One of the biggest things that you have to learn to do as a photographer is to Be Prepared! Just like the Boy Scout motto, you need to be ready all the time to capture that image when you are working in the photography field. This is especially true when you are a photojournalist but it applies to anyone who is making their living with a camera. You want to be ready all the time so you don’t miss a shot. Here are some tips for making sure you are always as ready as possible. I was out shooting a car show one Saturday in Catoosa County, Ga and after the show, I stumbled upon this house fire.
1.) Batteries – Make sure you always have your batteries charged fully and ready to use. It is also recommended to have spares with you wherever you go.
2.) Memory cards – Like batteries, memory cards are another item you can never have too many of and with the low cost of memory these days, you can easily carry several spares on you at all times.
3.) Lens caps – Leave them off when you are carrying around your camera. Nothing more embarrassing then pulling up your camera to snap a once in a lifetime shot and then realize you left your lens cap on. An easy and inexpensive way to protect your glass is a UV filter on the end.
4.) Carry more than one camera – If you look at pros out in the field, especially photojournalists, they never waste time changing lenses out in the field, they take two bodies, one with a wide lens and one with a telephoto so they are ready for anything that may happen.
5.) Turn off Image Preview – I never use my image preview when shooting and I don’t recommend anyone does. If you spend all your time looking at your shots on the LCD as you take them, you are going to miss a great shot sooner or later. Again, watch a pro out in the field with a DSLR and you will never see them looking at their LCD. They know their camera and they know how to use it, so they know without looking if they got the shot or not. A candid shot of one of the firefighters from this house fire.
6.) And last but not least, make a checklist. Just like a pilot, if you make a list of all the items you need with you when you go out and check it the night before and again the day of the shoot or when you leave the house, you will be prepared for anything that happens and be able to just shoot away. And if God forbid a meteor falls and takes out both your cameras, just laugh at the irony and whip out that iPhone and snap away, you can still get that shot!