Download and backup previous images from your memory card

Format memory card in your camera and an extra memory card

Fully charge camera battery and an extra battery

Check and set ISO setting, program/manual mode, white-balance setting

Set Color space to Adobe RGB 1998 and leave there

Set file size and type desired (jpeg/raw, etc)

Check auto-focus and other settings

Clean and organize lenses and filters

Clean dust off of image sensor (very carefully!) or have it professionally cleaned

Make sure each lens has the right lens hood attached


Location Prep:

Check weather report

Bring a list of cell phone numbers of models, assistants, etc.

Scout location in advance, if possible

Check where the sun will be at during designated photo time

Print out directions and map to location

Have a backup location in mind

Forward directions and phone numbers to models and crew

Prep laptop, card reader and gather appropriate cords

Gather additional equipment necessary: tripod, monopod, reflectors, lights


Photo Prep:

Review past photo shoots, look for themes, series, strengths/weakness

Look at the work of other photographers and artists for inspiration

Avoid looking at the work of others if it only diminishes your confidence or clarity

Set intentions for how you want the shoot to go and how you want your photos to feel


Photo Shoot:

Have a mental list of possible photo shoot ideas ready

Think about the style and mood of the photos you want to create

Have a backup plan in case Plan A does not work

If it is an important shoot, have a backup plan for your backup plan…

Also be prepared to be spontaneous!

Be open to serendipity, yet embrace change as necessary due to unforeseen elements

Collaborate with your subject, receive and listen to input even if you don’t use it

Listen and respect the opinion of others but trust your own intuition as well

Don’t dilute your vision by taking in too much outside input

Remember what it was that drew you to the subject, model or location originally

Find a balance of holding on but not too tightly and letting go but not too loosely

Always keep the ‘big picture’ in mind

©Douglas Beasley 2015