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4 Things You Need at Every Photo Shoot


Whether you're just getting interested in photography or you've already dipped your toe into its waters, your head might be swimming thinking about all the little details that go into a good photo shoot. Everyone's going to have a different tried and true method--everyone likes to do things a little differently. But by and large, you'll find every seasoned photographer comes prepared for the unexpected because, well, you never know what'll happen!

So today's Sunday Resource is for you: for all of you who are looking at photo shoots and wondering, How do I best prepare? Here's a list of 4 things you need at every photo shoot to help you stay on top of it!

1. Battery and memory card backups.

You guys! This one can really come in handy. I remember a time years ago when I didn't bring my backup battery, and as luck would have it, that was the one time my battery quit on me five photos--literally FIVE PHOTOS into the shoot. Learn from that, all you people. Bring backups to every shoot, not just to weddings or the big stuff. You never know if your memory card is going to have an issue either. It happens, and it's always better to be safe than sorry!

2. Some little extras.

It's always a good plan to bring some extra stuff. When I'm shooting at parks, I always pack a blanket for some sit-down photos, even if it's not on my agenda. If you're doing a family shoot, bring bubbles or little (parent-approved) snacks or candies for kiddos. Dog treats if a couple is bringing their fur babies. Bring a speaker so a couple can dance to their favorite songs!

And if you're planning shoots just for fun or to build up your portfolio, this is your time to shine. Bring all sorts of extras, for moments when your creativity is sparked. When I'm taking photos of my girls in fancy dresses, my favorite thing to do, I bring all sorts of things. Flower crowns, jewelry, blankets and lanterns and candles and sparkles and everything that I might want to play around with. I'd rather have a ton of stuff sitting in my car than get there and wish I'd had more to work with!

3. Extra time.

I always get to my shoots at least 10-15 minutes early, to scope out the area. Even if I've already scoped out the location previously. It's a safe way to make sure I'm ready to go, in the right head space, and it's also professional to not just roll up at the last second. Especially with clients who may be lost or not know their way around the area of town any way--I like to be there to make sure they get where they're going easily!

You may also want to be open to a little extra time on the end. Something magical might happen, you guys might have one last fun idea you want to make happen, and it's great to have the flexibility to do it. No one wants to say "sorry guys, we lost the light," right as you get the perfect idea for a last shot. So plan your shoot with a few extra minutes of beautiful light on the tail end!

4. A contract.

If you're doing more than just snapping photos of friends, you should have a contract. They're easy to make and you can find tons of great samples online to help you get started. This covers your butt for so many reasons, and it's more than just a good idea. It's hard to hold people to your expectations if they don't know what those are, right? Keep contracts with you for your clients to look over, to help them understand anything that might not be obvious, and to sign. Then file those bad boys away so you always have them.

It's easy to have a great time with less stress when you're properly prepared! So when you're getting ready for your next photo shoot, jot down this list to help you make sure you've got what you need!

And stay up to date with all my Sunday Resources by following my Instagram craziness, which includes all sorts of helpful things for photographers and non-photographers alike!

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