Client-supplied kits

I continue to serve my legacy clients who want me to work with their gear instead of my own. I'm usually OK with this for select clients and particular circumstances. What's becoming more annoying is that the gear and the support kits are increasingly becoming more disheveled. Essential components are missing or broken.

I've addressed my concerns but the client throws it back at me saying I need to evaluate the gear before heading to the assignment. That would be a process that could easily take a few hours. Since I now have my own kits I know what's broken and can be fully prepared for any assignment.

I ask the group how would you handle this situation? The easiest would be to not accept any such jobs but the revenue is welcome. I feel that if someone wants me to work at a discount with their gear it needs to be ready for the job. If not, I can't be responsible for the failure to suitably gather the material I was hired to capture.


Well-known member
I always evaluate the clients kit before I use it. Only takes about 15min to go over most kits but more importantly I know exactly what has been handed over to me, so if something turns out to be missing or broken later I will know if it was actually there or working in the first place.
If something feels very wrong I get a shot of it with my phone.


Well-known member
They blame you !! WTF... I wouldn't work for these people on principle.. even if it cost me money.. turn them down.. say you want to shoot with your own gear because its not broken.. see what they say.. if they want your camera work they will still use you.. sounds like they need a reality check.. !!

Necktie Boy

Well-known member
It seems like a Catch 22. You like the work since it's money. The clients liked the lower fees. You have to decide how theses disheveled affect your work?

If it's to the point that it lowers the quality of your work, you have to get that in writing that you can't guarantee 100% perfect results. Also, you can say you will charge an evaluation fee to see if the equipment is field ready. Sounds like the client isn't willing to check or repair their equipment. In sense, it protects you and the client if something goes wrong.

On the other hand, I do hear what Robin is saying. This dude is working for less money since he is using our equipment. Yea, we know it has problems, but he does have backup equipment if something does go wrong in the field. He will do the right thing and use his equipment to get the shoot done. He won't cancelled it.

We all hate to loose a good client, but there is point where you have to draw the line. Is the extra stress worth it? Will you be holding the bag if something goes wrong in the field with their equipment? Are you bringing backup equipment if something does go wrong in the field?

I think it's one of those times that you have to sit down with the client. See why they aren't repairing/caring for their equipment.
You need the gig. So document any problems with the equipment. Also, be sure that you include the inspection time in you rate. If something is missing or not functioning, report this to the client upfront. Apparently then it is his problem to solve or you can be paid to return home and pick up whatever gear you need.


Well-known member
Just finished up a job at a prod house. They wanted to shoot in their studio with their equipment. The DP went in yesterday to light the green screen and only 30% of their lights were functioning. Issues ranged from broken lamps to no power cables to serious damage to the housings. I saw it all when I arrived the next day.

We ended up bringing in most of my LED kit to supplement what gear of theirs was working. Unbelievable.

This was a production house. I know they have lost some staff recently but there is no excuse for the condition of this gear.