6 Simple Steps How Not To Trash Your Treasured Photos - Part 1
Whenever you are taking photos at an important event, you need to be sure that you plan ahead so you do not run the risk of losing your pictures. In this article, I cover some of the ways that photographers do lose photos due mainly to a lack of planning ahead.
Copyright (c) 2008 Tom Jackson
Part two of this article will follow and will contain steps 4-6.
Take time to prepare your camera for an important event, such as a wedding, or you may end up without any photos of the occasion. I have seen it happen all too often, even with professional photographers, who fail to take some important basic precautions to ensure a successful shoot. I know many professional photographers who began their careers photographing weddings. It is probably the easiest of all photography areas to get into.
A most important thing to do, does not even involve equipment. Time. If you are going to photograph an important event, you need to be sure that you allocate enough time to make sure that you have everything planned ahead. And that often means starting the process a day or two beforehand. Doing this, will make for a much more relaxed process as you take photos on the day, and a more relaxed attitude will usually mean more creativity and better photos.
Are you used to taking photos with a traditional camera and film? It can be very surprising to you when you realize how easily you can lose a whole memory card full of images due to a simple error. In the old days of film cameras, if the camera battery died while taking a photo, it may have only affected that one image, not all the others on the roll. The only problem that might occur, is that you lose that one shot. You just rewind the film, and you are good to go. Digital is wonderful. But like anything, if you are not careful, it will come back and bite you.
Do I really need to plan? Yes! Lets take a deeper look to see how easy it really is to lose all your photos. Each of the points I cover here carry the same weight as the other. In other words, do all of the following to make sure that you have a successful day, taking wonderful photos for you and the subjects.
1. Be sure all your batteries are fully charged. If you camera does not use standard batteries like AA or AAA then you need to make sure the battery is fully charged because you will not be able to buy and then charge a new battery any time soon. If you will be taking a lot of photos on the day, then it would be wise to make sure that you have a fully charged back up battery available. A lot of the smaller compact cameras, and even the larger DSLRs, often take special built batteries. They can be quite expensive, but if you think you might be taking a large number of photos, then it will be to your benefit to purchase an extra battery. It will always come in handy in the future, so it will never be a waste of your money.
2. You need to have several memory cards with you to make sure you can cover all the photos people request during an event. Many smaller compact digital cameras can only take smaller capacity memory cards. So, if you are planning on taking photos for a special days event, then it would be wise to make sure that you have at least one or two spare memory cards. Also, be aware, that if your camera can take the larger capacity memory cards, and you think you can take all the photos on just one large card, you also need to consider that if you have problems with that card, you will lose all the images from the day. A good photographer will always have a back up for everything, a spare camera body, spare lenses, a spare flash and of course, several spare memory cards which you can use during the day, shooting some images on each card so you can never lose all images from an event shot on the one card. Some of the larger capacity cards available these days, can store hundreds and even thousands of images before you need to change to a new card. I can only imagine the pain of losing a card with hundreds of irreplaceable images.
3. Before starting the days event, make sure that you format the memory cards and get them prepared before you use them. Be sure to format the card in the camera you will be using for the days event. Industry experts all agree that the best way to format and prepare a memory card, is to do it in the camera you will be using. Do not format the card using your computer. By using the camera, it ensures that you have maximum compatibility. And if there is going to be a problem with the card, this is most often the time where the problem will show up. If the card does not format properly in the camera, then do not use that card during the event, but try and rectify the problem when you return home. If a card exhibits any sign of a problem, do not use it and do not spend time trying to fix it in the field, just use your back up card. It is just not worth the effort. You can try all kinds of things once you get home and have the time to spend and diagnose the problem.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Like many professionals, Tom Jackson began his career by shooting weddings. Tom has been a consultant to the graphic design, advertising and publishing industries, teaching digital technology. You can get more info on photography and see examples of his work here; For free tips visit Toms blog.