Before you go to your shoot, you have to have a plan. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and what you’ll need to do so. Will you be shooting film, digital, or a combination? Will you be using natural light or artificial light? If it’s artificial, continuous or strobe? What needs batteries and what needs to be plugged into the wall? Make a list. Write it down if you have to.
1. Make Sure You Have A Backup Camera
The one word guaranteed to save your life is “backup.” If it’s at all feasible to bring a backup, do it. Rolling up to the shoot with only one camera, One lens, one battery and one memory card/roll of film should be avoided at all costs. If you’re just getting into it and still only have your starter kit, see if you can borrow a friend’s gear just in case. Your iPhone, and even a disposable camera would suffice as notable backups.
2. Batteries. Batteries seem like a small thing, but they can easily be the most important piece to your photoshoot cargo. The party stops when the batteries die! It’s imperative that you know what kind of batteries you need not just for your camera, but for the other equipment you have in tow. Does your backup camera have batteries? Does your flash need batteries? Does your light meter need batteries? Is your phone charged all the way up as well? Check everything.
3. Film Keep a variety of different ISOs of film just in case to handle different types of day and lighting situations. Sometimes life changes on a whim, and you its good to be prepared in all situations.
4. Light Meter-This is such a vital tool for photographers as it works for you in measuring the light source that you have. Here’s a informative video on how to use it to take great photos!
5. Snacks- Sometimes photoshoots last a long time. If you are shooting a model, bring some snacks for them. You’d be surprised how much some bottled water and light snacks will raise everyone’s spirits. Snacks are also an important piece of self care. You gotta make sure that YOU are hydrated and fed as well!
6. Music- Something else essential to keeping the crew in a good mood is music. Bringing music can make or break a shoot. It’ll help smoothen things over for models and photographers who aren’t exactly social butterflies. And if you’re really lucky, your model will get so into the music that you won’t even have to direct them. You can just fire away while the music gets them moving.
7. A Wild Card- The last thing you’ll want to bring to a shoot is something fun to experiment with. Even veteran photographers are never done learning. And the best way to learn is trying new things. So bring that prism. Or try shooting with a colored gel for your flash. Maybe add some instant photography into the mix. It’s all good as long as everyone’s having a great time.
Hope this helps you as you go out into the world and shoot! Comment below if you have any additional suggestions on items to take for your photoshoots!