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From having an established shot list to packing a second tripod, there are many different things needed to run a photoshoot. 

As no two photoshoots are the same, the list of things you’ll need will vary drastically dependent on the shoot. However, there are some essential features that every photographer will need to run a successful photoshoot, according to leading photographer Alex James London.

photoshootSome of the main things that will almost always be required for a photoshoot are as follows:

  • Functioning gear
  • Backup gear
  • Shot list

There are many different features included in the above three categories, functioning gear coming with a sizable list of different pieces of equipment. By ensuring these three major components are packed and brought along to the shoot, you can help to ensure that the shoot is run successfully.

Functioning gear

Again, this will be entirely dependent on the type of photography equipment used in the shoot and that of which is specific to the nature of the shoot. However, aside from the actual camera, some of the main pieces of equipment most photographers will always need for a shoot include the following:

  • Memory cards – memory cards are essential to have stored, as they hold all the work for the day of the shoot. Ensuring that you have a good and reliable memory card is a vital part for any successful shoot.
  • Lens cloth – having a clean, dry lens cloth is also a vital part of a photographer’s gear, as it helps to make pictures clear and clean from any dirt or dust particles that might stick to the lens during a shoot.
  • Flash units – flash may make up a part (or maybe all) of a photographer’s shots within the shoot. Ensuring that you have a fully charged, working flash can help to ensure that a photographer takes all of the photos that they have planned for the shoot.
  • Tripod – bringing a tripod to stabilise the camera is another essential part of equipment all photographers should have with them when coming to a shoot. Whilst not always used (dependent upon the nature of the shoot) it is always worth having just in case it is required.
  • All necessary wires and cables – these include any and all wires and cables connecting to the photographer’s computer, the lights and the camera. Having all of the correct wires packed is absolutely necessary for any shoot, making sure all of the equipment is connected and working effectively.
  • Extension cords – coming off from all of the necessary wires and cables, in order to be more adaptable with certain shoots, extension cords are crucial to make sure that wherever you are on the shoot, you have access to power whilst still having all of the equipment connected correctly.

Backup gear

As well as bringing all the correct functioning gear, equipment can break. It is therefore important to have a list of backup gear to be properly prepared in the event of something going wrong. Bringing backup gear such as new batteries to replace flash units, back-up lenses, spare memory cards, and even a spare tripod, can help to keep a photographer properly prepared for the shoot.

Shot list

Before arriving at a shoot, it can be incredibly useful for photographers to have a pre-set shot list of all the shots they are wanting to take. The shot list will be entirely dependent on the shoot, and will probably be influenced by the client. It’s important to tailor a shot list to the client, what they have stated they want in the shots, and how they want these to look.

For more, read our guide on why photography is a lucrative business.