Home How-To Tip Of The Week Being professional means being prepared—07/26/10
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Prepared Like The Pros—07/26/10

How to remember every detail, from batteries to backups

This Article Features Photo Zoom

One of the fun parts about photography is all of the equipment involved. Unfortunately, that equipment can also be one of your biggest headaches. I don’t think I’ve got obsessive-compulsive disorder, but one of the most important things I’ve found helpful for assignment photography is to always be prepared. Carrying backups and making sure I’ve thought of every possibility has saved my rear end on many occasions. To that end, I use a very simple technique to make sure I don’t forget anything when I’m packing for a shoot: I make lists.

I index everything I could ever forget until reciting the items on that list has become almost second nature. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost walked out the door without an important cable or battery or even the ideal lens for a job. Then I consult my trusty list and rectify the error just in time.
Here’s an example of a typical list that I use when I’m going on location. I keep it on my computer and print it out every time I’m ready to pack. I divide my list into sections to make it easier, and on some assignments I’m able to cross off an entire section at one time.

CAMERA BAG:
Body and backup
Lenses
CF Cards (and film?)
Batteries and chargers
Portable strobes
Quantum packs and AA batteries
Light meter
Filters

LIGHT KIT:
Strobe pack and heads
Sync cords and transmitters
Extension cords
Grids
Umbrellas
Snoots
Reflectors
Flags
Slaves
Gels

GRIP CASE:
Strobe extensions
Extra power cords
Extra sync cord
Gaff tape
Clamps
Sandbags

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