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An Introduction to the Many Kinds of Clamps Used in Photo Shoots


Photographer Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens made this helpful 7-minute video tutorial that provides a crash course on the different types of clamps used by photographers during shoots.

“This is not super glamorous stuff to talk about,” says Morgan, “but it’s the basics that we use every single day that we’re on set.”


Morgan discusses the A-clamp, super clamp, Cardellini, platypus, Kupo adjustable gaffer grip, C-clamp, and chain vice grip. If you’re just started out with putting together a basic clamp kit, here’s what Morgan recommends:

I would put ten a-clamps, three of the super clamps, and one platypus. And the reason being is this- the ten a-clamps just to clamp everything. You can do anything you need to with them. Then you have three of your super clamps. Two to hold up a backdrop, one to use for a light. Then that platypus is gonna hold your bead board, it’s gonna hold your foam core, it’s gonna hold some kind of reflector for you.

You can find many of the clamps described at Kupo, Matthews, and Avenger.