5 Things EVERY Outdoor Photographer Should Do Before & During a Shoot (VIDEO)

Careful preparation is essential for all forms of outdoor photography, whether you shoot travel scenes, landscapes, or adventure images—especially when you’ll be in the backcountry far from home. To that end, one of our favorite instructors put together the checklist below, to help you avoid the unexpected.

British pro James Popsys specializes in travel and adventure photography, and he says he hates confronting surprises when out in the field. Hence, he’s a meticulous planner and there are five things he always does before and during an excursion to minimize the unexpected.

In the quick behind-the-scenes video below, Popsys reveals a handful of tips while preparing to leave for the backcountry of Snowdonia, Wales. It’s the day before his trip, which is when he does most of the preparation, in part because he typically ventures out in the dark well before dawn.

Popsys’ approach involves everything from double-checking his gear and making sure he’s packed the right lenses and accessories, to charging plenty of extra batteries. He also reviews a weather forecast for his destination, and comes up with a Plan B (and sometimes a Plan C) just in case he confronts a road closure or inclimate conditions.

Like most of us Popsys prefers being comfortable, so he’s careful to take appropriate clothing and footwear. Like we said, he’s an unusually meticulous guy, and he even makes sure there’s plenty of mayonnaise in the fridge “so I don’t have to eat a dry sandwich.”

Even if you decide to hold the mayo, Popsys’ approach to preparation is well worth considering if you want to avoid the unexpected, have a comfortable trip, and come home with plenty of great images. You can find more helpful advice where this video came from; namely Popsys’ YouTube channel.

And be sure to check out another outdoor photography tutorial we posted recently, explaining when not to compose images by the rules.