Wait….Did I Remember…(Prepping For A Shoot)

Prepping for a shoot is essential – and it happens to be one of my favorite things to do. There’s something about charging my batteries and formatting my cards that gets me excited to go out and shoot. What I pack depends on the type of shooting that I will be doing. A live concert will require less gear and more mobility as opposed to a studio-type shoot.

In this article, I’ll be dealing with a live show shoot. There are a few basic things that I take care of first, like charging batteries and making sure I have a couple of freshly-formatted memory cards. I carry at least two batteries and two cards (although I rarely have to use the second ones, unless it’s a LONG show). Then I will check my lenses and make sure that both the front and rear elements are clean. I typically just use a blower to get any dust off. For smudges I’ll either use a microfiber cloth or a Lens Pen.
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I use a Black Rapidstrap, so I make sure that the attachment is secured to my camera’s tripod socket.

My camera, lenses, cleaning stuff, and strap all go into a Think Tank CityWalker 10 Messenger Bag. I really like this bag because it is a messenger-type bag with a top flap, so I can easily grab what I need.

Here are some of the other things I keep in this bag:

Shower cap. I travel a lot, and I make sure to grab a few of these from my hotel rooms. In an emergency they can be stretched around your camera to shield it from rain (or beer, depending on the show).

First-aid supplies. Just some basic stuff like Ibuprofen, Band-Aids and Tums. You don’t want a headache or tummy ache to distract you from shooting. An empty Altoids tin makes a great container for this.

Ear Plugs.  Any kind will do, but I like the slightly-more-expensive Etymotic Research plugs since they bring the volume down in a more natural way than the foam plugs.

Business cards. You never know who you may run into.

Snack.  I like to keep a Clif Bar or something similar in my bag.

Flashlight.  A small LED flashlight can come in handy if you drop something or need to find something in your bag when it’s dark.

Pens/Sharpies. Always handy to have around.

Gum/mints. Fresh breath is always nice!

(The gear that I talk about here is also listed on my “Gear I Love” pages.)

Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, too! Depending on the show, you may be running around a lot and you don’t want your feet to be hurting. I recently shot an awards show in Nashville and I was there for over 3 hours. I wanted to wear “cool” shoes so I opted for a pair of Converse Chucks, which don’t have a lot of support. By the end of the night I was wishing I wore my running shoes!

We’ll talk about how I prep and pack for a location or studio-type shoot in another article.

Thanks for stopping by – now go shoot!

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About John Zocco

Founder and administrator of ThePhotoRoadie.com

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