ORGANIZING YOUR CAMERA GEAR / KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
Source: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1569424465, Shutterstock
Photographers often have a lot of photography gear and it can, eventually, become difficult to keep track of what’s going out and what’s coming in. Since we provide photography insurance and want to help photographers protect their gear, it also makes sense to provide some tips on maintaining and inventorying photography gear.
“Triage” Your Photography Equipment to Determine the Best Locations
Determine where each piece of photography equipment should go based on how available you need it to be. For example: some of your less frequently used equipment could be placed in the dark pockets of a camera bag, while your one ND filter should probably go in a protective case that you keep on you.
Ideally, you have a camera bag with separate sections, such as the Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag [Amazon Link] or the Tenba 637-403 Cooper 13 DSLR Camera Bag [Amazon Link]. Consider dedicating specific pieces of gear to each section, rather than just stuffing gear in haphazardly. Organizing your camera bag in this manner not only makes you a more professional photographer, but it will prevent you from buying memory cards when you still have some!
A camera harness such as the Nicama Camera Carrier Chest Harness Vest [Amazon Link] or the Cotton Carrier G3 Dual Camera Harness [Amazon Link] can be useful for keeping your photography gear on your person as much as possible, which is the best way to prevent theft.
Consider Asset Labeling Your Photography Equipment / Asset Tags / Asset Labels
Source: Royalty-free stock vector ID: 206120767, Shutterstock
In addition to serial numbers, asset labels can be helpful. Asset labeling is the process of giving a unique identity to each piece of your equipment through assigning it a specific code or number. This is accomplished by affixing a label to the equipment that bears the number. An example of such a product is the AVERY PermaTrack Metallic Asset Tag Labels [Amazon Link]. The CHEQROOM mobile app/asset tagging product is another example.
Why do asset labeling if all your items have serial numbers anyway?
If handling many items, a serial number – while important to record for warranty & repair purposes – isn't ideal because most professional photographers likely want a faster method of counting/auditing their gear. Especially if they have many similar-looking items, as many photographers do, asset labels are helpful to identify which item is which.
Photography Apps for Photography Equipment Maintenance & Inventory | Photo Gear Tracker | Photography Equipment Tracker
An Excel spreadsheet is the first obvious choice, but Apache OpenOffice can also do the job.
Google Sheets is the go-to free online spreadsheet app that you’ve likely used already. It is perfectly suitable for this task, but in case you’d like something more specialized, read on…
Apps for photography gear maintenance that have received good reviews include:
The Sortly app is on iOS and Android and can be used for photography equipment. You can scan and update items using QR labels or barcodes.
Asset Panda is available online and on iOS and Android. The app is highly configurable, so it can become whatever you need it to be, and adjust as your needs change.
GearEye is an RFID-enabled device that tells you if you have all the gear that you need with you at any given time. In case something is missing, this device helps you locate it.
The Lenstag iOS app allows you to look up serial numbers of gear that you're thinking about buying to see if it is stolen gear, report missing gear and securely transfer gear to other photographers.
Home Inventory is an easy-to-use Mac app allowing you to document and manage your home and belongings. Photographers can “go paperless” using this app by storing photos, receipts, product manuals, warranties, notes, and important documents for quick and easy access.
The MyGearVault app was designed specifically to input, organize and protect photography gear. It's a free app designed for photographers and videographers, available on both Android and iOS.
If you would like to automate your inventory management and asset tracking, take a look at Zapier, which allows you to connect different apps together. For example, you could update a spreadsheet using a Google Form to make data entry a little easier.
Photography Equipment Inventory List
We often get the question, “Where do I upload my photos/list of my insured equipment?” …actually, we do not require an equipment list for our files, but it is a requirement that photography insurance clients have an equipment list that can be supplied to the insurer in the event of a claim.
How should this photography equipment list be assembled? There is no one “official” or “proper” way of doing it. Simply create a spreadsheet – perhaps using one of the apps mentioned above – and document all the information you feel necessary to keep track of your photography gear.
Get Photography Insurance | Front Row Photography | Photographer Insurance | Photographers Insurance | photo gear insurance
Following these tips will, hopefully, allow you to properly keep track of your photography gear and avoid an unfortunate occurrence like theft of photography equipment – but in case that does happen – you would ideally have insurance coverage in place.
Front Row’s insurance for photographers is a good option for insuring your photo gear. Many Canadian photographers have come to recognize Front Row as the industry’s best coverage – and rely upon us to protect their valuable camera gear. You can get a quote online, purchase a policy online in five mins. or read more about the coverages available on the photography insurance site.
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