9 point checklist: Do I have everything for this shoot?

Happy New Year!

And welcome back to the blog. I took a little time off over the festive break to regroup and recharge but now I’m back and raring to take on 2019.

Today is Friday and I’m currently midway through packing up for my first gig of the year. Even though it currently feels like I’m walking through a fog, trying to remember everything I need as it feels like a lifetime since I shot last (its really only been 2 1/2 weeks but you know what I mean). I thought then that I’d share my checklist that I run through before every shoot to make sure I’ve got everything packed and ready.

  1. Battery check. I’m usually pretty good when I get back from an event that I put my batteries on charge as soon as I’m back but regardless, I check every battery again as I’m preparing for a shoot. 9/10 I never need to charge anything but sometimes you forget so its a good chance to check so that you don’t find a dead battery when you can’t do anything about it!
  2. Card Check. Just like with my batteries I’m pretty good at sorting and clearing all of my cards after an event but everything gets checked anyway to make sure everything is clear and ready to go. I use multiple CF cards to spread the load in case I have a card failure, as well shooting simultaneously onto an SD card as another layer of redundancy.
  3. Lens and Camera Body Check. Pretty obvious this one but I always do a quick check of my gear to make sure everything is clean and working. Always double check!
  4. Camera settings. I always triple check these before I leave for any shoot or event as my settings change a lot depending on what I’m working on. I shoot primarily on two custom functions when at an event which are both customised to my most common working environments, so I always make sure I’m back in those while I’m packing up. This saves me the headache of forgetting before race start and finding that I’m in Manual from the previous studio shoot I did. This is also an opportunity to find out if I’m shooting in the right file format. That’s right folks, I don’t always shoot in Raw! Sometimes the client I’m working with wants fast image turn over at a high volume so the easiest way for us to do that is to shoot in Jpeg.
  5. Wet Gear and Rain Covers. You never know in any British season whether it rains or not so I always make sure I have rain covers for my cameras and lenses. I learned this the hard way in the summer by damaging my L Series lens and it had to be replaced as I was caught out in what only can be described as a biblical monsoon and my main camera got soaked. I also make sure I’ve got waterproofs for myself, as being outside for hours on end soaking wet is never fun.
  6. Laptop/External Drives/Card Readers.  I don’t always need these on the road but I usually take them anyway. So part of my checklist is to make sure I have not just my laptop, drives and card carders but also all the cables and chargers for them. It’s easy to forget if you don’t check!
  7. Food! Always pack snacks! Always!
  8. Client Brief. I make I have the clients shot list to hand when I’m packing up. 90% of the time its in emails anyways but some locations I end up working on (halfway up a mountain to name one) can have very sketchy mobile service so I always make sure I’ve got maps and shot lists saved offline in my phone to be on the safe side.
  9. Monopods/Tripod. I don’t often need these but I’ll know prior to an event if I do, so I will double check this one and pack accordingly ensuring that I’ve got lens cover for my monopod! (Forgot that once, it wasn’t fun without it.)
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