I am minimalist in life and that fact influences my photography work a lot.
You rarely will see me using more than two lights. I believe keeping it all simple let’s me concentrate on my subject rather than the worry about gear. It frees me and let’s me breath. So whenever I feel I can pull it off, I just pack bare minimum and head to photo shoot.
I currently am based in the city of Madison, WI which is (lucky me!) very bicycle friendly. And since the majority of my small editorial work assignments are based in relatively close proximity, I use bike as my transportation. I use it a lot. Heck, I even use bike to get to wedding receptions as well.Bike forces me (and helps at the same time) to travel light and normally all my photo gear easily fits on my bike and in my Kelly Moore bag.
Here’s how my minimal editorial photography kit looks like:


1. Manfrotto 5001B compact light stand   2. Couple bungee cords. I really use just one   3. X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo target    4. Spare generic batteries for Fuji X system    5. Fuji X-Pro1 mirrorless camera with Fuji 23mm lens    6. Fujinon 35mm lens    7. Fujinon 56mm lens    8. Couple of Yongnuo YN560 IV flashes     9. Manfrotto 175F Justin Spring clamp    10. Westcott small collapsible umbrella   11. Yongnuo YN-YN560-TX radio trigger   12. my old Vello grid that recently got replaced by awesome Magmod magnetic grids


And of course my minimalistic set-up has its limitations. Due to the light weight my compact Manfrotto 5001B light stand and Westcott’s collapsible umbrella combination is not suitable for outdoors as it  really can’t withstand any wind. I mostly use it indoors, for one person’s portrait, a regular sized dish or a craft cocktail.
When traveling light I occasionally miss my white foam boards (that I use a lot for food photography) and my 32 inch 5-in-1 collapsible circular reflector. But that’s the price I pay for substituting car with bike. And I don’t mind paying that price.


My Manfrotto 5001B compact light stand strapped to the bike frame and ready for transportation


Paulius Musteikis is an editorial and documentary photographer based in Madison, WI. His editorial work is frequently published in local magazines (Madison Magazine, Isthmus, etc.) as well as national blogs and publications (Eater.com, Triathlete Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, etc.). Editorial photography tips are based on his personal experience while working on editorial photography assignments in Madison, WI.


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