50+ Sample Photography Checklists

What Is a Photography Checklist?

Shutter speed, lighting, ISO, aperture—there sure are a lot of terms to remember in photography. And the same can be said about preparing for any photoshoot where you will have plenty of tools, shot lists, location plans, photography evaluations, and so much more in the process. Hence, you need a photography checklist or list. This checklist contains all the information about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your photographic service. And it can tackle a variety of concerns from what to bring, when to do the shoot, etc.

Based on a survey, photographic services are expected to have $5.826,8 million in revenue for 2024.

Why Are Photography Checklists Essential?

A photography checklist is important for every photographer to stay organized and not forget a single detail about their job. For example, you add a section of what to bring for a baby christening photoshoot. The list would have checkboxes towards every enlisted item from the camera, stand, extra batteries, and more. And photographers only need to put checkmarks once every item has been brought to the shoot. And such checklists are essential because they can be tailored not only towards what to bring but also on the photography work schedule, client list, and other purposes.

The Basic Functions of a Photography Checklist

A photography checklist is multi-dimensional, meaning you can use it for different functions. But what exactly are they? In this section, you will learn about the common basic functions of a photography checklist. And it can be used as your guide on how to tailor your photography checklist’s data.

Equipment Checklist: A typical function of a photography checklist is to write down the whole list of tools and equipment to bring for the shoot. Think of this example as your usual packing list where you ensure you prepared the camera, lens, battery, and so much more. That way, you won’t forget about any important item to use for photographic services.Location Checklist: You can also create a photography location checklist. This example lists down every venue to visit and do the whole photoshoot. Location checklists are recommended to photographers who have a shoot in numerous locations. Thus, it will be easy to note down how many locations are left for the whole shoot, may it be at home, the studio, the beach, or even the mountains.Schedule Checklist: Answering the ‘when’ in a photoshoot is very crucial to photographers. Therefore, a checklist can list the date, time, and estimated duration of the shoot. It would be bad to have all amazing ideas planned out yet you don’t have the exact date yet on when to actually do the shoot. And you can always personalize the photography schedule or base from the client’s convenience through an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, or daily schedule.Shot Checklist: Photographers can also make use of a shot list. This checklist enables them to make the overall map of what to do and use in a specific shot, film, or scene. And it contains significant instructions regarding what to expect in an entire shoot. In short, it prepares the sequence of events from what should happen first in a photoshoot until the last part.Evaluation Checklist: When a specific picture or photoshoot needs to be assessed, you can use a photography evaluation checklist. In this example, how you performed in taking pictures and doing the photoshoot itself will be evaluated. It is commonly used for monitoring and training purposes. Hence, it shows if the photography really did his/her job well or that there is an actual improvement to the whole work.Preparation Checklist: The photography preparation checklist is relevant when you need a list of what to specifically do during the pre-photoshoot. Consider this example to be your guide on how to prep a shoot from the timeline, setup, location, etc. That way, you will become fully prepared for what is to come during the actual shoot rather than being confused about what to do first, next, and last.Post-Photography Checklist: If there is a checklist during the preparation process, then there is another checklist for the post-photoshoot. This document gives all the details about when to edit the photos, how to submit the pictures, or what to finalize for the photo release form. Therefore, you use this guide for any task to take after a photoshoot or similar event.Client Checklist: Lastly, you can’t forget about the photographer’s official client list. The document now lists down all the data about the clients from the name, address, contact details, and so forth. This checklist is important in case a photographer wants to contact a specific client or follow up on a customer’s payment. Besides the clients’ names, there may be additional labels from what type of customer they are, when their previous transactions were, etc.

How to Create a Smart Photography Checklist

Photography checklists are surely going to make every photographer’s life easier. But that might not be the case if the checklist itself was poorly made. You have to be very careful, smart, and attentive to detail as well when it comes to crafting a photography checklist. Thankfully, the process isn’t that complicated since you only need to follow these steps on how to make a photography checklist:

Step 1: Know Your Main Purpose

A photographer specializes in different fields of photography. Some people are quite skilled in landscape photography, recipe shoot, product shoot, wedding photography, boudoir photography, and many more. And to be well-aware of your intentions in making a checklist in the first place is critical to know how to tailor the list eventually. So if your purpose is to provide a checklist for birthday photography, then all the data inside the checklist should be related to birthday photography preparations, equipment, shot lists, etc.

Step 2: Identify Your Checklist’s Function/s

You already learned earlier about the common functions of a photography checklist. Now your next task is to specify what function/s should be included in your checklist. Maybe you are only concerned about making a list of what to bring in a shoot so a photography equipment checklist would be your best function for the document. But, some people prefer adding more functions to the list, meaning you can just divide your checklist into many categories so you won’t be confused. Hence, your photography checklist can cover the equipment list, shot list, client list, and others.

Step 3: Pick a Sample Photography Checklist

If you think you need to create a photography checklist from scratch, you’re definitely wrong. You can just use fillable and editable templates instead to make the process a lot easier and quicker. Have you seen those sample photography checklists above this article? Those are your options on which template to work with. The process is simple. Just select your preferred sample and slowly add the necessary data since you can change its content, format, design, and details anytime.

Step 4: Insert All the Items to List in Your Document

The challenging part is to add all the itemized lists to your final sample photography checklist. Make sure you know how to organize your list by having numbers, tables, and other ways to categorize all the items listed there. The common practice is to add a blank or a checkbox beside each item. That way, you have room to write checkmarks once you start using the checklist. So when every box is marked, that means you are through with the photography checklist.

Step 5: Come Up with an Easy-to-Follow List

Take a moment to check your progress so far if the checklist is properly made. Is there still any item you have not listed yet? And are the data correct in the first place? Fix every mistake until the output is corrected. And most importantly, ensure that your document is easy to follow. That means the photography checklist is easy to understand since you wrote instructions, used specific words, and arranged the details in a cohesive way.

Step 6: Update the Checklist Regularly

Do not assume that everything is done once you are confident with the results. Your next task is to be responsible for completing the checklist and that you update it regularly. Otherwise, failing to put checkmarks regularly might mean you have not really completed what to do as a photographer. Use the list once it is needed and ensure that you have followed everything rigidly. And the best part after completing everything is that you may come up with an assessment on how to improve your results next time.


What are the simple elements of photography?

Generally, photography is divided into four major elements. These are the Rembrandt lighting, rule of thirds, composition, and editing. And each of which can help you make the best results for your next photographic service.

What are some tips to create an organized photography checklist?

You can organize your photography checklist by adapting these tips:

  • Write neatly.
  • Be direct to the point.
  • List in chronological order.
  • Divide your time wisely.
  • Avoid designing too much.
  • Go for whichever is most convenient for you to do.

What are some of the essential items to pack for photographers?

Photographers can start categorizing the necessary items according to camera items, scene items, and tripod items. For camera items, you can’t miss the sensors, lens, memory, batteries, image-recording quality, white balance, ISO, photo settings, and more. Meanwhile, scene items should have the photo periphery and other image objects. And for the tripod items, the camera level, mirror lockup, levers or knobs, and remote switch are total must-haves.

Can you imagine a client who is always camera-ready for a shoot yet it is the photographer himself/herself who isn’t prepared for the photoshoot? Tragic. In fact, a photographer could miss out on the best shots if the camera battery is low, there is poor lighting, or that the subjects used for the photoshoot are missing in the first place. Thankfully, you can avoid such common disasters in the photographic service industry by ensuring you are fully prepared with a photography checklist—your most comprehensive guide to ace your performance as a photographer. Download now!