Hello and Welcome to Photographer Week here on JasmineStarBlog.com! I'm excited to collaborate with fellow peers as they shed light and share industry tips. Today my sweet friend (and former Workshop student!) Jamie Delaine is sharing what she takes to every photo shoot. Loved her tips…love her giving heart even more!
Last week, I was walking out the door to a portrait session and gathering my typical list of items. I was going over the checklist in my mind, making sure I had everything I needed when I thought, “This would make a great blog post!” Over my eight years shooting portraits, I've definitely come to predict potential mishaps or hiccups; bringing the right items will ensure there's no situation you can't handle on your shoots!
Camera Body – Canon 5D Mark 3
First of all, this is obvious, but you need to pack a camera body! I love my Canon 5D Mark 3 and shoot with it at every session.
Next, you need lenses! I bring three Canon lens, the 35mm f/1.4L, 50mm f/1.2L and 85mm f/1.2L to every session. I used to only bring the 35mm and 50mm but lately I've enjoyed the addition of my 85mm. Plus, if for some awful reason, you dropped a lens, it's nice to have “similar” lens looks (the 50 and 85) so you wouldn't be stuck shooting with just a 35mm on a session.
I know there are a ton of other camera bags growing in popularity out there but I can't let go of my Shootsac! I bought one when the company was launched in 2007 and have used them ever since.
Extra Camera Body
You need to have a back-up at all times. To be honest, this is something I've slacked in over the years. (Hear me, never at a wedding have I forgotten a back-up. That's a must!) Somehow at a portrait session I just didn't think about camera failure, you could always shoot the session again another day, right? Well, yes, you could. But it still communicates a lack of professionalism and preparation. It's not that much work to bring a back-up body and leave it in your trunk while you're shooting. I bring my Canon 5D Mark 2 for this reason.
Before a session, I make sure my battery is fully charged. Next, I grab another fully charged battery and place that in the back pockets of my Shootsac. The best way to be prepared is just to pretend everything is going to fail. (Which is so pessimistic and the worst attitude for life but helps while preparing for a session.) I had one awful engagement session six years ago that I'll never forget, I showed up and my battery was freaking out! It was fully charged at home but it wasn't holding the charge. I didn't have another battery with me. I had to apologize to the couple and drive home to get another. It was super embarrassing and something I'll never forget! Always have an extra!
Memory Cards and extra memory cards
Yes, another obvious item, but you have to bring extra memory cards. What if you happen to over-shoot? Or you're really inspired and want to do another location? Have extra memory cards! This was another mistake I made in my first year or two of shooting! I remember looking down at my memory card thinking, “Oh no I'm running out of space.” I had to switch it to JPEG (I shoot RAW) and finish up the last 150 photos on JPEG. Prepare!
But who really leaves their house without their iPhone anyway?
Client's Phone Number
Always, always have your client's phone number handy! If I don't see the client by the supposed start time (or even five minutes before!) I'll send a friendly text letting them know where I am. You can't text them if you don't have their phone number!
Even if you know where you're headed, confirm the address with the client, at least. The smaller the chance for miscommunication the better.
I drink a lot of water. And I usually drive an hour to my sessions. So. I need water.
Hopefully you have your driver's license with you, so it's legal for you to drive and all. But more than that, I use my credit card to pay for parking in the city a lot! Don't forget it at home!
A silly addition – but I'm serious, I'm always near chapstick! I smile a lot when I shoot and that'll dry your lips out real good.
I hope this list helped you!
Have you read…
Monday's post about Sue Bryce's secret to using a white sheet on a photo shoot?
Tuesday's post on how Katelyn James controls her image color by shooting in Kelvin?
Wednesday's post on Melissa Jill's tips to photographing group portraits that are in focus?
Thursday's post on on of Amy and Jordan's favorite life hacks for getting ready photos?
Check them out!