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Top 3 Tips For How to Plan Your Photography Day

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Top 3 Tips for How to Plan Your Photography Day

Planning your day of photography is no joke. It takes a lot of work and dedication to get those print-worthy images, and as every seasoned professional knows, preparation is the key to success.

Railway photography may just be a hobby, but to get that image that stands out above the rest, you must be ready to put in the hours before you can reap the rewards.

Keep reading to discover my top 3 tips for a day of successful photography before you even get to the tracks.

1. Create the ‘Schedule’

Some say planning is the most crucial part of capturing outstanding photographs. Therefore, it is vital to your success to build a ‘Schedule’. Treat this as a checklist for your day and refer to it when needed.

On a basic level, your list should include.

  • Time & location: – Times and areas of steam trains, including dates and other important notes about the place. An excellent site for up-and-coming times and locations is Here, you can find the latest news and routes.

  • Equipment: – Make a list of everything (and I mean everything) you’re going to need. Writing down what you need is perfect for later on when you pack. Then, tick off as you go to ensure that you miss nothing out.

  • Planner: – Plan your day, from the minute you wake to the time the train is due to pass; this gives you an accurate understanding of where you need to be and at what time.

2. Packing Done Right

Pack the day before your due to shoot. Sure, doing this may seem obvious, but the amount of people that wait until the last minute to check if they have everything is unbelievable.

Remember to refer to your list and tick off as you go.

Some things to remember are.

  • Lens cleaner

  • Tripod (if needed)

  • Waterproof Cover (for Camera)

  • Spare Memory Card

But the most important thing is, always carry a couple of extra batteries because let’s face it, there is nothing worse than the camera cutting out, just as you are about to take that all-important shot!

Photo Details:

Great Western Railway 43040 and 43153 is seen passing through Dawlish working the 2E10 05:40 Penzance to Exeter St Davids on the 29th May 2021

3. The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Unless you live in the wild, you will need to travel to your location of choice. Unfortunately, spots for the best pictures tend to fill up fast. It is not uncommon to arrive at a popular snap site and see other photographers already camped out. Avoid this and get their first! Set yourself up for success and give yourself time to be as prepared as possible. After all, you only have a few seconds to get that all-important shot, don’t waste it fiddling around because you were late to set up.

If you are new to railway photography, I would suggest that you have a read of Ultimate Guide: How to photograph Steam Trains to learn some great information.


Those are my three tips for success. Follow them as instructed, and I guarantee the anxiety of failing at the first hurdle will drift away, like steam leaving the train.

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