Even before I started a Project 365, most days I would pick up my camera – not necessarily to get a great shot, but simply to snap the candid moments that happened throughout the day. I've lost count of the number of times I missed a "kodak moment" because I was either fumbling with my settings, trying to find a memory card, or wondering where the heck I'd left my camera bag!
That's why I now have a little bit of a system in place that helps me be prepared and ready to capture anything that pops up. Once you get into the groove of doing this, you'll find that you can quickly pick up your camera and snap away at any time!
KEEP YOUR CAMERA IN THE SAME PLACE
First of all, I keep my camera in the same place at all times during the day. This in the kitchen where it is quickly accessible from most rooms downstairs - but not so accessible that little fingers can reach it (I learnt that lesson the hard way!) That way I can quickly retrieve it when I want to and don’t have to go a hunting for it.
SWITCH BACK TO YOUR "GO-TO" LENS
These days I mainly have my 35mm lens on the camera, and if I have been using another lens, I try to switch back to the 35mm when I am finished. Having something like a 200mm lens on your camera when you are trying to photograph indoors is not ideal, so I make sure I have my most used indoor lens on so I don't need to try and change it when something is a happenin'.
SWITCH FOR TO YOUR GO-TO INDOOR SETTINGS
I keep my camera on or near the following settings – Manual Mode at F2.5, ISO at 800, Shutter Speed 1/400 and Daylight White Balance. I am without doubt going to have to change these, but I can usually just get away with adjusting one - having these in the ballpark just means I can do this a bit quicker! Since I mainly shoot during the day with natural light, daylight WB is closest and I will just have to tweak in processing if I don't have time to custom balance it.
Every time I take a set of photos, I change my settings back to the one above (if I have changed them) and put my camera back in it’s place. I try, try, try to remember to do this as I really don’t want to be mucking about with my settings when trying to get a quick, spur of the moment shot
KEEP YOUR CAMERA BAG PACKED
For everyday outings like to the park, or just the school run, where I don't intend taking photos but like to have my camera with me, I have a camera bag which I try to keep packed with my lens hood and spare memory card, plus some cash (as I never seem to remember to take any with me!) I usually don’t bother to take a spare lens. Again, this is usually packed so all I need to do is put my camera in it and we’re off! This saves time as I am usually so concerned about making sure everyone else has what they need that I have about two seconds to grab my own things together!
IF ALL ELSE FAILS, USE YOUR IPHONE
I also use my iPhone a lot to capture the day-to-day stuff when we are somewhere I don’t want to take my ”big” camera. The best camera is the one you have with you and all that...
UPLOAD YOUR IMAGES AT THE END OF EACH DAY
Each day – or the least once per week - I try to upload and organize my photos from that day, and clear my memory card. I now have two memory cards, so when I take out one I slot in the other one, make sure it’s cleared and ready to go, and put my camera back in it’s place.
GET A SPARE BATTERY
I also have a spare battery, which I find much easier than just having one. This way I just wait until the battery is almost depleted then switch in my new one, and pop the old one onto charge.
As I say, this is my approach for keeping organised for unplanned, day to day, candid moments – if I know want to take ahead of time then of course I do things differently, but being prepared allows me to quickly snatch a shot or two as and when needed!