There’s nothing like the day before a week-long project out of state. Along with going over all the logistics like making sure the car rental information is ready, airline tickets have been checked-in, site contact information is backed up and accommodations are set, are the multitudes of equipment goings-over. Are the packs working as they should? And their corresponding heads/cords/cables? Are the cameras, iPad and laptop charged? Are the cases of CF cards and hard drives packed? Will the Pocket Wizards be on speaking terms, or will they decide to give each other the silent treatment in the middle of the shoot, as they often do?
And the countless expendables: rolls of gaffers tape, black plastic, batteries, etc. Most of these items generally sit off to the sidelines (or in the trunk of the car) during the shoot, ready to be called in at a moment’s notice like a backup quarterback waiting for a chance to play in the game. Being a natural light shooter, most of the time the equipment is there for piece of mind, because I know that when I don’t bring it, I will need it. It’s Murphy’s Law and at my age, I’ve made peace with it and no longer tempt fate like I might’ve in my wild, younger days.
I also make peace with the idea that for the 48 hours prior to leaving, sleep will be reserved for the plane, because once you’re in your seat things take a life of their own and you are now in improvise mode should you have overlooked something, or if equipment goes down. Of course once you hit 38,000 feet, everything looks different out the window. You tend to stop thinking of all that could (and hardly ever does) go wrong, and you realize how little you actually are in the whole beautiful scheme of things.