And make sure you’ve thought about it
The tools below are also essential before you leave the house for any photo shoot. They won’t improve your photography, but they will make sure you can take the shot.
• Power bank: Would you go on a family trip without refueling? You don’t want to arrive at Yosemite or Zion National Park with a 20% phone battery. For those times when you forget to charge or have taken so many photos that you’ve drained the battery – unlikely, but fair to say – it never hurts to have a pocket power bank handy. These credit card-sized gadgets sell for $20-$30 and, after a charge, can plug into your phone and give you another 8-10 hours of battery life when you’re on the go.
Just make sure you also have a phone charging cable handy, so you can connect the phone to the bank to get the charge.
• Online Backup: In the same category as arriving at a shoot with a dead or nearly drained battery is a phone with little to no storage for your photos or videos. Take the time before you go to make sure you have room.
On an iPhone, go to Settings, then General. On an Android phone, go to Settings and directly to Storage.
If you don’t want to delete any files, move them to an external hard drive or portable smartphone USB drive, or use online storage. Members of Amazon’s Prime Entertainment and Shipping program get unlimited free photo storage on Amazon’s Photo app, and Google, Apple and Microsoft are offering limited free online storage – with the aim to charge you more.
Jefferson Graham is a contributing writer who covers personal technology and was previously a technology columnist for USA today. He hosts the streaming travel photography series Photo walks and is the author of Video Nation: A DIY Guide to Planning, Sharing, and Shooting Great Videos.