“A place for everything, everything in its place.” This old adage is fitting when it comes to camera closets. To provide stress relief, have a system for organizing and checking out equipment.
Have an identification system. Whether your school has an ID system or not, it’s essential to have a simple way to ID each camera and lens. Consider specialty camera straps in various patterns or colored Velcro straps. Add the camera type to the color ID to help distinguish bodies, e.g. 70D Red, 60D Orange.
Designate separate areas for bodies and lenses. Preferably, have a separate area marked for each camera and lens, marking off the areas with tape or markers. If you prefer, have camera kits that include the camera bag, body and specific lenses that belong together.
Label each area clearly. This will make it obvious when a camera is not in the closet.
Have a check out system. Have students fill out a check out form indicating what equipment they’re taking and the date. Include a disclaimer on the form that makes clear the student is financially responsible for the checked out gear. Make sure to have them sign and provide their phone number. Have them mark the return date when equipment comes back.
Place staffer name cards in the designated area for equipment used. Write students’ names on magnets, cardstock or clothespins. Place the name card in the empty area to indicate which student has checked out the camera. This will provide a clear visual of who has what equipment checked out.
Bonus tip: A check out form makes it easier to track which student has what camera. Adding the cell phone number also helps when staffers are late to bring back equipment.