Preparing For A Wedding

Today I’m getting ready to shoot a wedding. I was supposed to shoot this wedding on Dec. 19th but the snow had other ideas. If  you’ve ever wondered what a photographer does to get ready for a wedding, well, read on your about to find out!

First, on Friday I start deleting all my memory cards of the last event I shot so I don’t accidentally start putting images on a card that is already almost full. I wait til friday to do it because it give me time to edit the previous weeks wedding and get it backed up. I always like to have at least two copies of a wedding at all times in case something fails.  I have five 1 and 2 gig cards. Why not just put everything on one 8 or 16 gig card you ask? Well, because if that card fails then I would lose everything! By splitting it up I would only lose a part of a wedding which is better than the whole thing. None of my cards have failed yet but I know it’s just a matter of time, it’s going to happen and I’m going to cry.

Next I start charging a mass amount of double A batteries, about 16 of them I think. My flashes, 580ex II’s use double As and so do my pocket wizards. I also use a cheap $30 slave flash that is small and easy to carry for special effects lighting and at receptions for fill (to bad I left it at the last wedding I shot, now D&M DJ service has it, thank goodness their going to give it back at the bridal show, such wonderful people.)

Then I start charging my camera batteries, four of them, two for each camera body. One batter will get me through the whole day but I like to have an extra one for each camera just in case. I also start charging my three turbo batteries for my Qflash. I used to make it through a wedding with one turbo battery but now it takes at least two so I bring three just in case.

While all that is charging, I start cleaning all my lenses and camera bodies. I use a rocket air kit and love it. I clean the lenses before every wedding because I’m around a lot of hairspray, perfume, etc. Who knows what all gets on my lenses, and sometimes even curious, unattended children get interested in my equipment when I’m not looking ( and knock my 50mm off the stage to watch it roll, LOL, kids.) I also clean the sensor of my camera so there are no dust spots in my skies, although it doesn’t always work and I still have to edit them out. At some point I need to get them professionally cleaned by Canon. Or I may just go ahead and buy the 5D Mark II :).

Once everything is cleaned and charged I make sure everything is working. I guess I’m a little paranoid but I here all kinds of stories from other photographers about their equipment failures. Nothing serious has ever happened to me yet, knock on wood, and I do my best to keep it that way.

In my trunk I keep my old lenses in case one of my new ones get damaged or stolen and I need a back up. I also keep my old photogenic strobes in my trunk in case my flashes disappear or get broke.

I also keep an emergency road kit, a portable car battery jumper (which I did have to use on a limo one day) a white sheet, a cell phone, cash, and a credit card if something  I can’t imagine happens.

I also take a tripod (which I use a lot and am so surprised that other photographers I know hate them and never use them) I also have a monopod, a stepping stool (because I’m vertically challenged), and a light stand for my 580EX II (I use it as an off camera strobe mostly with the pocket wizards).

It sounds like a lot and it is. Most of it fits into my Canon backpack and some how I’m able to carry all this stuff into the church and reception in one trip. Although, if some one offers their help I WILL take it no questions asked.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but since my husband and son will be getting up soon, I need to start thinking about breakfast. Yes, even on a day I’m shooting a wedding they still want breakfast. Sometimes my hubby will cook, and sometimes I just make cereal.  I do eat a big protein and potassium filled meal just before I leave so I don’t get hungry during the day until the reception. Most of the time it works great. I just get really thirsty by the time I get to the reception unless there are water fountains at the church.

Time for me to start getting ready!!!

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