Being a photographer is like playing a game of chess, you must think first before you move. No matter which style of photography I am doing, I have to prepare myself. This can make a long day easier because it allows me to focus on the creation of images.
Do Not Do Things at the Last Minute
The best thing I can do is give myself time. It allows for a level of comfort. Time gives me the ability to think about what I will do. It helps in deciding how to go about things. Time helps me decide weather or not I am going to bring a film camera for art work or get shots for a review amongst other things .
Knowing the weather is important. It does not matter if I am shooting indoors or not. I don’t like getting caught in the rain or snow without being able to protect my camera gear. I also do not want to over dress on a hot day or forget my towel. When I know the weather, I also know what I need to do to take care of myself, how much water to carry, etc.
Know What I’m Doing
The first thing I do, perhaps most importantly, is figure out what I am going to shoot. This affects all choices that come after. It determines how I travel and what I carry. I create a checklist for one final check before I leave the house.
Which Bag to Use
The bag I use depends on the weather. The style of photography I am shooting also matters. It also depends on the scene. If I am going to be in a crowded place, I want to carry a smaller side strap bag like the Think Thank Photo Retrospective 10. A bag like this is unobtrusive and maneuverable. If I am going to walking for a long time on, say, a landscape photography hike I use my Tamrac evolution 8. It holds a lot comfortably. It also has a rain cover in case of a freak storm. If I have to fly out somewhere for fun, I carry my Crumpler Haven L to transport my gear in my carry on and a low key sling to carry it in.
What Goes in the Bag
Because I already know what I will be shooting, I choose my lenses accordingly. If I know that I will need my hands free at times, my BlackRapid RS-7 goes into the bag, I also carry a simple hand strap if I need even more flexibility. I always carry my flash or my Garry Fong Puffer just in case I need fill flash. I also put the checklist next to the bag so I can check before I go out, especially if I am going far. While loading my bag I make sure to check over all my gear. With this in mind, I make sure all my batteries are charged and memory cards are cleaned. I look over all my filters, if I will use them, and clean them as needed.
Because I checked the weather conditions, I know what to wear. For example, I’ll know if I need a good pair of gloves or not. Also knowing what I am going to shoot helps. I know that I will not show up at a studio shoot dressed as if I am going to be out doing landscape photography. I make sure I am as clean as possible, too. You never know when you will end up in front of another photographer’s lens. I also keep in mind that first impressions are everything. How I present myself to clients and others can affect how possible future clients perceive you.
Rest and Take Care of Myself
Before a long day, I like to get a good night’s sleep. I do not like going into a long day already tired. I eat a good meal, and bring a snack so I do not take time away from my shoot. I keep a certain amount of cash on me for emergencies. You never know when you will have to buy something last minute.
In the End
Being prepared is so very useful in photography. It ensures that you get your shots no matter what the situation is. If I am working with clients, it reassures them. It helps them know that their money is well spent.
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