I take a lot of notes.

Many days I wake up with fresh ideas or new items to add to my checklist.   Sometimes I use my phone. Sometimes I use scraps of junk mail. I use whatever is most accessible at the time. As I shoot more documentary work the need to carry around a portable notebook is necessary.

Recently, I was shooting portraits in the crowd at the Roots Picnic in Philly. In addition to taking photos the editor requested that I get quotes from the people. This was unexpected and outside of my comfort zone. After each portrait I retrieved my phone and gathered their information. Now there were some pros and cons to this approach...


  • Collecting information on the phone made it very easy to share with the writers and editors once I was done. This saved me lots of time.


  • Using the phone was often clunky and time consuming. Typing in my password each time and correcting the 'auto-correct' feature slowed things down.

Carrying a small notebook in my shirt pocket or back pocket makes it simple and easy to take notes on the go. A 3-pack is available for under 10 bucks on amazon.

Insider tip: carry a retractable pen that can be opened and closed with one hand. This will help to write notes quicker without losing your train of thought.


GearIdris Solomon