Equipment checklist/ cleaning lenses and cameras
Welcome to the next lesson. So let's talk about gear very quickly before we go to the wedding. Typically, what I do if I know I'm going to shoot a wedding, tomorrow is the night before or the day before I go through all of my gear. Now, the first two things are the bodies of the cameras themselves. I'll take both bodies and I will go through and make sure all my settings are ready to go. Now, I've been doing this for a while. So I've actually set user profiles on both of my camera bodies that I take for exactly what I want. That means the user uh setting will have like what I want as far as like the focus, how I want the exposure to be working, whether it's centered exposure or all encompassing exposure. I'll make sure that the iso limiter is set. Um If I want it on aperture priority or manual, and I may change those things in the field, but it's a good place to start um where I can cut to immediately if I need to get to my right settings. Um It'll also include how to save your files y...
ou know that you're using raw, not JPEG um all these separate things. And then probably the most important thing I do with my camera bodies is that I go in and make sure the clock is set on both my cameras. Exactly. Because when you import your photos, lightroom classic will organize them by when the photo is taken. And I don't want a photo to be uh put at, at the very end or be put out in the middle of something that it doesn't make sense in the story because that'll take more time later to organize. I don't wanna be presenting my photos, uh, when I give them to my client and they're all out of order. I want them to tell a story and be in order whether it's the camera on my right or the camera on my left. Now, if you're only shooting with one camera and it's a small wedding, not something you have to worry about. Um, necessarily. So OK, camera body good to go check the settings. Both cameras have them matching, have them both at the right setting as far as clock goes. And then I'm gonna go ahead and just clean it. I'm going to clean the outside. I'm just gonna make sure. And I actually use these lens wipes. These are actually little Z lens wipes, not the great for throwing trash away. You can actually get a bottle and um, of pancre or of lens cleaner and uh a microfiber cloth and I clean the outside of the bodies just to feel good about it. This is like my routine. Right. Not only that, but then I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna take each lens that I use and I'm gonna clean the front element, the back element, the front element and the back element of all my lenses. Now, I'm using three lenses usually for weddings. Right? I'm using the 24 to 70. We went over this earlier in my gear. I'm using the 85 millimeter prime and I'm using a 70 to 200 on my second body. It's actually a fixed 28 millimeter lens that I will also clean the front element. I can't get to the back because it's fixed. But if I had two bodies, I would do the same thing with two interchangeable bodies. Right? Clean all my lenses, make sure all my filters are good to go. They're screwed on tight. Everything's good to go as far as lenses go. I will look at the sensor on my bodies the day before, kind of too late to do anything about it unless you're used to cleaning your sensor. I'm not a big advocate of cleaning my own sensor. I actually take my camera bodies to my local shop and have them clean my sensor. I will have a duster and blow out some dust, the hand squeezed duster just to make sure that there's no big dust particles. I'll take a look if there's something extreme, I can do something about it. But it would be a good idea. Maybe the week before or a couple weeks before, um, to clean your sensors. If you have the time and the ability to do it or if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can do that too. But that's a little bit more advanced. All right. So, we've cleaned the bodies, we've cleaned the lenses. We've made sure our filters are on. Now. The last thing is to go charge your batteries. Right. Spend the day before making sure that all your batteries are charged. I actually label my batteries. Um, my particular camera body goes through batteries quite quickly. So I will go and charge all the batteries. That's a very big thing to do. And I will go through all my SD cards and make sure that there's nothing on them specifically. And I will actually load the first set of SD cards into my camera and I will format them that way. I know when I get to the wedding tomorrow, I can just go, I don't have to think about anything. I was like, did I download these? Did I not download these? Are my batteries charged or are they not charged? I wanna be able to show up to the wedding and just be ready to go with the camera body and my 24 to 70 or whatever lens you're gonna start with. So that's something that's very important. Once I have all that done. Right. We've cleaned the bodies, we've cleaned the lenses. We've done all the settings in the camera. We're charged our batteries, we've checked on our SD cards and we're good to go. I put everything into my camera bag and I go down my list and I make sure that every single thing is there you don't wanna show up to set with, um, or the wedding with missing something. Right. That'd be awful. Um, especially because once you get there, it's time to go, like you're not gonna have time to necessarily run home, get what we need to get and come back. Um, I also like to do all this the night before so that I can sleep well, knowing that everything's together, if, for some crazy reason, I'm running late to a wedding the next morning or I've had a busy morning or something happens or there's a car issue or any maraud of issues. I have done everything and it's ready to go the night before and the gear is the last thing you have to think about. I'm a big believer. That gear should not get in the way, especially its functionality. It should all be ready to go. You wake up and things are good to go and that is really something I believe in night before prep camera prep very important. So we put everything into our bag. We've done our checklist. You know, it's something I forgot the flash. So go look at your flash, your lighting stuff. Pieces are there, put it on your camera and test it if you want. Just to make sure it works. Dial in the settings, charge your batteries for the flash if you want, make sure you have a spare set of batteries. If that's the type of flash you use. I always have a spare set of purchased, um double A's for my flash that I just keep in my backpack at all times. Even though I use rechargeable batteries for the flash itself. If for some reason, those fail or I'm using the flash more than I thought I would be, I'll have a backup. So again, backups are always really good to have. Um ok, we've packed our bag, we've got the flash, we've got uh our, our harnesses for our cameras, our straps, we've cleaned everything. We're good to go. You can breathe and usually I will go over all the schedule for the next day just in my mind. And if you want to be extra extra about this stuff, you should print out both the schedule or have it accessible on your phone, so you can get to it tomorrow and think about printing out your contract or having your contract accessible on your phone. If for some reason you need it quickly on the day tomorrow. Um I also sometimes will screenshot the schedule and I'll make it the lock screen on my phone so I can look at it quickly and see the schedule without having to dive into the phone or be on your phone much because you don't want to miss photos, right? You don't wanna be distracted by your phone looking for the schedule for the day. So that's something to do. Also make sure that all the phone numbers you need are accessible, you know how to get to them. You have the address for where you're going. Sometimes I'll even go all the way into like putting it into my maps on my phone so that I know how long it's gonna take to get there tomorrow. Um I will plan on getting there at least minutes early so I can make sure parking is good. Um I will make sure that I have water bottles or I have my protein bars or granola bars or whatever I need in my backpack. Just everything right the day before prep everything like you're gonna walk out the door that night so that the next day everything will feel good. So go down that checklist, make sure everything's good to go clean, everything, make sure all the spots are good, everything's working. Um And it's just gonna make the morning of your wedding goes that much more smoothly and it's a precaution in case something thing happens like there's a, a bump in the road or um, you're running late. It's all very good things to do. So let's do that. And now let's get on to the next lesson which is talking about being a second shooter or if you need a second photographer.