With the exception of an old 4X5 camera, all of the equipment I use to make a still photo is exclusively Nikon. It is a relationship built on trust and excellence. I know the quality and the technology that is put into their equipment is unrivaled and it can keep up with the demands that I put on it day in and day out.
Nikon D4s – when it comes to speed and/or ultra low light performance, this camera is unmatched. It is strong, durable and incredibly responsive. For a sports assignment, this is the camera you will almost always see in my hand.
Nikon D810 – when I need an incredibly robust file and rich resolution, this is what I will pick up every single time. The files are gorgeous and at over 36MP, I have all the file I need. The color and clarity that is produced through this sensor is unmatched. Dont take my word on it, DxO Mark says so too! (link)
Nikon D750 – love this camera for remote work. It is a great bridge between the D4s and the D810. Key features that really impress me out of this body are the tilting LCD screen and the built in wi-fi. It has a great blend of speed and resolution that make it an ideal camera for many situations.
Nikon Df – This great retro-styled camera packs a punch. It is essentially a D4 with an EXPEED4 processor packed into a 40 year old camera. It has great style, is light weight and incredibly responsive. While it doesnt shoot video, it can do almost anything you can imagine when it comes to making a still photograph. What do I love most about this camera? It makes me slow down. While it certainly has speed to it, I find myself keeping the shutter control on single frame to keep me working a little slower and more mechanically – thinking about the shot more than reacting to it. Sometimes I have even pulled out some of my old 30-year-old MF lenses to really bring back the nostalgia.
Nikon1V3 mirrorless – Great carry around camera. Perfect for having in the car when you always need a camera with you. Something that is always with me when hiking around with the family, going to the park or for my wife to throw in her purse. Very fast and responsive. The ideal solution when I dont want to carry a DSLR
Beyond those bodies, I currently also have an array of D4, D800, D3s and D3 bodies all in regular rotation depending on the need from any particular assignment. I even have a D300s converted to infrared.
When it comes to glass, that is another thing that really sets Nikon apart from others. There are around 90 current lenses in the Nikkor lineup – virtually anything you could need for a particular shoot or an idea you have. I have over 20 Nikkor lenses and they all see regular use. I have used everything from the 14-24mm all the way up to the 800mm. I can find a use and a purpose for everything.
I love light – whether it is adding just one Nikon SB-910 or a full 15-20 light studio or location setup. I love the creativity it affords me. This is also the hardest thing to travel with and takes a lot of work not only to learn but to use. It is one thing to use light but something entirely different to use it well. Arguably the hardest part of portraiture when it comes to lighting is shooting on location. In the studio, the environment is very controlled while when you are tasked with shooting a powerful portrait on location, the formula for success is much harder. You have to be able to decisively choose your background, consider the ambient light and how to utilize it or overpower it with strobe. If you are outdoors, you have mother nature to deal with as well.
When it comes to strobes, the right modifier is just as – if not more important – than your strobe of choice. I rely almost exclusively on Profoto modifiers. I find them to be not only the most durable (very important with travel and location work) but also giving me the most control and creativity. The other thing I love about Profoto modifiers? I can use them with my Nikon speedlights.
My ultra-light kit consists of 4 Nikon SB-910 strobes, one Nikon SB-900 and 4 supplemental Nikon battery packs for the 910 units. I use the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) or Pocketwizard Multimax units to trigger the strobes. This setup is very flexible and gives me a lot of latitude when I am on location.
My primary kit is all Profoto. This is what will travel with me everywhere. It can own any situation in a studio and on location. My favorite items out of the bunch are the ProB4 Air packs (1000W) and the ProB plus heads. My current location kit features 4 Protofo ProB4 packs with four ProB Plus heads and a ringflash. This kit is as fast as they come when it comes to location work. The battery units can recharge to full in 45 minutes and they can also be kept on continuous power for all day studio work. My secondary lights for location work are the AcuteB2 Air (600W) packs along with the AcuteB heads. I have two packs and two heads and these will almost always travel with the B4 setup. There is virtually no situation that the kid above cant handle. I often times have very little time with my subjects – sometimes only 60 or 120 seconds – so my equipment has to be fast and reliable. I need to make the most of the little time I am given with subjects and for that, there is nothing I trust more than those Profoto products.
My supplemental Profoto studio equipment consists of an Acute 2400 and Acute 1200 packs and multiple Acute flash heads.
When it comes to Profoto modifiers, I am addicted. I have everything from the RFi 1X1.3 box all the way up to the Giant180 parabolic modifier.
My backup gear is Elinchrom. I still maintain a full array of Elinchrom light modifiers to afford me creativity in any situation. My Elinchrom kit consists of four 600RX monolights, four 1200RX monolights and 4 RangerRX SpeedAS packs with S heads along with a ringflash.