How taking an inventory saved me


It was just over a year ago when I lost a large portion of my business in a matter of 12 minutes. I was at an engagement shoot, it was the beginning of a snow storm, there was no cars in site. Just me, my car and my couples car. It will be fine, we will be super quick with this outfit. It was one simple choice that still haunts me, that left me digging into savings and starting the year off on the wrong foot.

In a matter of 12 minutes a car drove by the parking lot, smashed my window in, took my extra camera gear from under the passenger seat. They left my wallet, they left my phone, and they left my holdfast money maker. It didn’t feel real, all I could think was.

  1. Were they watching me? Why would they leave some valuables and go searching for my bag specifically.

  2. This is going to be a nightmare to deal with over the holidays.

  3. What was actually in my bag?

  4. WTF

So I did the things. I filed a police report, I called my car insurance for the window, I called my business insurance for the stolen gear.

Here is what insurance asked for me to start the claim.

  1. Police Report + Pictures

  2. Gear missing/stolen. Every single detail with serial numbers/proof of purchase

  3. Links to equivalent gear replacement cost

I was relieved. This would take me a day max to complete. I knew everything I owned, and I could reference my inventory to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything.

I honestly thought I had only 2 maybe 3 memory cards in my bag. I knew a lens was in there and I knew a camera body was in there. Everything else… I was blown away. Thankfully I had taken an inventory, I had serial numbers easily accessible and I was able to cross check for items in my home office to see what else I had missed. It’s the little things that add up.

3 Batteries
12 Memory Cards Both CF and SD
Lens Filters
Money Maker Camera Attachments
Lens Caps Rear/Front x 4
Memory Card Storage Case
Kamrette Backpack
Sigma Art 50 1.4
Canon 5d Mk iii

Total : $8000+ to replace

Just imagine how much money I would have missed out on without my inventory logged. Imagine how difficult it would be to prove I owned items had I not had this inventory to cross reference.

Linked below is information for taking an inventory as well as a FREE excel spreadsheet to do cross this off your to do list.

Sarah Beaulieu

Photographer from Calgary, Alberta specializing in Weddings