THE MOST PREPARED CAMERA MOM IN TOWN: YOU!
One thing about being a mom is that you generally have many things on your mind at any given moment. What you need at the store for dinner tonight, where your son’s cleats are (under the trampoline) that we won’t be able to find for practice tonight, your daughter’s homework that she left on the kitchen table this morning that you have to run by school, etc.…you know what I mean! You have to be prepared and you have to be flexible in your day as the little out of the ordinary things pop up.
Being ‘camera ready’ is very important too. You have to be prepared for that next ‘favorite photo’ that you are about to take. What exactly does that mean? It means that you have to be able to grab your camera at any give moment when ‘the spontaneous photo op moment arises’. I generally try to remember to re-set my camera settings back to normal settings after I use it. There is nothing more frustrating to me to grab my camera for a spontaneous shot only to realize that the memory card is full, I had the ISO at 3200 from the day before, or the white balance set on something other than ‘auto’. I am so disappointed when I miss the spontaneous cute moment because of my silly mistake.
So the tip is: be prepared.
Here are some things to think about.
· Keep your camera in the same place at home so you can find it easily
· Set the correct date and time on your camera (go check it now!) You will be very frustrated if you don’t so this.
· Keep the memory card empty and get a massive one (at least 4g)
· Keep a few extra empty memory cards on standby for when you fill your main card and don’t have 2 backups made yet of the images
· Keep battery fully charged (just like you keep your cell phone charged).
· Re-set your basic camera settings after you use it so you are not surprised the next time you start shooting with a low shutter speed or the wrong White Balance
· Set your quality setting to the highest setting. Don’t try to ‘save space’ on your card…who knows when you might just shoot the next cover for Parents Magazine (or National Geographic!) and they can’t print it because the resolution is too low and it ends up being the size of a credit card…too small for the cover. Resolution is important and memory is cheap – shoot large, you will be so glad that your next favorite shot will work on the 12 x 12 scrapbook page you make! It also is a bummer when you have to crop your photo and the cropped portion gets too small for a quality image. Shoot large!
· Use a card reader (very inexpensive) to do your transfers. It is much easier than connecting my camera to the computer every time I want to download images, generally it is best to not put your camera through unnecessary wear and tear (remember it is a mini computer) and it is much easier to keep the card reader connected or near by your computer than get all the cords out for your camera after every shoot.
· After you transfer your images to your computer, be sure to put your card back in your camera.
· Keep an extra memory card in your purse (for the times when you forgot to put it back in your camera after a transfer) this has ‘saved me’ more times that I would like to confess J
· Back up your images in 2 places before you clear the card and put it back in your camera. I use Memory Manger and have a virtual back up and a DVD back up. I have a lot to say about backing up your photos! (link to other post)
· Put name/address labels all over your equipment on your camera body, on each lens, on your bag…you get the idea. Put your name on everything. I use a label maker.
It will take some practice, but after a bit you will remember to do these things and you will be on your way to being the Most Prepared Camera Mom in your town!
List of other helpful items I have for my camera and my computer:
1. (2) 4 GB Memory Cards, (2) 2 GB Memory Cards, I think that smaller cards are best
2. Card Reader
3. Label Maker with silver labels, they look nice on my equipment and you will find many other things to label in your house! I like the Brother P-Touch brand.
4. External Drive for extra storage for my photos
5. Extra camera battery
6. Laptop cooling pad (mine gets so hat)
7. Blank DVDs for backup
8. DVD labeling pen to label backups
9. Flat Bed Scanner (love my HP extra long bed photo scanner)
10. Memory Manager photo organizing software
I’m sure I will think of more and will make another list, but for now these things are pretty important. Go check the date on your camera and recharge your battery for some awesome new photos! (oh, and don’t forget to charge your camera battery too!)