Photographers, Like Boy Scouts, Need To Be Prepared

As a former Boy Scout, one of the lessons I have taken to heart is the Scout motto – “Be Prepared.” Visual Journalists – video and photo have to haul a lot of gear to a lot of places. And what you never want to do is go back or worse be too far to go back for something you are missing. One of the best habits you can learn as a VJ is to check your gear.

As a teacher and journalist for about 20 years now, I understand and try to always prepare as much as I can before hand. When you are going on a shoot – make a list. Even if you only need 3-4 things, make a list. Check it off as you pack your bag.

If it is a major shoot, where you will need extra equipment that you don’t normally take every day – you really need to make a list. Then you need to make a list of your baggage. How many bags, boxes or containers will you need to haul the gear.

How will you get the gear from point A to point B? How much crew will be required to set up? Do you need electric? If so, you need to make sure it is available. Bring extra cables, power strips, etc.

Some of my students recently put on a rock show at the school, but forgot mic stands. They brought thousands of dollars of speakers, mixers, cables, instruments, etc. But the concert was nearly foiled because they didn’t have mic stands.

You can never be too prepared, but you can be too unprepared.