How you handle batteries is a big part of this business. Did I hear an AMEN from my fellow photographers out there? :) If you don't have them, you're pretty much toast. If they're not charged, you might as well not have them. If they're not organized, you will probably lose all your hair. The more gear, the more batteries, and the more you need to be organized. Here is how we, over the years, got every battery in its place. In this blog, we will share tips on how to make your life better with batteries!
1. Make a Charging Station
I'm all about making the best out of what you have. I used to use a drawer of my desk, but as our gear collection got bigger and bigger, it just wasn't cutting it. The drawer was too low and all the bending and kneeling was beginning to annoy me. One day, I acquired a piece of scrap wood and viola! I just screwed all the chargers unto the wood and then hung it on our closet wall. Now, when I'm standing, I'm at eye level with everything. I just literally pop in every battery that needs to be charged, and I'm done! It's all right there in one place every single time. Whatever little thing you do, try to make it as efficient as possible, because you know... time is money. :)
2. Device Charging Stations
Yes, even devices, as you know, need charging too. This has become a crucial part of our culture! I now have to charge our iPhones of course, iPad, Apple Watch. The best way for charging any device is to always have your charger in the same place. Again, I love building my own thing... here's a little stand I made for my iPhone while playing Legos with my kids one day. :) I then glued it like the master builder. (If you have seen the Lego movie, you know what I mean, right?) This little invention is literally glued on my desk and right next to my MacBook Pro while I'm editing at all times. That way, I never wonder where my phone is. ;) The best and cheapest invention EVER!
3. Label Every Battery
Don't have a label maker? It's ok... just get a piece of paper, sharpie and tape and clearly label every single battery you have. For the AA's and AAA's, I pair them up so that I know which is which. Batteries fail at different times, so if you mix them all up, you won't know which one is newer or older, charged or not. You don't want one in a set to fail and not know which one it is. If they are paired up, you know that the entire set needs charging. Hope that makes sense! For the bigger batteries like your backup camera body battery, etc..., clearly label them as well. There's no time to wonder which one is which on a wedding day when you quickly need to replace them.
4. Is it Charged or Not?
For our AA's and AAA's, here is a pic of the case that we use. If the label is pointed in, then they're fully charged. We use Powerex. If they're pointed out, they're empty. "OUT" means OUT = "no more juice". For example in the image below, the 10's are pointed IN, so they're fully charged. The 11's are pointed OUT, so they're empty. For other big batteries, there's a place in my case for empty batteries.
You need a backup for EVERYTHING... yes, even a backup camera. That's for another blog post, so we will save the details on that for another time. Just always have a few extra AA's and AAA's. Always be prepared for any type of technical failure to the best of your ability.
6. Battery Charger
We have a battery charger that's been charged. :) I at times use our Go-Pro, so that's my charging station because as you know, go-pro batteries don't last long, so I always have a way to charge them. I can also charge my iPhone too! This Mophie seriously comes in handy!
7. The Process
Now that every battery has its place, what do we do with all of them? For a wedding, I charge everything the previous night before I hit the sack. Next morning, all batteries are placed in its right device. I pack all the extras in its proper place. Remember, have a place for every single little piece of equipment and battery in your bag(s). After each wedding while I'm backing up our images, I also take all the batteries out of every device and gear. If I have double or triple headers that weekend, the cycle starts right away for the next wedding.
Don't take batteries lightly! Without it, you will not have the tool to do your job! This blog was just to share the way we do it. I still have one bag that needs serious organization. Trying to find the right bag for it. Can't wait to hear about what ideas you guys have to make your job easier in this aspect. Share them with us on the comments below! Hope this has helped those who need more organization in those camera bags!
And since you're here, if you're local in the Atlanta and surrounding areas, be sure to register to reserve your spot for our posing workshop that's coming up on March 11, 2017, in Buford, GA! It's only about a month away, and we are going to have a great time getting to know one another and become better photographers together! Hope to see you there!