"Perfect planning and preparation prevents poor performance", is a saying that I learnt when I first started working for PGL back in 2005. It is as true then as it is now. I like to be prepared. I like to know how everything is working and what is likely to happen. In reality, that is about as hopeful as anyone can get. Normally, everything except what you planned is what will happen. It's just one of those things.
So why be prepared I hear you ask? What's the point?
Deep inside every photographer is a desire to have complete control. Whether we like it or not (or are aware of it or not), we are always striving to be perfectionists. We like things to be "just so". And on top of that we are control freaks. Imagine if we turned up to a shoot one day without a card in the camera (yep, I've done it)? Or that you got a bunch of images that were dark because the photographer forgot to take a flash? How professional does that look? Lets be honest, its not a good look, and for all the inconvenience it causes you; the photographer kicks themselves for the rest of the year.
Its not a pleasant experience to feel like a complete and utter fool because you left a bit of kit at home which you thought it was unnecessary. Luckily for me, the day I forgot the memory card, a very kind co-worker drove back up to the office and picked it up for me. I've never forgotten since - and the spares are in my camera bag permanently. Despite how good we are as photographers, we are still human. Just like everyone else. We will make mistakes. Hopefully, if we care enough, we will learn from them and never repeat them. The best way I can think of doing this, is to simply know my kit and my working area as well as I can. If I know what it's capable of, I know where I can push the limits, and plan for the inevitable unplanned event.
So, I am doing a prom next week. I'm quite excited about it, and the best feeling is that the school I am doing it for have invited me back again. This year, however it is at a new location. Being fortunate enough to have had a bit of free time, I have already visited it 3 times. In my mind, I am already picturing the images I would like to get. There are a few places where I can bounce the flash off the ceiling and more places where the ceiling is way too high to even consider it! Its also very flat and level. Great for dancing, partying and moving around - pretty challenging for a group photo. Thankfully, I like a good challenge. Pictured here are my new speedlites, which I have been testing all week. I'm really looking forward to putting them through their paces.
There are some things in life you can really only do once, and for teenagers leaving school, dressing up nice, planning a really great night out; the least I can do is make sure they have some great photos to remember it.