Video Shows How a Wedding Photographer Preps His Equipment

New York based wedding photographer Richard B Flores is taking his job very seriously. Like all of us, he works hard on the day of the event and of course the following days while he edits. But Richard is doing something maybe not many of us do: he spends the day before each event heavily prepping his equipment - from cleaning, to syncing and charging. Check out his BTS video showing the prep day and read his explanation for each of the steps.

Richard is a great wedding and engagement photographer, and he shoots a lot of weddings every year. He knew he must be very organized in order to not forget any piece of equipment before he leaves for a job, and make sure all equipment is in a perfect working condition. In order to do it, he developed a prepping system he follows before and after each of his events.

Richard made a check list where he can make sure all equipment is ready and packed and he uses it for each event he shoots. He also uses the same list when he comes back from an event to make sure nothing was left behind.

Right when he gets back home from an event he charges all batteries. It takes time and he want to make sure he's not waiting for the last minute to do it. By doing it right away he subjects himself to considerably less stress later in the process of prepping.

Below are the steps (as seen in the video) explained by Richard:

1. I make sure our office is clean. We're constantly cleaning and vacuuming to prevent dust and pet hair from getting on our equipment.

2. I clean every lens one by one. First the front lens, then the back lens. I use air to blow off anything before using Lens Cleaner and the Lens Towel. I make sure to blow air on the caps as well because those get dirty also. When blowing air onto the front and back of the glass I try to keep it away and make sure the liquid inside is settled so it doesn't spray the freezing liquid.

3. I use a Visible Dust Artic Butterfly to remove anything that is stuck inside the ridges of the front of the lens. The fiber are really thin and are good at picking everything up.

4. I wipe down the contacts on the back of the lens.

5. I close everything off and I spray lens cleaner to the outside of the lens and wipe it down with a regular microfiber towel. I make sure all the rings turn correctly and the Manual/Auto focus buttons are working properly.

6. I bring out our camera bodies and remove all batteries and grips.

7. I wipe everything down using the same Lens Cleaner spray and the microfiber towel.

8. I remove the Eye Cap and clean the viewfinder with the visible dust wipe.

9. I blow air on the entire camera and check that all the buttons are working and not stuck. (I had a wedding guest spill a drink and some of it got onto one of my cameras. I thought it was okay but it dried and got sticky and the button got stuck so I had to spray some liquid to get it to work properly again)

10. I check all the batteries to make sure they are charged and if any are low then I leave them charging. (I Usually put all batteries to charge the day after we finish a wedding so that it's ready to go.)

11. This is probably the most important one for me. Making sure our cameras are all synced. So I set them all up and make sure the time is synchronized. This makes my life easier during post processing.

12. I confirm all my settings are the same for all cameras and leave my shutter at 1/100 and ISO 100. (I don't have a reason for this but I just do it idk)

13. I Check all Memory Cards and format them in camera if needed.

14. I load fully charged batteries into all cameras and load clean memory cards.

15. After everything is finished I pack all our gear into one of our rollers.

16. I use spider holsters so I make sure 2 of the cameras have the adapter.

fstoppers-richard-b-flores-wedding-camera-prop-list

Do you have a system for prepping for a job? Let us in the comments!

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70 Comments

Noam Galai's picture

Watching this video made me realize how bad is my prep. I usually realize nothing is ready 5 minutes before I leave for a shoot ;)

I don't think that can air crap is good for your gear.

Richard B Flores's picture

Yes I wouldn't recommend directly spraying the air onto the lens or anything for that matter. I keep a safe distance and it's only short bursts to blow off the dust. Instructions are about 3-5in. away.

Do yourself a favor, ditch the plastic tips and buy a chrome valve cleaner.

http://www.amazon.com/Falcon-Dust-Off-Chrome-Valve-Cleaner/dp/B00154YUT2...

Much safer and its hard to get the liquid spray, I use that on set all the time as an AC.

Richard B Flores's picture

Awesome Craig thanks for the tip!!

Richard thank you for the follow up.

You do have to be careful with it (as Richard has said). Many years ago I used it on the mirror of a film camera and some of the fluid came out, it left a nasty stain on the mirror that I could not remove.

I'd use it on the outside of a body or body of a lens (and not directly as pointed out), but *never* inside on the sensor, and not on the glass of a lens.

