Critique Me – Renee at Renee Wright Photography

Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thank you to Renee at Renee Wright Photography for submitting the following image.
Settings: ISO 100 | SS 1/320 | f/1.8
Renee Wright Photography

What to Pack for a Photo Shoot

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch
From what to wear to what to pack in your camera bag, fully preparing for a photo session is really important. When I was a brand new photographer, packing my camera bag for a photo session was always an anxious process. I wanted to pack everything I owned and was always double or triple checking that everything was packed in its place. I didn’t want to forget anything and overpacking was always easier than not having enough gear. But one year and many photo sessions later, packing my bag is much more simple. I know exactly what I need to put in my camera bag. More importantly, I know exactly what I am going to use during my session versus what stays unused in my bag.

What to pack for a photo session via Click it Up a Notch

Today I am going to share what is in my camera bag. I might even share a secret or two that will help you when interacting with your clients from the moment you meet them to the moment you say goodbye. Since it’s fall, go pour something warm in your cup and grab a pencil and paper. Hopefully I will share something helpful and give you an idea or two.  Let’s start with what is in my bag.

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch
**You can find the camera strap here**

1. My camera + lenses
I know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking I am crazy for even reminding you to pack your camera and lenses. But bringing the appropriate lenses to a photo session is so important. Not all lenses are created equal. This is where I tend to overpack sometimes. But, if I am being honest, I allow myself to overpack lenses because there is nothing worse than wishing you had a certain lens that would make your shot look that much better. So what are my go-to lenses?

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 
I am just going to be completely truthful and admit that this lens usually stays on my camera throughout the entire session. The low aperture of this lens helps me to achieve a bokeh that I swoon over. More importantly, I find that it works for all types of photography sessions that I provide by simply adjusting the f stop.

Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 
I always tuck this lens in my bag for “just in case moments.”  Remember when I mentioned that I allow myself to overpack lenses?  Well, this is one of those times.  We all need a little peace of mind when we head to a session, right!?  Having a backup lens in my camera bag simply makes me relax.  This lens is also the only lens in my bag that has zooming capability, so I love carrying it just in case I need a zoom option.

Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35 
It has to be said that this lens requires a little practice!  Well, actually, a lot of practice!  It’s a tricky one but, once you figure it out, the Sweet 35 can help to create very dreamy photographs.  I like to include this in my bag and bring it out when I am photographing adults, products, or landscapes.  In other words, I only use this lens on stationary objects.  On subjects that stay still long enough for me to nail my focus and *{click}!  Someday I will be brave enough to put it on my camera during a child session.  But, for now, those little ones are just too quick for me and this lens!

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

2. Lens pen
Even though I clean my gear and lenses the night before each session, I always pack my lens pen for little touch ups throughout the session. But here is where I have a little secret. I love to invite my younger clients to help touch up my lenses before I start the session. {Of course, I hold my camera, supervise them, and kindly remind them to be very gentle.} They always get such a kick out of it! I teach them how to use the little brush to wipe away any dust they may see and tell them that it is their job throughout the entire session to make sure my lens is clean.  I call them my little assistant and their smiles just beam!

This really helps when they look away from the camera because I can quickly say, “Hey kiddo, is my lens still clean!? You are my special assistant!” Then they look into the camera and *{click}, I got the shot! It makes the little kids feel important to have such a special job! Plus, it is much smaller and easier to bring than stuffed animals or toys.  And I need it anyways, just in case I need to touch up my lens!

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

3. Contract clipboard
While I do email my contract to clients for them to sign and bring to their session, I always carry a copy with me just in case they don’t bring theirs. Let’s be honest here, sometimes getting all the kids dressed and in a good mood on session day is hectic enough and that darn contract sometimes gets left on the kitchen counter. No worries, I always carry a backup + a pen!  Plus, I always like to skim the contract together to make sure my clients are aware of all my policies.  And it has to be said that the mini clipboard is a lifesaver!

4. Extra camera batteries + memory cards 
Just in case!  Tossing extra batteries in my bag just takes away any worry that my battery might run low or, *{gasp}, run completely out.  The majority of my sessions rarely go over an hour so I usually only use one battery…but, things can always happen! They are small and take up no room at all, so just pack them!

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

5. Business Cards
By the time you snap that final photo of the session, clients are really excited and anxious to see how their photos turn out. To make it easy for clients to understand how they can find their photos in the coming weeks, I love to hand out business cards. It is a quick and easy way for me to tell my clients:
“In a couple days you will see a sneak peak of your collection on my Facebook page and, once all of your photos are fully edited, visit my website to see the rest of your photos featured in a blog post.”

And that is it! That’s everything that you will find in my camera bag! But before you go, let’s talk about what you will find me wearing on the day of a session.  We all know you can’t just put on any color and take pictures.

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

If you peek into my closet, you will find a lot of shades of oatmeal, gray, and white. For me, these are the only colors that I wear to a session because they are soft shades that do not reflect on the client’s skin or in the client’s eyes.  When I was first starting out, I was told that staying away from bright colors is really important because it helps to avoid creating color reflections on the skin that are unnatural.  Ever since then, I’ve taken this helpful advice!

It’s also really important to feel comfortable during the session. During a typical photo session, you can find me standing on things, kneeling down and laying on the ground to get a particular shot from a certain angle. Because of this, I find that a nice pair of dark skinny jeans are the most comfortable and I stay away from skirts and dresses. It’s important to me that my clothes don’t restrict my movement and allow me to climb high, lay low, and easily run after my younger clients.

Let’s talk about jewelry real quick. I love a nice statement necklace. Especially when wearing a neutral top and some skinny jeans, a necklace can dress up an outfit nicely to keep you looking professional. Plus, jewelry is simply fun!   As I said before, it’s important to stay away from bright colors but also it’s important to stay away from sparkly jewelry. During one of my earlier sessions, I made the mistake of wearing a sparkly watch. I wanted to keep track of time and didn’t think for a second that sparkles would do any harm. Oh, I was wrong! When I got home and imported my session, I gasped! I saw sparkly reflections all over the faces of my clients from the reflection of my watch! It was as if all of my clients had sparkling freckles! Let’s just say that it was an editing nightmare and I learned my lesson. Now I just slip my watch or my phone in my pocket or camera bag.

So there you have it. Everything from what to wear to what to bring in your camera bag to your next session. Even if you aren’t in business and you simply love taking photos of your little ones, try these tips out when you go on your next photography adventure. Now go create some beautiful memories with your cameras!

biopicBeth Deschamp of {beth} a-dilly photography – Guest Post
This curly haired blonde and blue-eyed girl is most content when she is making memories with her little family. Starbucks iced soy chai, paperback books, Instagram, almond vanilla cupcakes, blogging, a glass of bold red wine and snuggling a puppy in her lap are just a few of her favorite things. Her favorite thing about being a photographer is being able to portray the beauty of ordinary things in everyday life. Becoming a photographer has helped her to see the beauty in the little things, and that is a life lesson she will always be grateful for.
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