Being Prepared to Shoot

Want to take more photos? Some really simple preparation is all you really need. Here’s what you can do, and it will only take about 5 minutes!

You always have to be prepared if you want to capture a good photo. I’ve said before that you need a camera with you if you want to take a photo (duh), but I can’t stress enough the preparation that should go into getting a shot. And, it’s not elaborate or difficult!

Preparation for taking more photos starts very simply:

  1. Keep your batteries charged. If they sit in your camera in the closet for any amount of time, they’re going to drain. Charge them up from time to time. It will force you to get your camera out more. Two benefits in one, and simple to do!
  2. Prepare a little “go” bag. I have a clear plastic, sandwich-sized Ziploc® bag that I keep a few spare batteries (fully-charged), a cleaning cloth, and a couple of empty SD cards in. This way I can grab this little baggie, and my camera and go. I stuff this little bag into my front pocket so it is there when I need it, and then it frees up my mind to know that I can shoot a lot and not have to worry about running out of batteries or memory. As a result, I take more photos! (That’s a big benefit, by the way.)
  3. Get a mobile charger. They’re cheap and readily available. I wrote about this before. I often have to drive to where I’m going (including taking a flight and getting immediately into a rental car and driving), and having the ability to charge my camera battery from the car is an invaluable thing. It takes my mind off of having to conserve battery power until I can get to an electrical outlet, and as a result I take more photos.
  4. Have your camera with you. This is kind of a no-brain type of tip, but necessary. I wrote about this one before also. You’re not going to be able to take a photo unless you have your camera with you. Most likely, you’re worrying about charging it or having enough memory, or something silly like that. Do the stuff above and you’ll quit worrying about these things. Just put it in your pocket or hide it in your car will you please?

Then here are some other things that can help:

  1. Get a battery grip. These things are fairly inexpensive and take the place of your single battery, replacing it with up to 3 batteries in parallel for about 3 times the battery life. The grip fits onto the bottom of your DSLR and makes your camera heavier, but extends the shooting time a lot. Essential if you are shooting time lapse also. You will probably experiment more with time lapse photography if you have one, and you’ll definitely get out and shoot more, period. So get one.
  2. Organize your camera bag. By keeping your main camera bag organized, you’re more likely to get into it to grab your camera. It’s true for me anyway. I’m not sure why this is, but I think we all avoid disorder to some extent and don’t like to have to hunt for things. If it is too difficult to grab your camera and go, then you’re probably not going to do it, and you’re definitely going to miss out on some shooting opportunities. So don’t make it hard to grab your camera and go. You don’t have to be super organized, just enough that you feel like finding your camera (and “go” bag) and getting out. (You’ll know what level of organization that is for you.)
  3. Scout out some shots and visualize. I wrote about this one before. Think about where you want to go and what you want to shoot, and you’ll schedule time to do it. Make the thought of shooting a great shot, by visualizing it ahead of time, draw you into the action of grabbing your camera and going!

Not too difficult, right? None of it is.

Did you see how many items relate to the way you think and how simple actions will lead you into taking more photos? Look at the underlined items above if you missed them.

I’ve found that you’ve got to make it easy on yourself in order to take photos or else you’re just not going to do it. These are simple things. Just do them and you’ll thank yourself later!