This is one for the “Man did I get lucky” file so please learn from my experience. Yesterday was a day of back to back shoots for me. From 10am to about 2:30pm I was working is a store making photos of a display rack for use on a website. After that I was at a local park making photos for a person until about 5pm. Both were fun shoots and I had a good time but I was tired by the time I got back to the car and starting loading up the equipment. This is when I should have been more careful than ever.
Everyplace we stopped during the shoot in the park I made sure to check to see if there was anything I was leaving behind. The funny thing is I remember thinking to myself that I was doing a good job of checking each location. Everything came out of the woods and back to the car. I loaded the camera and flash equipment and was getting ready to put my tripod and light stand into the car when I realized I was getting a little warmer than I wanted to be.
You see, it was a cold day and I make sure to dress up like the Michelin man when I know I’m going to be out in the cold for good length of time. I was very glad I put on my ski bib because I was nice and toasty warm. I didn’t even need to wear gloves I was so warm. My hands stayed nice and warm because the rest of me was nice and warm. My downfall was taking off the ski bib.
One thing I hate to do is take my shoes off outside in cold weather. When my feet get cold they feel like they will never warm up! I put the ski bib on while wearing my hiking boots so I should have been able to take it off while still wearing them, right? Not so fast, they got stuck and were a real pain to get off. The side of the car where I started to take the ski bib off was full of equipment so I shuffled to the other side so I could sit and work them off. Once I had them off I put them into the back of the car. This is where I made my mistake.
I never went back around to the other side to put my tripod and light stand into the car. Like I said earlier, I was tired. I backed out of my parking place and drove off. I didn’t get for when I noticed the door open warming light so I reached back and made sure the door was closed. The photo gods had given me a warning that I did not pay attention to and I drove home. The door was not close properly because I still needed to put my tripod and light stand in the car. When I got home I was hungry so I had diner. This let the car sit for a while before I unloaded it. I put everything in the kitchen to be put away properly this morning.
Guess what I could not find this morning when I was getting ready to go and do a shoot today? You guessed it, my tripod and light stand. Yeah, you could say I freaked out. Where had I put it and why couldn’t I find it? Well, quite simply, I left it in the parking lot. So on my way to my shoot I went by to check to see if I might be able to find it. I even made up “Lost” posters to put up. As it turned out the posters were not necessary. Sitting right on the curd, in the camp chair bag I use for a tripod bag, was my tripod and light stand.
The moral of this story, always double check to make sure you don’t leave any equipment behind. Triple check when you are tired and if the door open warning light is on because you didn’t close a door properly, go back, you probably left something you might not want to leave to spend a night out in the snow.