I’ve been doing photo production management for 8 years now but I never grow tired of the challenges and fun situations I get to experience. So far, 2016 has been a great year with a consistent flow of production management projects both in Colorado and around the country. Recently, while on a job in Vermont, I had the opportunity to work with a group of people that truly exemplified and understood solid teamwork. There were only four of us that knew each other going into the week (and none of us well) but by the end, we were a cohesive team of 12. So, what makes a great team? I’ve spent some time recently trying to figure that out hoping in the future I can recreate this experience.


First, everyone was willing to give, give, give. There was a lot of work to be done and even before we even showed up in town, everyone was pitching in and lending a helping hand. I appreciated the pre production time the crew took to send me referrals or just let me know they received my emails. This was a great way to start building the cohesiveness that was going to be required to work together for five, labor intensive days.


Long days, no complaining. We started the first of four days at 5 AM. We had two location moves and multiple models, hiking shots, various set ups and long drives in those first 10 hours. The crew was great about jumping in and helping out on whatever needed doing, even if it wasn’t in their specific area. As a producer, you set the tone for the team. If you’re tired or cranky or sarcastic, you can bet you’ll see some of that back. In production management, I’m always willing to jump in and help out where needed and I want my crew to be willing to do the same. These guys did that and more. They never stopped moving, which in turn, motivated me to do the same even when that 5 am call time (3 am my time) started to catch up with me.


Good food. Feeding your crew lot’s of good food goes a long way. It shows them you are taking care of them when they’re working so hard to take care of your shoot. This goes hand in hand with making sure they have time to eat and that they take that time. Things get hectic and people skip their lunch. Make sure to have grab and go food available and keep your crew hydrated!


Respect your crew and trust them to do the job they’re hired to do. This is ideal and, I know, doesn’t always work because not everyone has the great work ethic you want them to have. It’s important, though, to start out with that trust and offer support. If they show they’re able to do the job (and they should be if you hired well), then let them do it and give them some space. Production management is about organizing, supporting, delegating and problem solving. Check in often and be available but don’t hover.


Have fun! I strongly believe in having fun at work. I’m not talking about goofing off but just the simple act of making a work place enjoyable. Get to know your crew. Ask about their families. Put a good play list on and sing along while you work. Find out what foods people like to eat and provide those. Take your team out for a beer after a long day. Compliment often. Smile. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be thankful. Remind everyone to wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket. Have coffee in the mornings. Over communicate. Enjoy your time together.


I promise I’ll be writing more often so check back in.




Processed with Snapseed.
Processed with Snapseed.