Caring for your gear is an important part of a professional photographer's workflow, so I thought I'd include what I do to care for my gear as a post in my current workflow series. If this is your first time tuning in, click here to find a complete list of the posts in The Workflow Series and get caught up!

If you don't systematize the care of your gear into your workflow, it will likely get pushed to the back burner, and you will end up with issues. So, like anything that you want to do regularly for your business, it's wise to systematize it in such a way that it happens regularly without a whole lot of extra effort.

There is a section of my Wedding Workflow Checklist for each client that is dedicated to pre-wedding prep -- all the tasks that need to be done the day or two before the wedding in order for me to be ready. Included on this list is battery charging, reseting my camera settings back to a default baseline, formatting CF cards, writing checks for assistants, and making sure all my gear is in my bag, just to name a few. Also on this list is cleaning sensors and lenses. My office manager, Sara, is in charge of this section of my workflow checklist so she runs through these tasks starting two days before the wedding.

I love my Canon 5D Mark III, because it has an automatic sensor cleanor built into it. Despite this fact, we still manually clean the sensor before each wedding using these handy sensor swabs you can purchase on B&H. The combination of the automatic sensor cleaner built into the camera and using these swabs before each wedding keeps my sensor spotless. I seriously never have to clone stamp dust spots off my images when shooting at high apertures, like I used to.

To clean our lenses, we use a lens cleaning kit like this one, also available for purchase on B&H. These two tasks are done before each wedding, so my gear is always clean and ready to go.

I've had a few photographers ask me if I send my gear in regularly for cleaning or calibration. The answer is no. I have a Canon Professional Services membership (just the basic, free level) and I send my gear in only when I notice an issue. If I notice a focus issue, I make sure to test both the lens and camera body to try to isolate which piece of gear is having the issue, and then I send in that one lens or camera body.

That's it! Pretty simple but effective -- the way I like things :). Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below. And to find out about more resources I offer photographers, click here!

Click here to read Part 16 of the series -- Sharing Photos with Guests
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