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Preshoot Checklist

This should be a slow, deliberate ritual that takes place the day before your shoot while you are not rushed, or distracted.  By accomplishing this ahead of time, you can focus on the shoot and not have to worry about forgetting anything, or making a hurried decision.  

  • Charge all camera batteries, rechargeable batteries for accessories, and any necessary electronic devices.  Be sure to include extra batteries as well.
  • Clean all lenses, filters, and cameras with microfiber cloths.
  • Make sure all memory cards have been formatted completely.  
  • Adjust all camera settings to default shooting selections.  ie: RAW, lowest ISO, Auto White Balance, Burst Mode, Spot Meter.
  • Wipe any sand or grit from tripod and light stands. Open and close to make sure they are operating smoothly.
  • Test all accessories including umbrellas, reflectors, clamps, pocket wizards, and flash.
  • Prepare any additional materials like gaffer tape, allen keys, rubber bands, pens, sharpie markers, business cards, and a small first aid kit.
  • Pack all required gear needed for shoot while double checking that all necessary gear is accounted for. 


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Reader Comments (2)

There have been a great many shoots that have turned into nightmares due to neglecting to do these simple fundamental steps. An even more detailed step is to take a physical inventory,( and not just an "eye assesment") that everything is there when unpacking and repacking your equipment. I have lost memory cards, lens caps, and eye cups due to packing quickly after a tiresome shoot aand not being focused on what I was doing.
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Smart
Great list. Here's another item:

• If your camera allows it, turn off the feature that allows you to "shoot without memory card" in the camera. That way, if you forget to put your card in the camera, then you'll see a reminder on your screen.
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJB Haber
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