Blog #135 Shooting Events: Gear/Photographer Checklist

December 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Blog #135 Shooting Events: Gear/Photographer Checklist

Photography is physical.  The act of making pictures is a whole body experience. You’re on your feet walking the beat, crouching, bending, lifting, moving, and sometimes straining. You’re breaking a sweat and burning calories along with film or batteries while you work. Whatever the genre, a day behind the lens [as fun as that may sound] requires an ounce or more of preparation.  So how does one prepare to spend a day or even a few hours behind the camera? I suggest that we use a checklist.  The main objective is to make pictures, obviously. Controlling risk and minimising failure is worth the effort. Here’s a sample checklist that you might use to ensure that you return from the day with a batch of decent images.

Gear Checklist

  • Decide what accessories/camera/lens/film will be required for the given shoot
  • Clean the camera and lens or lenses 
  • Test the camera and lens or lenses
  • Chose the proper camera bag that will accommodate all of the gear required 
  • Include backup and redundant systems such as a spare body or alternative lens. Bring more than one extra roll of film incase one gets damaged or lost. 
  • Charge batteries and bring extra charged batteries. 
  • Bring a few SD cards
  • WIPE your cards before you shoot. 
  • *Important* Bring rain covers incase of rain so that your gear doesn’t get trashed.
  • RTM! [Read the manual and bring it with]
  • Practice using the camera and lens at home to familiarise yourself with the controls. 
  • When you get to the location TAKE A TEST SHOT. Check ISO and camera settings to ensure that everything is working. 
  • Keep your gear close and use small lens bags to keep personal items close at hand. 


Photographer Checklist

  • Get enough rest! Sleep deprivation is never good for anything. Fatigue will impact your photography and affect your energy level through the day.
  • Eat a proper meal or bring snacks with you. 
  • Hydrate! 
  • Dress for the weather. Overheating or stomping around with soaking wet socks is no way to make great art.  Show up prepared. 
  • Make a shot list. Go with a plan. Bring one of those handy dandy notebooks to check off the images that you plan to capture on the shoot. 
  • Map out the route to the event and decide how you will get there. Lateness is not an option!
  • When on the shoot: Take a break. Breaking your shoot into two [or more] parts is well worth the effort. Use the intermission or nature breaks in the activity that you’re shooting to sit down, have a latte or some water. 
  • Keep an eye on your bag and gear. Keep your stuff tidy and safe.


You can customise this list for your own needs.  The aim here is to share some food for thought about preparing for your day and minimising risk of error.  The old adage rings true:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Please e-mail to [email protected] if you would like to be added to my free seasonal mailing list. 

The light is always right.

jhg 😎


*Images: © Limelight Limited

Where: Ping Pong 126 Bar, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Subject: Fierce Fitness and Dance Winter Showcase

Gear: Fujifilm X-T3 + Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 XF R WR



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