After a few years, shooting in studio and outdoors, I realised that what I needed was to work with minimalism. In my work I like things to be streamlined, and efficient, and to do so, I need really need to work with a minimalist gear kit.
How many times in my life have I been called or called myself the “orchestra man”, you know, that guy who has tons of gear, and carting 100kg on my back. And the market seemed to want that. Times were to “show off” surprisingly, if an ad agency saw you with little gear, they thought that you were a Quack. It was about ordering stuff for them, because they gave a huge list, even if everything could be done with 3 lights. Now I know it’s not about that, it’s really about producing good content, with great turnaround time, and HAVING FUN !
Now I am not saying that we should go with nothing, but we should go with what’s needed, and with Intent. And that’s the key to my minimalist gear kit.
I went from a huge studio space with all my gear in it, full of modifiers, torches, light stands, and whatever was needed. In fairness the studio was also a rental space, so the gear would serve the purpose of multiple photographers and people renting it worldwide, so gear was needed.
At this stage in my photographic career, and in my life, i’m into much more minimalism, and my gear and photography is related to this. I feel more authentic, i’m more myself, and I create art and photography that’s more about me and who I am deep inside.
With that kit below, I can shoot a whole production for a corporate campaign, as the one shot for the Domaine du Crest or outdoor Adventure shoots.
I can also go minimalist and shoot with far less, such as the minimal 2 cameras, 2 lenses, 1 A1x and the Profoto C1. which allows me to have that in a small pouch and shoot outstanding images with super light gear.
Other stuff can be shot just with a camera and a lens such as outdoors trekking work, which can’t justify heavy gear, as i’m hiking like the others and carting other gear.
But I can also go very light, and make hell out of heaven, or heaven out of hell, enjoying the incredible X-T3 alone like when I decided to test the Fujifilm X-T3 in rough conditions on a pre-production body.
So, you’re probably wondering what’s in my minimalist gear kit ? And here it goes, and that’s the maximum I could be carting around for any of my shoots.
- Fujinon XF 14mm 2.8 R
- Fujinon XF 23mm 1.4 R
- Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4 R
- Fujinon XF 56mm 1.2 R
- Fujinon XF 16-55mm 2.8 R LM WR
- Fujinon XF 50-140mm 2.8 OIS R + 1.4 converter
- Profoto B10
- Profoto B10 Plus
- Profoto A1X AirTTL Off-Camera Kit Fuji
- Profoto C1
- Profoto Gel Kit
- Profoto Grid Kit
- Profoto OCF Softbox
- Profoto OCF Starter Gel kit
- Profoto OCF Stripbox
- Profoto OCF Octa
- Profoto OCF Beauty Dish
- Profoto OCF Barndoor
- 5 tripods including 2 foldable mini-light stands from manfrotto
- 2 backgrounds, foldable, from lastolite for headshots
- 2 large Parabolic Westcott 7ft Umbrellas
- Macbook Pro 15 inch with 1Tb hard drive
- 1 rode videoMic with TRS connector
That might for some seem a huge amount, and I agree that I rarely take everything with me, but when needed, i can shoot with a large setup which goes in 2 camera bags, and my tripods in a tripod bag. It all goes in a large wardrobe, and that’s totally flexible in terms of gear and lighting.
If I consider shooting or getting into video work, it’s perfect. All the profoto lights are adaptable with the white balance, and the fujifilm camera kit works and integrates stunningly with the profoto lights. So I can shoot still and movies with the same gear, and it’s amazingly versatile and compact.
This gear is perfect for large publications, spreads, posters, campaigns and anything I might need to work, but the more important, it’s light. All this is totally acceptable if I must take everything with me, travelling, it’s less than 25 kilos and can be stored in a Pelican case or a heavy duty case, or even with hand-luggage, a team of 2, we share the gear and we can go away with only overhead luggage.
The more I shoot, the more I streamline, which allows me to go to remote places or try things I could not do before with huge gear packs. I’m really enjoying taking less, and the A1X and C1 are just incredible with the Profoto Connect remote. What i’m waiting for now is the integration of “profoto Camera” to be able to shoot with my smartphone for some shoots taking the C1 or the B10 with me and doing crazy work with it. Cross fingers, profoto might be working on it, that I don’t know.
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