Tips to Prevent a Disaster Before and After a Shoot

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Many of us have either done this ourselves or have a friend that has done it. Getting out to shoot only to find out that you don’t have a memory card or battery.


When it comes to digital cameras there four things you can’t do without :

  • Camera
  • Lens
  • Memory Card and
  • Camera Battery

Yet we forget some of these things, especially memory card and Camera battery. This will cause inconvenience or a disaster on that day.

The truth is reliability is an attribute of a good photographer. Great photos are created by being able to take photos in the right place at the right time.

Here are tips to help you prevent this dreaded disaster :

1. Always Keep an Extra Memory Card Somewhere

Guys have their wallets with them, so keeping a memory card in your wallet could save the day. If someone else forgets their memory card, you’ll be their hero when you whip one out of your wallet.

If you don’t carry a wallet at least leave one in your car, purse, or camera bag. It doesn’t take much to forget a card or drop it and lose it. Another possibility is to use a phone case with a credit card slot and keep a memory card or two in there. In these century people don’t forget their phones.

2. Never Close the Card Door When the Card Is Out

This tip may not be practical depending on your camera, your camera bag, or where you store or leave your camera, but never close your card door when your memory cards isn’t in the camera.

When copying pictures from your card, leave it open. Once you are done, immediately put the card back in the camera, even before editing and close.

Another thing you can do is have a second card that you can immediately put in the camera.

If your camera has two card slots, make it a rule never to have your camera without at least a memory card, if you will have to copy from both cards make sure it’s one at a time, returning each card immediately you are done copying.

3. Never Close the Battery Door When the Battery Is Out

This tip may also not be practical depending on your camera, but never close the battery door unless there’s a battery in the camera. This hint you whenever you pick up your camera that there’s no battery in it.

If you don’t do this, another option is to have a second battery that you can immediately put in the camera while the other is charging.



The ideal situation is to have several batteries, enough to cover 3 sessions worth. That way if you forget to charge the batteries from the first session you’ll have enough batteries for the next shoot (second session) with plenty to spare if that shoot goes long (third session).

4. Always Take an Extra Card and Battery

Some photographers sometimes don’t want to haul their camera bag everywhere they go. If you don’t take your camera bag along with you, at least take an extra memory card and battery (or two) with you. Always. It’s so easy to toss them in your pocket, it’s not worth it to risk being without them.

Having that extra battery and memory card can be a lifesaver.

5. Pick Extra Batteries for Your Speedlight

When you go on a shoot and you will be making use of your speedlight, make sure you take extra batteries a long with. No one knows the shoot might extend for a period you never imagined and the batteries in use runs down. The extra batteries will be a life saver.

6. Always Offload Your Photos or Switch Cards When You Get Home

The truth is one is always tired getting home after a shoot. But it will be of help to make it a thing to always copy your pictures from your card to your computer immediately you get home, office or studio.

Also, you can use a sticky note placed on the card to remind you of what needs to be done.

In Summary

Whether it’s ruining a client shoot, a vacation, or simply a day out with friends, forgetting your memory card or battery can be anything from a simple downer to a complete disaster. Taking a few precautionary steps will help prevent this and ensure you have everything you need to take those great photos.

One of the things that will greatly help you to not forget these things is to figure out your method of card and battery management and be consistent with that method and make it a routine.

What things do you do to prevent such a disaster?

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