Keep Your Sock Drawer Straight

December 28, 2009

Photo Gear, Photo Tips

Georgia O’Keefe once stated she could not paint until her sock drawer was straight. And while this is not a housekeeping blog, her comment hold true when it comes to being a better storyteller with video.

Knowing where all the parts of your gear live, and the state of their working order, is a huge part of the process. Knowing that the blue gel to trick your white balance is in this bag, or the filter to make the clouds pop is in that bag. This lamp needs replacing, and that audio cable is frayed. Order saves time in the long run. Order allows you to create images instead of rummaging through boxes. Your brain, office, car, and studio all work together to create the image. No gear, no image. Time spent looking means less creative time. Messy sock drawer = no painting.


If you look at successful artist and companies, there is always order to the chaos. Grip trucks are packed and unpacked a certain way. Studios are lined with labeled shelves. Why? So important gear can be easily found the next time it is needed.

I once worked for a person who, before hiring a new photographer, would take a ride in their personal car to see how clean it was. He wasn’t a clean freak – he was handing each new hire a car full of expensive gear. His philosophy was: “If they don’t take care of their own stuff, why would they take care of mine?”

It may seem odd, but creating order to your “sock drawer” does lead to spending more time with the image, therefore, becoming a better storyteller.



This post was written by:

- who has written 7 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

For 30 years, two time Emmy award winning photographer and producer Art Howard has helped viewers experience life through images from both poles, 49 states and 30 countries. Taking the viewer to places like the Gulf war in Kuwait, -30 degree conditions in the Arctic, or the ocean floor 3000 feet below the surface he pushes constantly for new ways to tell the story.

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One Response to “Keep Your Sock Drawer Straight”

  1. Chanelle Says:

    So true!! You can also tell how people take care of their stuff by the way their shoes look. Are they polished or scuffed? Dirty or clean? It’s a great reminder that it’s time to clean my car, polish my boots, and straighten my sock drawer. :)


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