What gear is essential for you?
I use Nikon D3s and D3 bodies, 70–200mm f/2.8G VR, 24–70mm f/2.8G, and 14–24mm f/2.8G Nikon zoom lenses, and a 50mm f/1.4G Nikon. I also shoot a lot of fun portraits with my Contax T3—a 35mm-film point-and-shoot camera. In digital, I shoot JPEGs instead of RAW because I can shoot longer bursts and don't use as much storage space. If I were always shooting RAW, my buffer would fill up quicker and I would end up missing the shot that I really need. For gym portraits, I'll also use three Profoto D1 Air monolights with a couple reflectors.