Wednesdays are MY favorite days. I’ve proclaimed them WANDA WEDNESDAY’S You can look for business tips, photography tips, networking tips, or if you have any questions that tickle your fancy with regards to photography or business ask, I’m happy to help.
I like to arrive about 30 minutes before I’m scheduled to meet with a client for a session. If I’m shooting on location I like to spend time taking test shots to make sure the lighting is good. I want to be prepared and relaxed when my client arrives – because the chances are they will be nervous and will be looking to me to make them feel safe and comfortable.
It´s good to have a checklist to make sure you get everything with you and don´t forget anything. This list might help you.
1. Equipment Backup
First and foremost, you need equipment backup. Bring extra batteries for anything that is battery-powered. Don’t forget to recharge all your batteries the day before a shoot. Just in case, bring battery chargers for your laptop and camera. Check that you have extra batteries for your flash and that you have them in a handy place for a quick change. If you’ve been using your flash, it might be good to change out your flash batteries before the shoot starts. Even if you only plan to use one, bring all of your memory cards. Extra batteries and memory cards can be a lifesaver when the unexpected happens.
2. Laptop or iPad
It is sometimes nice to review your work while on location. To do this, I bring my laptop so that I canview my images on screen. After I got the iPad, I started to bring this with me instead of the laptop. It is smaller and easier to carry. However, I never show unprocessed images to clients. I will only show them images from my portfolio and to spark conversation about their likes and dislikes.
4. A Small Mirror
Many people are uncomfortable being photographed without first checking their appearance in a mirror. A small mirror is a lifesaver when it comes to last minute makeup and hair fixes.
5. Business cards
You might be surprised how often I forget this item. I shoot at least 3 events a month which means I am ALWAYS running out of business cards. After portrait sessions, clients often ask for my cards. They pass them on to interested friends, so make sure you keep a little pile of cards in your camera bags, handbags, glovebox of your car and even your pocket.
6. Microfiber Lens cleansing cloth
Make to pack a lens cleaning cloth. When shooting outside on location, or when photographing kids, your lens might get dirty. It´s not fun to correct lens dirt in Photoshop
It´s good to have on every outdoor location shoot. You never know when the rain might fall. If you have a tiny, lightweight umbrella (and if you shoot with your camera on a tripod) you will be able to shoot in the rain without damaging your camera. But remember DO NOT put the umbrella back in your bag if it’s wet!
8. Reflectors and diffusers
Bring along a reflector to reflect light and a diffuser to screen harsh sunlight. They are true lifesavers!
9. A makeup artist
If you don´t work with a makeup artist, then bring a small makeup bag with essentials: hairpins, hairbrush, hair bands, curling iron, hairspray, face powder and lip balm. Together with your client, you can help each other create different looks for variety. Most of the times I use a professional makeup artist because I believe that it makes the final result much better. Makeup evens out your skin tone which allows light to reflect more evenly.
10. THE EXTRAS
- Bring empty bags – you never know when you end up with a dirty dress, or some trash that you need carry away.
- Water bottle for yourself and for your client. Bonus if you can brand them with your own labels.
- Treat bags for kids. They add as a great bribe too
- A towel or a blanket to outdoor shoots. Your client or model can use this to sit on if the ground is wet, or to hold up in front of themselves for outdoor clothes changes.
- Last but not least, bring your A Game, at least attitude wise. Clients can sense when you are stressed and this will make getting fantastic images even harder.