I thoroughly research my destination, checking out points of interest, good view points and places where people will congregate
Lots of prep, Research,meet ups & discussions with my team or the subject.
Charge the camera battery!
If I am photographing people I talk to them about what they would like to have as an end result from the session.
Charge my batteries
Clean gear, clear memory cards, pack an appropriate bag depending on what I'm shooting.
Charge my camera batteries, and in the case of shooting girls, I usually organise a location and particular styles of clothing etc.
For location shoots, I do ocular visits to places day before the shoot to secure it's safe and all. I also conceptualize the whole idea first, unless the art director or the client wants it random. I usually study the flow of natural light in all angles since I am fond of it than using harsh flash and lights.
For the underwater, I make sure I have 9 hours sleep. I also make sure the water do not have much backscatter from rain or anything. I also check the weather forecast.
I no longer do portrait work. For nature or wildlife, I consider which camera to use, which filters are useful, which lenses to bring along, whether to use monopod or tripod. I plan for the appropriate time of day. Sometimes there's lots of waiting involved til conditions are right. Other times, you make do with what God sends your way.
Usually not much, I try to grow into a session. I do take the time to get to know the person I'm photographing. Also I give them something of my self in order to do a session on equal grounds
Make sure i have my battery, i some times forget to take it off the charger.
I spend days casting the perfect team for a photoshoot. First I think of an idea, then find a model, makeup artist, hair stylist, clothing designer if I need one, a location to shoot. Just before a shoot though I just make sure all my camera and flash batteries are charged and all my equipment is in my little camera bag.
Nothing. I make, sure that my battery is full, my flash light has a full battery. I use only natural lighting and not other equipment. I want my photography to be the product of my labor, not the product of bunch of small thing that add up to thousands of $. I feel that with photography there cant be any preparation, if you are a photographer, you know when to shoot. Just know at your heart..
Before a shoot, I always like to brainstorm a game-plan in my photo sketchbook. Its a little sketchbook-journal I carry around everywhere I go. Sometimes I'll sketch out my ideas and other times I'll write detailed description down.
Making sure everything I use works correctly! Also, knowing the photo that I want to achieve in my head first.
First of all (and I am NOT joking at all) Check if my camera battery is 100% fully loaded!!!
Check everything else and Im ready for the kill...
For me the pre-creation of an image or a photo is very important. Everything begins as a concept, an amorphous image rounds in my head over and over again. Sometimes I take pencil, paper, colors, watercolors and other more traditional tools to make sketches. Yes, sketches! Always helpful.
After all, it will depend of the moment. You can not control everything. But you must always decide whats in the photo.
About wild animals, I always mentalizing with a calm and patient attitude. Nature always go with her own flow, you know? So take your camera, be careful and wait for the miracle. If you breath and walk, it will happen. :D