Checklist Part 1: Basic Shoots

I still get nervous before every single shoot.

I used to freak out that I was so unprepared and that my couples would know I was a fraud.

Then, I started making checklists that I could go through the day before a shoot to make sure I was well prepared and ready to take on the next challenge, that way I could turn it into an adventure.


Checklists have helped me make sure I don’t show up unprepared by accidentally forgetting something. They give me peace of mind that my backpack is packed and ready to go.

It can be totally frustrating some times to run a business all by yourself because you don’t have anyone there reminding you about things or backing you up in case you forget.

You are IT! and because of that, you are a BAD ASS!

Here is the list I go through before a basic shoot which is anything from a portrait session to a couples shoot, engagements, family, etc.

Check back next week for Part 2-My Wedding Checklist. 

Customer Service Checklist

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Client Questionnaire– Whenever I book a session, I immediately send out a client questionnaire. (Blog Coming Soon!!!) That way, I can get to know my clients a little more before hand. Chances are that I have never met them in real life before. I use these little surveys to break the ice when I first meet them, before their shoot so they feel comfortable opening up and sharing more with me.

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Confirm the location and time- I do this a couple days in advance to make sure everything is on track and to make any last minute changes beforehand based on weather and circumstance. Sending a confirmation text lets them know you have not forgotten about their shoot!

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Get Inspired- I set aside an hour or two the day before a shoot to look through Pinterest and other Photogs work to get inspiration! I find this helps me keep a fresh perspective and calms me down. If it helps, I may also make a shoot list of poses and prompts I want to try out with my client/s.

Gear Checklist

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Charge Batteries

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Clear Memory Cards

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Pack Camera Backpack – ☐ Camera  ☐ Lenses  ☐ Lens Cleaner and Wipes ☐ Charged Batteries   ☐ Memory Cards  ☐ Flash  ☐ Snacks  ☐ Client Gift

Day of Checklist

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Say Hi to your peeps and confirm again!

Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 12.1Location Scout- I personally set aside 1-2 hours to scout the chosen location beforehand

I hope this helps all of you prepare and calm your nerves before a shoot day! Remember, you’ve got this!


Here are some other helpful blogs with shoot prep tips to check out:

Expert Photography

Digital Photography School

Comment your favorite prep tricks below!