It is an evening with friends or a draft thousand; in a photo shoot almost always results improve if properly prepared. If you want to control every detail, you will have many things to prepare and do. As a photographer you are the captain of this ship and the head of that comes to fruition.
When we are creating compositions, color combinations, wallpapers and all those things that are so important to leave a photo well, we cannot forget the small details that can annoy a whole photo shoot. To help you have at hand tools that make preparing a photo shoot is a reasonably simple process, and provides you the security in knowing that you will have everything you need and you will not forget anything.
Today I am sharing with you one tool that is indispensable for me and I think that will help you do not forget anything: the checklist for a photo shoot.
Having the Straight Talk
Beyond any tool that can give you, the first thing is to define what you want to do. Excessive improvisation in photography often leads to bad results. Be clear about what goals have you in is the first step to reach them. In this article I will assume that your goal is clear and you know what you want to do and share with you what my process to make sure that no detail could be avoided finish my photo shoot.
Learning from my errors: Reasons to Have a Checklist
To err is human, and we all do. In my time taking pictures I’ve made a few others, but those who bother me are the stupid mistakes that could have been avoided. The last things I remember was a few weeks ago doing a photo shoot for the cover of a fitness DVD with some German customers.
For some time, I have used a method to avoid problems if a memory card fails me. It’s rare, but it has happened to me 3 times and after the first shock began to use the “backup” of my cameras. This allows you to record simultaneously in 2 memory cards you make the photo (yes, I know that only some cameras you have this feature, but if yours will implement I encourage you to use).
After one or two lighting schemes, I tend to copy your pictures to the computer and to two disks, external hard to be sure to avoid problems of loss of files. That day we had about 200 photos of the model in different poses for the cover when removing the card to copy them to your computer. I put it in the card reader and puff!… Did not format the card. Back in the camera could not read, so goodbye to my memory card.
Absolutely convinced of how smart I am using a backup system, I went to remove the second card (SD) from my D800 and you can imagine my face when no card in the camera.
Luckily, after buying recovery software and several hours of stress, I managed to recover photos and the job was saved. Incidentally, when this happened, I asked the model to repeat some shots just in case he could not recover the files, so you have something to work with. This example demonstrates the importance of not forgetting anything and therefore has created a “checklist” system that covers everything you need to remember.
As the name suggests a checklist is a checklist. In this list you can put whatever you want, or you can use mine that attachment this worksheet so you can modify it with your team. If I believe your own, I recommend that you consider covering the following:
- Preparation of equipment: Here you have to mark you the things you need to do before the day of the session. I usually prepare the equipment load in the car the day of the job but some people prefer to leave it done the day before. In any case, you should charge batteries and this kind of thing takes time and you will find that the day of the session does not have batteries.
- Preparation Other: I use these boxes to make sure I have confirmation my session attendees: the model, the wizard, the makeup if any, other photographers, etc…
- Miscellaneous: Allow me a few boxes extra for what I go happening. I usually have these companies’ leaves and as every session is different full them by hand, adding things that may be important in this situation in particular.
- Equipment Checklist: Most Relevant if anything is sure to bring everything you need. In my list I have the computer that appears all (or almost), but of course, I do not get all the equipment to each session. What is important is that if something comes out of my studio again. For this I frame these checkboxes, the first frame and when I put it in my backpack or in the car, the second when I keep it after the session and the third when I get back to the home studio. So I make sure I do not leave anything on the site or no one brings me anything.
“Hope for the best, Prepare for the worse”
This phrase is used a lot in England has become one of my top: “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”.
Always, always, always have a plan B and occasionally a C plan always carry a second body, I always carry a lens alternative that I plan to use, I always carry memory cards more, I always carry batteries over, etc.
The last thing you want is to move miles, gather a group of people and that the equipment will fail, but that happens and is inevitable. We work with machines that fail, and fail but there is always some risk. You do not need to have 2 identical cameras, if a camera fails, anything that makes photos better than nothing. If photography is a hobby, the impact will not be very large; but if you dedicate professionally to this, I recommend investing in a second body albeit in a lower range and second hand.
I hope this little tool to give you more peace of mind when organizing photo shoots and that since I use it, I sleep quieter day before a session. And you, do you have your checklist ready or you’re starting to do it from now?. Do you think you can add some item that may be important?