• Download and backup previous images from your memory card
• Format memory card in your camera and an extra memory card for your camera bag
• 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 image sensor (very carefully!) or have it professionally cleaned occasionally
• 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 position of the sun during the time of day you will be photographing
• If necessary, print out directions and map to location
• Have a backup location in mind
• Forward directions and phone numbers to models and crew, if applicable
• Gather additional equipment necessary: tripod, monopod, reflectors, lights

Photo Prep:
• Review past photo shoots, determine what should be similar or different
• 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 session 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…
• 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
• Slow down and tune in to the ‘spirit’ or feel of your location
• 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 2017