As the weather gets warmer, it’s exciting to prepare for the photography season ahead. Getting your photography gear and hard drive cleaned and organized and preparing accordingly for the spring and summer shoots ahead will help you make the most of some of the best photography months of the year.
Organize Your Photography Gear
Go through your entire photography gear collection. Organize your camera bodies, lenses, and accessories. Take stock of your gear. Are there pieces you no longer use? Spring is an ideal time to sell gear you don’t need or don’t use anymore. You’ll free up room in your storage space and generate funds to purchase a new item you will use frequently.
Organize Your Hard Drive
When most people think about photography organization, they think about their physical gear. Digital photo organization is just as important for staying on top of your photo tasks. If you don’t already have a chronological filing system, it’s never too late to start. Create master folders for each year.
Within each year folder, create a month folder. Organize your existing photo collection within these folders. When you export edited photos, file them in labeled, dated folders within this filing system.
As you organize your hard drive, clean up photos you no longer need. Permanently delete blurry or unusable images, RAW files you’ll never go back and edit, duplicate files, and anything else deemed unnecessary.
Learn more about how to organize your digital images, find a detailed guide here How to Organize Your Digital Photos Like a Pro
Clean Your Equipment
Over the course of the year, camera equipment takes a beating. Setting aside time for cleaning at the start of each season ensures you clean it regularly, greatly minimizing the risk of permanent damage. Depending on the type of shooting you do, your gear may need anything from a light, at-home cleaning to a full, professional cleaning.
If you clean your gear yourself, invest in proper camera cleaning tools, and take the time to get the job done right. If you send out your gear for cleaning, research a reputable camera company. Once your gear is clean, pick up a new set of microfiber clothes or cleaning brush to keep in your bag through the summer.
You can find more on how to clean your gear at How to Clean Your Camera Lenses and Filters
Clean Out Your Photography Bag(s)
In addition to cleaning your gear, it’s important to clean out your photography bag(s) periodically. Getting your bags in order will keep you gear cleaner and help you stay organized during photo shoots and outings. Even as a hobbyist photographer, it’s stressful digging through a messy bag to find what you need.
Take everything out of the bag. Discard garbage and put away items you no longer need in the bag. Repack the items you do need, taking care to keep it organized. Load up essential summer items, such as sunglasses and sunscreen.
Start Researching and Making a List of Warm Weather Shooting Locations
Summer goes by so quickly. Without a little planning, you’ll find it’s August and you haven’t made it to any new destinations. As a professional photographer, it’s important to get new locations into the mix regularly.
Visit a destination prior to your first shoot there to get the lay of the land. As a hobbyist photographer, summer is simply a fun time to visit or re-visit photographic locations. Keep a list of places you’d like to visit, so you always have an idea for your next outing when you have a little free time.
Spread out your spring cleaning and organizing tasks over multiple weekends. It’s overwhelming cleaning and packing all of your gear right before your first late spring family shoot or wedding.
Don’t wait until the last minute. Set aside a couple of hours over several weekends to keep your stress level low and to give yourself plenty of time for everything.
Rose Clearfield is a freelance writer and hobbyist photographer. She lives in southeast WI with her husband, son, and three cats. She bought her first DSLR in 2012 and hasn’t looked back since. With an education background and a passion for writing, she loves helping people learn how to take better pictures.