Does Your Event Photographer Carry Back Up Gear?

Does your event photographer carry backup cameras, flashguns, batteries, lenses just in-case something happens to their gear whilst at your event? It’s a question in which the answer fills me with fear….

I received an email from a nice gentleman recently who was asking if he could possibly accompany me on some of my photography jobs as a second photographer so he could build himself up a portfolio and start taking on jobs. Now I don’t mind giving people a helping hand where I can so I got talking to him and it turned out he had just enrolled himself onto a photography course, bought himself a nice shiny new camera with a 50mm lens and was going to start taking jobs on.

Now there are a hundred things that concern me about that situation if he’s going to start taking paid jobs soon, but I’ll focus on one of them for this blog post, what happens if he gets his shiny new camera to an event and it just won’t switch on? Let’s say he’s had the foresight to bring spare batteries, he changes the batteries and it still won’t switch on. He knocks it against a table (you never know it might work!), no luck…. he can’t even switch it off and on again as every IT man would advise as it won’t come on in the first place….

Then what? How’s he going to complete the shoot for his paying client?

I’ve heard these horror stories from clients more times than I’d care to remember, equipment braking and no spares = end of shoot and no photos for the client. All those memories missed, because their professional event photographer wasn’t so professional. The barriers to entry in the photography industry are so small these days anybody can pick up a camera and advertise themselves as a pro photographer, however over the years I’ve learn’t there is so much more to the job than knowing how to work the camera in the first place!

I’m about to head out to photograph Equifest Horse Show and my kit list looks something like:

Canon 5D MKIII / Canon 7D / Nikon D80 (The camera I learn’t on still stays in the car on every shoot – just in-case!)
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM Lens
Canon 50mm f1.4 Lens
3 Nikon Lenses to fit the D80
3 Flash Guns, 2 Canon fit, 1 Nikon fit
3 Flash Triggers
4 Canon Camera Batteries, 2 Nikon Camera Batteries
Tripods, flash stands / reflectors / camera harnesses, etc, etc.
More rechargeable AA / AAA batteries than I could possibly count.

Now I’m not nuts, I’m not going to carry this around with me all day and most of it will sit in the car. Some of it will remain unused, but it’s there if I need it, because with the best will in the world you can’t always plan beforehand 100% whats going to happen at an event.

So does your event photographer carry spare gear with them? Make sure you ask.

Leave a comment