Well, it’s not as easy as tossing everything I own into any old bag and running, trust me.
I start with all my equipment and all my potential bags. After sorting through the details of the specific day, weather, and venue, I then decide how to divide it all up so I have what I need, when I need it – without breaking my back carrying it all.
So first it’s necessary to identify what I’ll need immediately – that goes into the bag I grab as soon as I get there. Will I be doing getting ready photos? Details like the dress? Will there be group photos before the ceremony? A first look with dad, or the groom? Or will the bride already be ready to go straight down the aisle because it’s a shorter wedding package?
And then to make sure my second shooter’s bag has what they need. Identifying the lenses we’ll use, making sure memory cards and extra batteries are in a convenient place. And where does the light go? When and how much will be need? Will we need stands and modifiers?
Well, I spend most of the day before a wedding just putting the bags together. Every wedding is different, and so I make sure I’m ready to start as soon as I arrive. Of course, in the weeks before I’ve ordered any rental equipment, replenished any memory cards or batteries with new orders, and checked the weather…repeatedly for the day.
I clean and check all the cameras and lenses, and charge all batteries so everything is fresh and ready to go. And then I pack the bags.
I have a “go bag” for me, the second shooter does too, and we have shared bags – one for big light(s), and one for all the other items we’ll need during the day, but not all day. Extra-extra batteries, memory card folder for used cards to be catalogued and ready to download, extra camera bodies, extra lenses we MIGHT need…white balance cards, over the door dress holders, small LED light, string and other items we might use for detail photos, tape, pens, advil,and more. We also take a couple light stands, and small light modifiers that we can carry and use quickly.
And all of it has to go in bags built tough – because we never know if it will be sunny, cold, or muddy. And the bags go all over. I use Think Tank bags, Tenba bags, and LowePro bags primarily. I never want to fumble with a zipper and I want the equipment well protected no matter what.
Do I take everything? No, not at all. But I come prepared for whatever your day might bring.
Tomorrow is Brooke and Shawn’s day. And I’m excited to say fall arrived just in time for their country wedding at East Lynn Farm in Bluemont – so we are prepared for temperature changes, a little bit of rain in the morning, and a site that has us moving around a bit so the equipment has to be really portable and easy to carry.
How will I prepare for your day?