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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Essentials

Top pros share the gear they can’t live without

A Fresh Manicure. Everybody loves nails. Okay, well, maybe not, but everybody loves nails that are extravagant—it's hard not to comment on flashy nails, and it's a great conversation starter. I don't know how it began for me, but somewhere along the way, I became obsessed with nails. (I'm an obsessive ex-nail biter and have been in "nail rehab" for seven years now.) I've never missed a manicure—every two weeks without fail—and I've gotten really into bright colors and a long, long pointy shape. They're 100% my nails, and people always say, "Wow, your nails are so..." You would be surprised how many people love nails.

Screen Square. We used to have this problem where we would run out of room tacking up pictures of selects onto my shoot monitor to help with making a layout while on set. We would have 4x6 printed images taped to images taped to other images running the entire perimeter of the screen. A very special person made a foamcore "frame" that fits around the monitor like a collar that we can use like a pincushion to put our favorite images on. That way, we can keep track of what we like and where we're going. It's the only way I can map out a shoot, and I literally can't work without it.

Martin Wonnacott

Fresh Pair Of Paul Smith Socks. The socks are important to me, and like a lucky charm, in some ways. I always work without shoes on set and have done for years. It makes me feel at home, first of all. It also serves a practical purpose by allowing me to feel the stands as I move around in the dark. I also only wear Paul Smith socks because they're whimsical.

Fresh Flowers In The Studio. Flowers are important to me because I believe in first impressions. I truly want clients to be as comfortable as possible when working with me. I think fresh flowers are calming and soften a space. They're one of those details I always pick up on when I enter places.

Fresh Coffee. Coffee has to be good and on tap. I have a great espresso machine in my N.Y. studio, which helps start the day. Nobody likes bad coffee.

Alison Wright

Because I photograph in remote locations around the world, I'll always have these three things.

My Medevac Insurance Card. When my bus crashed on a remote jungle road in Laos and I nearly died of my injuries, I didn't have Medevac insurance. It was $25,000 out of pocket to be airlifted to a hospital in the U.S. I now have it.

A Buddha Amulet. I received this amulet in Thailand, and it has been blessed by numerous monks and lamas during my Himalayan travels. I carry it in the hope that it will protect me from ever having to actually use my Medevac insurance.

Nikon AF-S 50mm F/1.4G. This lens is just so deliciously sharp. It's ideal for portraits, and it's fast enough for low-light use. I never know when I might come across a great face that just begs to be photographed, but I'm ready with the 50mm.


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