A Documentary Photographer's Pre-Wedding Preparations
These are the items that I tick off ahead of a wedding assignment
- crowd rank
Tape lens hoods to lenses
Canon lens hoods are awful. They're always falling off. To prevent this, I use black tape to secure them in place.
Clean lenses front and rear and check autofocus is working
Lenses get dirty during use. Before each shoot, I like to make sure the front and rear elements are working. I also check the autofocus. Lenses do break and the time to find out is before a shoot, rather than during.
Format memory cards
I use the following:
1 x 16MB Sandisk Extreme III CF
2 x 4MB Sandisk Extreme IV CF
4 x 2MB Sandisk Extreme III CF
By far the most annoying thing concerning the use of DSLRs. Many have vibration-based self-cleaning functions these days. They only work in the minds of the camera manufacturer's marketing departments.
Camera batteries and flash batteries, plus spares.
Review of locations, timings, weather, contact details and the names of the key people on the day. I also back this information up on to my iPhone, so that I have it both in hard copy and in an electronic format with me on the day.
I usually wear a suit, so I need to make sure that it is clean and that I have a shirt ready. Sometimes, the wedding is a black tie affair, so I check with the couple before hand so that I can adapt and wear black tie too.
Compile a nutrition package
On wedding days I live on bananas and energy bars, as well as a bottle of water. I eat in between locations.
In addition, I have some throat lozenges ready in my lens bag just in case a bout of tickly coughing strikes at the wrong moment
Check the car
Specifically, do I have enough petrol for the day?
Pack my bags
During a wedding assignment, I use a Shootsac. It is discrete and holds everything I need, including spare batteries, lozenges and cleaning cloths.