A Model & Retoucher’s Essentials

Ian Elkins is a model, retoucher and content creator currently based in New York, though he’s often abroad on shoots. His work ranges to anything from portraiture, architecture, lifestyle, wildlife, and even studio photography. He’s been generous enough to give us the scoop on all the equipment he regularly reaches for when creating his images. Let’s have a look at what’s in his bag.

“I’m usually on the go, so I keep things rather simple. As a blogger/social influencer, we are typically taking images where we need to get that shot quickly and move on. So the minimum is always preferred, and a testament to what can be created with little.” – Ian Elkins


Up until today, I, oddly enough, was using another camera (Sony A7rII). However, I just upgraded to the A7rIII, going back to what gear is essential for me. I went with the A7rIII because of its impressive specs in such a small body; the price; versatility; ability to transfer via wifi; and its wireless remote capabilities via my iPhone.


A go-to for me is definitely the Sony 24-70 2.8 GM lens. For how versatile it is, it doesn’t sacrifice speed or clarity. In addition, I rarely need anything under 2.8 aperture, and it allows me to refrain from missing the perfect shot while I normally would have to change lenses.


Normally, I don’t have time or the need to set up lighting equipment, but for on-the-go shots I love a good continuous and portable light. Right now I have a Rotolight Neo 2 in my bag that does wonders for its size. And I also just picked up the new Profoto A1 Speedlight.


I just picked up a fashionable, yet extremely functional all black VINTA.CO bag. It’s sleek, versatile and, best of all, functional. I can carry it with me into events as an accessory, and can store it somewhere without its contents being obvious, which is extremely important if you don’t want to attract a lot of attention for the wrong reasons.


FlowMotion iPhone stabilizer; Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet; Mophie Power Station AC

For a look at more of Ian’s work, visit his Instagram. And to hear more about his approach to photography and content creation, check out our brief interview here.

Dane Johnson

Dane Johnson is Editor of PHLEARN Magazine, where he helps creatives share their stories. As an amateur coffee connoisseur and inquisitive traveler, he accepts most assertions of his hipster-ness and millennialism without flinching.

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