Walter Iooss

Walter Iooss

Kate Upton, shot for the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Iooss has shot over 10 covers of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, the first one being in 1973.

What’s in your camera bag?
My gear is Canon. I carry 1 EOS 1D, 1 EOS 5D, 24-105 zoom f4, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.2, 1 extra camera battery, 1 card reader, 1 hard drive, 4 Sandisk cards, a lens tissue, swim goggles and golf glove for my two favorite pastimes, and mints for safe breath.

What’s in your bag that’s specific to the type of work you shoot? I shoot mostly portraits and all the lenses are geared for that—my action days are few. For the swimsuit shoots I would bring a 70-200 f4 zoom and a 300mm f4, along with 3 portable Profoto strobes. Sunlight is only good for a short period of time, early and late, especially for women. Light is always the most important element in my pictures, if I am free to control it. Some jobs are only cover shoots—for those, you start with light and backgrounds, and go from there with the poses.

What’s the most unusual item in your camera bag? My goggles and golf glove—I use these anywhere I can swim or hit balls.

What can’t you live without? The 24-105 zoom.

What’s the one thing you would advise a photographer to carry with them at all times? An extra camera. I tried traveling light for a while with one camera, and it was not a good idea. Luckily, I was bailed out by a rental house in Miami where I was working one time.

Any tricks for packing light, space-saving techniques? I often put my clothes and toiletries in my case and remove the foam padding when I am traveling for a shoot. All packing is done with TSA on my mind.

Any makeshift, homemade items you’ve crafted over the years? No special gizmos. Remember, you take the picture; the gear is only the vehicle.

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