Preparation is a key component whenever I go out for a photo shoot. There have been countless times in the past where I didn’t prepared for a shoot and either left something at home, didn’t check the weather or batteries weren’t charged. Now, before I do a photo shoot, I have a mini checklist to make sure everything is good to go.
This is the first I do before anything. Making sure all batteries are charge, that includes camera batteries, Speedlight batteries or any other device that requires battery. Nothing worst than your camera dying in the middle of the shoot. I had this happened to be on a shoot and it was quite embarrassing. Luckily though, we got a lot of good shots before my battery died
Make it habit to put the memory card in your camera after loading photos on the computer. You don’t want to get half way to the location of the shoot and realized that you left your memory card in your computer. Yes, I’ve done this before as well! I left early enough though to pick up a memory card at Walgreens that day. Also to be even more prepared, keep extra memory cards in your camera bag. You can never be TOO prepared for a shoot.
I always try to leave early for a shoot because you never what might happen on the road. You may need gas, you may run into heavy traffic or even get a flat tire. I try to get to the destination AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to the time of the shoot, even earlier if possible.
Scouting a location beforehand can be very useful instead roaming around helplessly until you see something you like. Roaming around on the client’s paid time is a no no as well. Also pay attention to the direction of the sun while you're scouting. Lighting may change the day of the shoot, but at least you’ll have a general idea on what the light may look like.
I make sure I have everything ready for the shoot by my exit door at home; camera bag, light stands, light modifiers or what I maybe need for that particular shoot. That way, I know I wont be forgetting anything
These are just some of things that help me prepared for a shoot. Hopefully this checklist can help out someone as well!