Camera Union

    33. Image Rights

    34. In Conclusion


    Jace Downs is an internationally published photographer and award-winning cinematographer. He has shot for networks and studios including CBS, AMC, Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment and many more. His numerous credits include hit shows like The Walking Dead and NCIS.