Being a photographer often means wearing many different hats. Juggling business, finance, marketing, travel, appointments on top of just having to do the actual photoshoots. I don’t think it makes much difference if you are a wedding or a food photographer — there is still so much to keep track of.

Being more often than not the only person in your outfit means you have to keep track of everything. There are dozens of apps, diaries and digital (or analog) calendars and such. But what about your ideas?

The journal

I have several different journals on the go, both physical and digital. I have notes and scribbled drawings in a physical notebook I carry around. It often refers to a mood board on Pinterest or a folder on my PC marked inspiration. Whether it is for a conceptual themed shoot, still life or a food shoot, I have ideas for lighting, styling, colors and mood. Props I need to find or already have. Or in the case of third-party made props, who is making or bringing them.

When I have ideas I can scribble them down, even if I don’t get to shoot them for months or even years. I leave them on their own blank page, which gets updated from time to time. I have a planner that seems to go everywhere, which has a calendar, to-do lists, notes and even inspirational cards, grab it the same as my phone, keys and sunnies … never leave home without them.

To-do lists

I would be completely lost without my to-do lists — I have a weekly list and then also have my ‘work’ day list. Try to have one day a week which is a workday, it stops things from getting confusing.

One day I may have to shop for a food workshop or shoot. Other days I may have some business items that need attention, insurance, tax, accountants, etc. I try to put the marketing, business and errand days on separate days. But I find I still need a to-do list, without I am deemed to forget something that will cause a holdup.

Photographic bucket list

Do you have one? I do and it is continually growing. There are so many amazing places to visit in Australia and overseas. I am often astounded at the beauty before us! Sadly there are so many tourists in so many places that they are not what they once were, but that is another story.

Still, I have a list of places I wish to visit. When I do visit a new location I usually go armed with a bucket list of places I want to see and things I would love to capture. I have been known to spend an entire holiday chasing dream locations and photo opportunities, but then I am lucky my Hubby is a super keen photographer, too.

Looking to be inspired

Whenever I need a spark of inspiration I can flip through my notepad and see if anything jumps out at me. Alternately, sometimes I grab a coffee and sit somewhere and just think up ideas, sometimes outlandish, sometimes not. I can then flesh them out in time.

I cannot tell you the number of times those little notebooks have saved my sanity. Especially when my creative team says “Let’s create … something,” I can dive into my bag of tricks and say “What about … A, B or C.” I am actually in the middle of putting together a shoot that was first thought about and inspired two years ago. Things have only just now started aligning for this to happen.

Whatever works

I guess it really doesn’t matter if it’s an old school pen and paper or new-age tech and apps. These days we all need a little bit of a hand, a virtual assistant. Trying to juggle everything and remember all the fine details without putting it down somewhere, makes us open to forgetting something. That something you be your next big paying client. Ouch.