For a smooth photo shoot and a happy client, IDI have put together a handy checklist (printer friendly) to use before a shoot and these are things you will understand when you take up a course to learn photography. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, a checklist is an indispensable tool when preparing. When working as a photographer, time is literally money. So, get organised and you’ll be raring to go and ready to start snapping!



Before setting off be 100% sure that you have formatted your memory card. By formatting, we mean removing all the previous data from the card. When you manually delete images from a memory card residual information can remain and this will occupy space on your card. Seeing the “memory card full” icon in the midst of a shoot is the last thing you want to be thinking about and may mean you miss important moments because you are busy trying to manually free up your memory card. The bigger fear is the potential for viruses / corruption of data as a result of the memory card being used in more that one device. By formatting your card immediately after every photo shoot, you are protecting yourself from losing any data and avoiding the potentially embarrasing situation and disappointing a client. Ideally, you should also take spare formatted memory cards so that you can capture everything and more!


Yes, it does seem very obvious, but it is so important; be sure that, before packing your equipment, you have fully charged your batteries… and remember to pack the charger too! If you’re using non-rechargeable batteries, make sure that you take more than enough spares to keep you going. There’s no harm in having spare spares too. The first thing you want to see at any photo shoot is your camera switching on!


Before arriving at a photo shoot location, take time to look at your camera’s setup. Check that you have the correct shutter speed and that your camera is shooting in the mode you want. Although this may seem straightforward, it is easy for any photographer, especially at a live event, to get caught up in the action and forget this. There’s nothing worse than hitting the shutter at the perfect moment only to discover that your camera is in self-timer mode. By doing this small bit of prep, you are ensuring that you won’t miss any crucial shots.


Whether you are shooting at a wedding or a nature walk, you will be able to capture a variety of images by alternating between hand held and tripod shots. it is always a good idea to tag along your tripod and remote shutter, as it is better to have them around and not need them than the other way around. Tripods are especially useful for slow shutter speeds and will minimise any risk of losing shots to blurs and aberrations. 


Before you arrive at the filming or shooting location it is imperative to ensure your lens is spotless, and cleaning it before the event can save you precious time which you can use to start visualising scenes and shots at the venue. Use proper cleaning equipment to make sure your lens is smudge, water, dust and dirt free. Any debris on the lens could potentially ruin an otherwise beautiful capture. Give your lens the TLC is requires to ensure it has a long and happy life. it is also a good idea to carry portable cleaning material such as a microfiber cloth, leans cleaning solution and an air blower with the rest of your equipment. 

Before setting off on your next photography adventure, take 2 minutes to stop and ask yourself these 5 questions.

1. Have you transferred your recent work from the camera and formatted your memory card?
2. Have you charged and checked that your batteries are working?
3. Is your camera ready to start taking pictures?
4. Do you have all the equipment you need?
5. Have you cleaned your lens?

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