And keep the can upright...

Brian Reese's picture

Do you have rights to the audio used? Wondering how that works.

Hans Klett's picture

I also wonder about this. I'm constantly asked to make videos for friends and family but I never use popular music for fear that the video will get taken down to copyright infringement. Do you just make what you want and wait for the day it's taken off? Richard, did you buy this song?

I wonder what kind of videos you're *constantly* asked to make, for free, that would require licensed music, and be posted online.

Hans Klett's picture

Did I say free? I'm just curious to know how to license music like this if it was licensed at all. All of the music licensing sites that I know of don't have music like this. The song used in this video is obviously a very popular one and I'd like to know if it was a reasonable price. I have many friends that have small businesses that would like to add video content to their websites. I enjoy doing this type of work on the side so, yes, I get a lot of requests for this sort of thing but music is always an issue.

You're a right little keyboard warrior, aren't ya kid

Hmmm what should I do now... You don't have anything to say so you go to the old standby of calling someone a kid. If I am a kid, I have to stomp my feet and try to convince you I'm not by saying something absurd. Maybe tell you what frat I joined or that I work for a big company in a cubicle, making tons of money. If I'm not, well I guess it doesn't matter to me much. I'm already better than you.

I call you a kid because i have few doubts that i am much much older than you. Also you have no way of knowing you're better than me however i have no doubt your delusions have left you feeling that you are better than most. Here's the thing, if you hold the arrogant views you so clearly do, why come to this website? Fstoppers is here so people can share knowledge not belittle those who don't have it. Leave this website to those who are here to teach and those who are here to learn. All the best hot shot.

Richard B Flores's picture

Yes I bought this song. but if you are interested in music info check out this post http://fstoppers.com/finally-it-is-now-possible-to-license-popular-music...

Hans Klett's picture

Thank you Richard! Very helpful.

Brian Reese's picture

Thx Richard.

Christopher Sztybel's picture

Everyone that was bitching just got FLOwned.

Really? You're "wondering" about that? I think everyone knows how to get permission to use a song for commercial purposes. This comment sounds more like one of those passive aggressive internet trolls that thinks, *snort*"I bet this guy just put the song in his video and I want to seem smart and 1up him because I'm jealous, so I'll play dumb and ask if he has rights to it."

Grow up people. Unless you made the work and have a complaint about it's use, leave people alone.

Hans Klett's picture

This is not a troll question. Everyone does not know how to license this type of music. Please share your obvious expertise!

There's a new website that lets you search the internet called Goggle or something... Goodlet? Goobles? I don't remember because it's so new and rarely used. If you type in "how to license music", you might get 1 or 2 sites to check out. It's where most pro photographers like me go to look for things like, "how to magically fix blurry wedding photos I ruined", "what is photoshop", "free things that will make my pictures not suck", and "videos of people telling me exactly what buttons to press on my camera".

Hans Klett's picture

oh how I enjoy basking in the warm glow of your immense knowledge. Thank you troll.

Brian Reese's picture

Obviously a little kid. You're not getting it. The rules are different for attaining Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as apposed to AJ Hochhalter "The Needle Moves". But obviously you don't understand because you're too busy being "Pro" and searching "Goggle".

Brian Reese's picture

That was a freaken STUPID comment. Jealous? Of what? And exactly what is it that "we" all are supposed to know about getting permission to use a song for commercial purposes? Call them up and ask? Sorry Charlie... doesn't work like that AT ALL. I work for a commercial company and we pay thousands a year for licensing music and that's for artists that aren't even part of the scene or famous musicians. I was wondering how he managed, if legally, to get a Blur song... or if illegally, how Vimeo didn't remove it. It was a question.

how do you put 4 camera bodies and 4 flashes to use during a wedding? Myself i just have a checklist to make sure i dont forget anything. Is dust on your lenses even visible below f4? :)

Noam Galai's picture

If I have to guess - 2 of the bodies are for his fiancé who shoots with him as a 2nd shooter.

She gets the Mark 2s LOL

Richard B Flores's picture

Jonas, my fiancé and I work together. We typically use 3 bodies and one as backup just incase.

I really liked what appeared to be the time sync/settings check. I have had times where I had the time off on all three bodies... Not a good thing at all.

Great Vid..How often do you "cycle" your batteries for new sets? Same with CF cards.. once per season?

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