Instead, Ilvy is hoping that closer collaboration with other photojournalists will prove beneficial, and she has recently joined the VII Photo Agency. "I've noticed that being part of VII helps because you're actually sharing assignments and making group exhibitions that can generate money. I think being part of a group is one of the things that could increase your chances of survival as a photojournalist," she says.
Ilvy has recently acquired a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, and her most recent trip was her first chance to use it. "The images are so sharp, and the camera is way lighter than my previous body," she says excitedly. "I shot video as well, and I was just amazed by the quality." Ilvy's most frequently-used lens is the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. "When I got the new version of the lens, my other two lenses stayed in my bag. For a long time, I didn't get them out at all. It's so easy to just use the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM because it's very sharp and it combines all the other lenses into one." However, she adds: "I think photography is about daring to get close, so I'd like to use my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM and Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lenses a bit more."
As with multimedia platforms, Ilvy maintains the gear in her bag is a means to an end. She believes it needs to be durable and to work flawlessly, but ultimately needs to be used by a good storyteller. "Being a photographer is about being smart, connecting to people and being empathic towards your subjects," she says. "It's about working together, not just going somewhere to steal a story by grabbing images and leaving again. You need to really put your heart into this job."