- Keep Track of Your Gear by Organizing It
- Carry Your Gear on You
- Pay Particular Attention to Smaller Gear
- There’s an App For That
photo by Milkos via iStock
Photography gear inventory is one of the most stressful times of the year for me, which is one of the reasons I go through such a painstaking process to protect my photography gear.
Using labels for camera equipment or a gps tracker for camera gear can only go so far when you’re truly invested in keeping track of your photography gear. I like to be more in-depth with my organizational processes (some may call it obsessed). But, one man’s obsession is another’s gain, so here are our tips on how to keep track of your gear.
Table of Contents
Keep Track of Your Gear by Organizing It
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
My photography bag is like my car and my kids’ rooms… they’re all messy. In order to combat this messiness in just one aspect of my life, I have dedicated a day each year to go through and dump everything.
If you adopt this method, post what you find. I found a memory card filled with photos from 2009 the first year I did this (in 2018).
Plus, how many times have you gone to a shoot and not been able to find an important filter or, hilariously enough, a camera every once in a while?
photo by harmpeti via iStock
Once you dump your entire bag and have given it a good wipe down, next figure out where each piece of equipment should go based on how available you need it to be. Some of the less used equipment can be shoved in the deep, dark trenches of your bag while your one ND filter should probably go in a pocket.
Organizing your photography bag not only makes you a more professional photographer, but it will prevent you from unnecessarily buying batteries when you still have some or accidentally crushing a memory card.
While you’re devising a plan about where each piece of equipment should go, keep in mind that you will also want to devise a system for figuring out which memory cards are new and which are filled during a shoot.
Carry Your Gear on You
This one seems to be the tip that everyone forgets despite the fact that it’s the easiest way to keep track of photography gear.
Picture your photography gear like your grandpa’s glasses: it should become so embedded on your body that you forget it’s there.
There’s no better way of losing your camera than setting it down on top of your car while you’re loading gear and driving away, or setting it down in a really crowded place for just a minute to realize it has been stolen.
So, I opted to buy the Holdfast MoneyMaker camera harness a few years ago. I spent a few weeks researching different options for camera harnesses and this one stuck out for a few reasons.
The first reason is it looks a heck of a lot cooler than a lot of the other camera harnesses out on the market today. I like to look my best while out on a shoot because you never know when you’re going to meet your next client through networking, and an aesthetically appealing camera harness had to be part of my look.
The second reason I chose the MoneyMaker is because of the sheer amount of equipment it can hold. I have yet to meet a photographer who uses it that said it didn’t hold everything they needed it to. You can dangle two cameras (three with an optional accessory), and everything else you need to shoot thanks to its ability to carry lens pouches, cell phone pouches, and even some of Holdfast’s camera bags.
Finally, every other time I’d used a camera harness the material had inevitably irritated me after my first 12-hour shoot. So, I bought the MoneyMaker on a whim because it has a lifetime warranty, so I knew that if the leather was too tough I could just return it.
Keeping your gear organized isn’t just a task for the stuff you have in your home office. Keeping it organized on your body while you shoot is also essential. I think if you give the MoneyMaker a try, you’ll find it makes you a much more productive photographer!
Pay Particular Attention to Smaller Gear
photo by nicolas_ via iStock
Let’s talk about SD cards: they’re tiny and the bane of my existence. While every photographer needs to find their own system for watching their memory cards, buying my first media wallet changed my life.
If you’ve been watching the photography news world anytime lately, you may have seen the heartbreaking stories about photographers losing their memory cards. Recently, one photographer lost the entirety of a wedding he had just shot.
You can replace all of your other gear, but for the love of god do something about your SD cards this moment.
Also, make sure you have a brightly colored ziploc bag in your camera backpack for little pieces of equipment like tripod screws. It’s always frustrating when I can’t find this bag right away, which is why I use brightly-colored green ziploc bags we use to keep stray crayons organized in my son’s play area.
There’s an App For That
I’m going to be honest with you, one of my favorite pastimes is searching for apps. I was introduced to an incredible calendar app a few years ago that totally revamped how I accomplished work and have been on a search for apps to fix the rest of my life ever since.
So, when I decided to write an article about every photographer’s biggest struggle, I decided to go on a deep internet search.
It wielded an incredible amount of results, but the app with both the best ratings and the notoriety (it was created by one of my favorite YouTube photographer personalities), is MyGearVault. Get an introduction to this incredible app in the video above by MyGearVault.
The way MyGearVault works is by allowing you to create “kits” filled with all of your essential photography gear, as shown in the video above. You can create a weekend kit, a wedding kit, an international kit… basically any kit you can think of. You add all of your essential equipment to each kit, and then when you’re ready to take a trip or go on a shoot, you know exactly what you need to pack.
Plus, MyGearVault doesn’t just help you organize your equipment. Famed YouTuber Jared Polin paired up with Stephen Bellosi, an insurance broker, to create an app where you can simultaneously organize all of your gear while insuring it. Learn more in the video below.
If you already have your gear insured somewhere else, then read no further because you don’t have to insure your gear through the app.. it’s just a nice bonus.
However, if you’ve put off buying gear insurance due to the expense or hassle, then this app may change your business and your life!
As you can see, getting your gear organized and keeping track of it is actually pretty simple. You just have to set the time aside to make an effort to do it!