About/Contact

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Tim Olsen, APhotoAssistant

I’m Tim Olsen, a professional photo assistant and photographer from Minneapolis. I also work in Los Angeles and anywhere else my work takes me. Since 1997, I have traveled extensively throughout the United States working on commercial photo shoots with advertising, editorial, and corporate photographers. I am also an experienced studio manager, digital imaging tech, printer, and film grip. These days I do a lot of lighting design, assisting, and other production work. In my free time I enjoy bicycling, reading, hiking, ice hockey, coffee, and people-watching.

My experience as a photo assistant has taught me a great deal about what to do and what not to do, when working on set, around clients, and traveling. My motto has always been, “My focus is to help you get the best shot!” Obviously, there are many ways to accomplish this, and my 15 years of experience has allowed me to amass a great deal of resources, skill, and tools to help me focus on assisting the photographer.

In addition to everyday photo assisting–lighting and camera work–I am experienced with basic retouching and digitech work. Available for rent, I have a 17″ 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro with anti-glare screen loaded with Lightroom and Capture One Pro. I can handle front-end production like reservations, scouting, lighting design, rental gear, and the like. What I don’t have, I can get, with the numerous resources I have built over the years with many photographic vendors.


Photographers: Jonathan Chapman, Curtis Johnson, Jake Armour, Matthew Jordan Smith, Mark Katzman, David Zaitz, Bo Bridges, Jim Wright, Adam Olszewski, Celeste Canino, Per Bernal, Christopher Barr, David Friedman

Producers: Bobbi Peacock, Matthew Slimmer, J.J. Bitter, Carey Hendricks, Sally Mars, Panlicker Productions

Brands: Target, Samsung, Microsoft, Schwinn, Maurice’s, Boston Scientific, United Health Group, TV Guide, Starkey, 3M


I am always interested in working with new photographers and producers. If you have an upcoming shoot you need help with, please email me with your dates and specific needs.


APhotoAssistant.com is all about being a great photo assistant. I have assembled my experience, along with different resources I have found, to help photo students, photo assistants, emerging photographers, and other creative professionals in the photo industry to work better and smarter. You will find link resources, ideas for community, and tools for continued education and inspiration throughout the site. Please feel free to comment and send me your questions and feedback.

In addition to writing and maintaining APhotoAssistant.com, I have been a guest writer over at PhotoCrew and ProPhotoResource. I have been published in PDN Emerging Photographer. I advocate professional photography trade practices as a member of both APA and ASMP. I am also available to speak at trade/industry events, workshops, and with photography students at your college.