being spontaneous in photography
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Be prepared to be spontaneous

Are you ready to go at any moment? Whether it’s a photoshoot or an epic trip that somehow falls in your lap, can you honestly say you’d be able to just pick up and go?

Being ready can mean many things.


If it’s a photoshoot here is a list of things that can always be ready so you’re able to be spontaneous.

  • Charged batteries: Always make sure your batteries are charged and ready to go.
  • Memory cards in your camera bag: If you’re like me there seems to be a memory card hanging out in my card reader on my desk many times. Get out of that habit. Download, put it back in your camera or bag, format and be ready.
  • Camera and lenses cleaned: It’s a good habit to get into cleaning your gear when you are back from a shoot so you know it’s ready for the next one.
  • Camera bag packed: Always put everything back in its place and back in your bag so you can grab and go if you need to.


If an epic trip somehow magically appears in your life, you can be ready to go and make it easier to say yes with a few of these things in place. Besides the list above to make sure your gear is ready, these are a few other items to have prepared.

  • Up-to-date passport
  • Medical information handy
  • Have one location to share itineraries, flight information and any other pertinent information with loved ones — Google Drive, Dropbox or any service that allows for quick sharing and access.
  • Act on plans or ideas such as gear rental right away. It is quite possible if you act immediately.
  • Keep travel bags stocked so you don’t have to run out to buy anything before you go.
  • Try to keep prescriptions filled as much as possible
  • Make sure you have space your external travel hard drive for new images
  • Keep electrical plugs on hand that work for wherever you’re going.

suitcase contents

General things to help be spontaneous

  • Be organized. Keep all of your gear in one place so you know where everything is and won’t have to hunt for things when you’re in a hurry.
  • Take inventory of both your camera and travel gear. Fix anything that needs to be repaired or replace anything that is broken.
  • Regularly back up your files, laptop, desktop, external hard drives — all of it.
  • Keep a list of phone numbers so you know who to call if you need to. Travel agents, airlines, tour companies, insurance, doctors and anyone who you may need to notify if you’re traveling at short notice.
  • Make sure you have space on your laptop so if you take it on your travels it has room to import and edit images on the road.
  • Update your phone/iPad/tablet apps and check to see you have what you need for traveling
  • Check your credit card balances, are you prepared to charge something in case of an emergency?

This is a pretty general list but even this small amount of organization and being prepared can help you not panic if you need to fill in for someone on a photoshoot at the last minute or have the opportunity to hop on a plane with only a few days notice.

Do you have any tips or tricks to add to this? Let us know in the comments.

Cover photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

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