What's in Your Gear Bag?

by Dixie Dixon
Lifestyle Fashion and Advertising Photographer

Helloooo there, I am Dixie Dixon, I currently shoot internationally for major advertising, editorial, and fashion clients! I love bringing each brand’s personality to life in my imagery and for me the connection is everything! I go to great lengths to connect with the people I work with and am inspired by their energy. It is a creative high for me when I am around passionate, genuine, and creative folks!

I started making pictures when I was just a little one. As silly as it sounds, I was an only-child and I found that I could entertain myself by posing my stuffed animals around the house and take pictures of them. Guess you could say they were my earliest of subjects! I was given my first real camera, the Nikon FG film camera at 12 years and I was in love!  Photography for me felt a little rebellious and I really liked that about it.

I’ve always been a Nikon girl and totally obsessed with the Nikkor glass and their gorgeous image quality so one of the biggest highlights of my career was becoming a Nikon Ambassador of the United States. Nikon is an amazing company with truly great people at its core so I’m honored to get to work with them!

Gear-wise my first digital camera was the Nikon D70s Camera- it was 6 megapixels at the time and I’m still amazed at how well it performed & 50mm f/1.8 lens. That is literally the only gear I had during the first couple years of shooting… then I started growing my equipment as my biz grew. I’ve owned the Nikon D200, Nikon D300, & Nikon D700 and then upgraded to the Nikon D3x when I booked my first campaign.

Now my main workhorses are:

Cameras

Nikon D5

This guy is a beast!!  When I need speed- the perfect camera for shooting lifestyle, movement and swimwear, I am blown away by how fast it is and how beautiful it renders skin tones

Nikon D810

When I need the HUGE file size- I shoot this a lot in fashion and advertising as well as for video. The detail is insane!!!

Nikon Df

When I shoot personal work- I really do love this camera, and the look and feel of it reminds me of my old Nikon FG, for some reason I feel like I’m getting back to basics and the core of why I got into photography in the first place

Nikon D3X (Still love this camera)

Nikon 1 AW1 for my lil vacation camera! It’s shockproof and waterproof too!

 

Lenses

I do own a couple zoom lenses but for some reason I rarely use them. I love the primes for their insane sharpness and simplicity so guess you could say I am my own “walking zoom”

Nikon 35mm f/1.4G

This lens is perfect for lifestyle group shots and full body fashion shots where I want to capture a lot of environment in the background

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G

I used this lens most often when I first started out and I still use it a lot for full body fashion and waist up shots

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

I just got this lens and whoa its sharp! 58mm is actually what the human eye sees naturally so its a nice focal length to have in your bag. Just a little longer than the 50

Nikon 60mm f/2.8D

This was my first macro lens and I still use it for product stuff. I usually like the 105 Macro for shooting beauty like lips, nails, and eyes.

Nikon 85mm f/1.4G

This is one of my FAVORITE lenses- great all around for portraits, super sharp and blurs the background nicely

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro

This is my favorite macro lens! Perfect for shooting close-ups of the lips and etc without being too close to your subject

Nikon 135mm f/2D

This is an amazing headshot lens and creates a BEAUTIFUL bokeh in the background. It’s from the film days but I still use it often because it has a certain quality I love and the defocus ability

Nikon 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED

It’s the second lens I ever owned and I still use it All the time for gorgeous headshots. It’s truly one of my all time favorite lenses and one of the most overlooked and underrated in my opinion.

Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II

My FAVE Lens EVER!!!  It is Bokeh-luscious —  The focal length is nice too because it blurs out your background beautifully!

 

Lighting

Love the Profoto line and their shaping tools

Profoto D1’s for in studio

Profoto B1– great for location shooting without cords- I just fell in love with these

I also use constant light often so I’ll rent Profoto HMI’s– looks like natural light and they are very powerful. For portable constant light, I love the GL1 Hotlight for a warm look and the Westcott Ice Light for a cooler soft toned look.

 

Storage

I am obsessed with backing up since I’ve learned the hard way on that one! G-Technology makes the very best drives and I currently use a bunch of them:

G-Dock – for on set backup- it makes two duplicate backups on set via thunderbolt

G-Speed Q- they are RAID storage solutions with huge capacity enterprise quality drives .- I have one set up as an archive with all of my raw files and one is a working unit. Then I have another one at a different location for off-site backup.

I also have a bunch of G-Drive slim drives and some of other RAID storage solutions for video editing.  And I use the G-Technology rugged family of products when I am out at beach locations- I dig their waterproof-ness :)

Post-Processing

Apple Macbook Pro and iMAC– they run all the programs I need very quickly– I’m passionate about the Apple products-they are completely worth the investment… plus they’re powered by the super fast new Intel Core Processors

iPAD to shoot tethered to on set and iPhone of course

Adobe Photoshop CS6 for retouching- a must-have

Hats:

Can’t overlook this one, ha! I am passionate about hats and have a ton of these Brixton Hooligans ;) Sheesh that’s a lot of gear.. Ha! Keep in mind that you can make amazing images with the simplest of gear… I literally started with one camera and one lens and got by just fine… I rent gear a lot per job and have grown my equipment as my business has grown.

To download Dixie’s commercial fashion tutorial with RGG EDU, click here. This article was also featured on ShoTKit http://shotkit.com/dixie-dixon/

 

G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives.  G-Team members are compensated for their participation.

G‐Technology external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.