"Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance"
My dad used to say this to me all the time when I was growing up. Boy was that annoying. Of course, I found out later that he was absolutely correct. Don't tell him that, I'll never hear the end of it.
I've felt pretty frazzled lately. It seems like everything I do ends up scheduled at the very last minute and I'm grabbing stuff as I run out the door. That's no way to prepare for a photo shoot, now is it?
A couple months back I completely forgot about the photowalk I had planned for the Heart Of Texas Photographic Society at Baylor University. I grabbed my camera bag and was out the door in a few minutes, arriving just a little late.
When I looked into my bag, I found that I had left my 70-200mm lens at home. That wasn't a big deal, I was planning on shooting the architecture anyway. When I looked at my camera to set up my 24-70mm I discovered that it actually said 90mm macro. I firmly believe that a competent and reasonably talented photographer can make good photos regardless of what tools he has. Now was the time to put this to the test. I was off to shoot macro images of architecture.
After chit-chatting with the rest of the group for a few minutes, we were off. I found a pretty good brick texture that I wanted to shoot and fired off a couple frames. When I looked at the camera after, my battery level indicator was low. Again, not a big problem because I always carry a fully charged spare. Where was that spare that night? At home being charged. I managed to only make 4 compositions that night, before my battery ran out. Two of then are displayed here.
A couple weeks prior I was on vacation with my family and had a great time making photos with my iPhone instead of lugging my D700 and kit around. This would have been another perfect opportunity to do the same. By this time, though, my phone was locked in my car about a mile away.
I spent the rest of the evening laughing with the others about the confluence of errors that led to my failure on this photowalk.
I did learn realize a couple things, though. First, I would never have been this ill-prepared for a client shoot. I know it's easy to say, but I do stress about contract shoots for a couple days beforehand, so there is plenty of opportunity for me to prepare; and I make the most of it. Second, I made a promise to myself to take more time getting ready for photowalks or personal shoots. I've had varying degrees of success, but I will always remember how everything I did came together to disrupt my shooting.
Right now I just have a mental checklist I go through before I leave, but I am thinking about writing it down and laminating it so I can refer back to it each time I'm packing to go. That will be a great resource provided I don't lose it.