Remember the Small Things When Preparing for a Shoot

Empty Studio

What you will find when you get to the studio. Did you bring everything else?

Getting ready for a shoot can be a hectic and busy time.  There are so many things you need to have ready in the right order or things may get lost or forgotten.  If you don’t have everything you need at the shoot, it can spoil the whole flow of the day, or worse spoil the entire shoot.

Forgetting something big could be a disaster, but because of that, you are very likely to remember to have them ready.  For instance, your lenses, camera, props etc., are things you are likely to have checked, double checked and triple checked.  But the small things are just as important.

When preparing for a shoot it is important to remember the little things.  I find it easiest to make a list of the things I think I will need to bring or do, so that when the day of the shoot comes, I won’t forget them.  My list is usually in two parts.  One side is the things I’ll need for every shoot.  The other is for specifics for a particular shoot.

Some good examples to start your list are:

  • Spare batteries for your light meter, Pocket Wizards, GPS, etc.
  • Ensure your lens cleaning supplies are clean and ready.
  • Paper towels, tissues or wipes for fixing smudged makeup, props etc.
  • Spare model release forms and other contracts.
  • Business cards
  • Your phone is charged, plus you iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc to show your portfolio.
  • You laptop is charged, and the desktop is free of too many icons.  (This is important.  Like a messy desk in your office, a cluttered desktop on your laptop can show unprofessionalism.)
  • A towel.  For reasons you can never think of before hand.  Can be used to wipe things up, as a knee pad, etc.

Other things that you may need to think of involve a little research.  For example, I promised to do a photo shoot for a friend at a studio on a seamless background.  The shoot would include her posing with a Harley.  I knew the studio has a freight elevator, and was built for that kind of thing, but then I realized that there was no direct access to drive the bike inside.  I am going to have to arrange for a ramp to get the bike from the street to the loading dock.  I’ll also need a mat and some pads to protect the floors from oil and the kick stand.  Imagine how the shoot would go if we got everything there, but couldn’t shoot with the bike because there was no way to get it inside.

You’ll never be able to remember everything, but if you make a list when you think of the little things, it can go a lot smoother.  That way you can spend your time worrying about exposure, lighting, poses and everything a photographer is supposed to do at a shoot and now worry about how you are going to get a 700 pound bike up the stairs!

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One Response to Remember the Small Things When Preparing for a Shoot

  1. odhinnsrunes says:

    Another thing to remember would be water, pop and or munchies. Everyone gets thirsty.

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