Before I head out the door for a session or pick up my camera to snap some pictures of the kids, I go through a mental checklist. There are certain things that I do almost every single time that helps my photography.

Before You Click: Prepping Your Gear

before-you-click- prepping your gear

Week 42: October 12-18

1. Clean Your Sensor. I never used to do this until I started noticing specks of dust on my camera. Most dSLRs have an in-camera cleaning system that you should run every so often. Consult your manual if you don’t know how. If you need a deeper cleaning, I suggest taking your camera to your local camera shop. You can clean your sensor yourself but that makes me extremely nervous and I’d rather have a pro do it!

2. Format Your Card. There are many times that I find myself doing this right as I am ready to walk out the door. I always like to have a clean card because you just never know how many frames you are going to snap! If you remove your images from your card after every session,  this will ensure you don’t lose your pictures. SD cards are sensitive and you never know when one will go corrupt! Also, always format your card in the camera. Even if you delete your images manually in the camera or on your computer, you don’t get rid of it completely! Your card, over time, will have parts of the files taking up space.

3. Charge your battery. This one is a no brainer, but again, something I find myself forgetting to do at times. Because I tend to forget to charge my battery, I like to keep a charged back-up as well.

4. Clean your lenses and filters. Lenses can collect a lot of dirt and so can the filters that you use to protect them. Dirt and dust can even get stuck in between. Check both for fingerprints and smudges. These can cause flare in your pictures and affect the overall sharpness of your photo. Always use a lens cleaning cloth!

 5. Check your settings. After doing the above, I check my settings before I take my first picture. I check my white balance, exposure composition, and my aperture. I could go from shooting a newborn session indoors one day to capturing a family’s memories in an open field the next. My lighting and surroundings are constantly changing. It’s easy to forget what you have your settings set to and just start shooting. Taking this small extra step saves me time when it comes to post-processing.

This week your challenge is to take a few minutes and make sure your camera is prepped before you start snapping! Share your favorite photos of the week {everything and anything, you have free reign!} on our Facebook page.