Ever wish you could get a peek inside the minds of your favorite photographers? We are here to help! We are bringing you the best, most inspiring photographers from around the world and having them share a few of things that inspire them, make them smile, and are essential to their creative process. We will be taking notes right here with you so that we can add their best-loved items to our own lists!

Today we have Elizabeth Blank, Atlanta-area photographer and Click Photo School instructor, joining us to share her top ten favorite things.

1. SPL Water Housing

When narrowing down the list of my 10 most favorite things, it’s no surprise my SPL Water House came in right at the top. I use the canary-yellow, A-series case all summer long to protect my Nikon D700 while underwater. While this model is not considered a “dive housing”, it is expertly built to easily handle depths of 15-20 feet and allows me to freely go under the surface while confidently knowing that my gear is safe and sound inside it’s aluminum-welded walls. This piece of gear is single-handedly responsible for my deep affection for underwater photography.

Related: 6 tips for capturing your kids having fun underwater

2. Patagonia Women's R1® Lite Yulex® Long Jane

The “Long Jane” wetsuit is my everything when the water is chilly and I’ve maybe referred to it as being my most treasured “bathing suit” because it is like Spanx on crack. When it comes time to shoot in water that is colder than my personal preference (my personal preference is right around 85* or higher – I’m a diva about being cold). It is considered minimalist protection for warm wave surfing – in my own words – just enough to take that the chill off. LOVE THIS THING. And just between us, you may sometimes find me wearing it on a 90 degree day if I don’t feel like shaving my legs. HA!!

3. Back light

I want to be an equal opportunity supporter of all forms of light, I truly do, but…that would be inauthentic and misleading because my heart solely belongs to backlight. It’s makes me feel warm to my core. Heck, I’m feeling happy just talking about it right now! Add in some beautiful rim lighting and I’m puddy in the sun’s hand.

4. Broadway musicals

I am a HUGE fan of musicals and I’d see one every week if possible. Someone once asked me if I was able to pick any art form in which I achieved mastery, what would it be? I immediately said, “Musical Theater!” It surprised the person asking the question, but not me. I’ve been obsessed with it since seeing You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in second grade. Now, if only I could sing and dance. Since those skills are a bit lacking, I’m doing the next best thing: brainwashing….err…teaching my oldest to appreciate musical theater, as well. We recently saw Hello, Dolly and Hamilton in May and, let me tell you, those were two of the happiest days of the year for me so far! 🙂

5. Bookstores

Old-school, classic bookstores. Can’t you smell it just thinking about it?! The crisp papers just stemming with possibility after possibility of the greatest stories ever told. I just love bookstores. I can spend hours perusing through them – checking out beautiful stationary and trying to convince myself that – no, in fact, I do NOT need another day planner to get me organized (I’m a tried and true pen and paper calendar girl over here!!). Bookstores are definitely a favorite of mine and my two summer favorite’s this year are Emily Giffin’s All We Ever Wanted and Gray Malin’s Escape.

Related: Book suggestions for photographers

6. PhotoMechanic

This program…oh, this program! PhotoMechanic had me at hello! It is my lifesaver when I consistently overshoot underwater (it’s the one place I recommend overshooting!) since it allows me to quickly (like…really quickly) cull through my images. This program has given me back so much time that would have otherwise been spent behind my computer!

7. Frizz Ease

Summertime calls for laid-back routines and one of the things I fully embrace during this time of year is summer hair. I don’t have super curly hair by any means, but I definitely have a bit of wave throughout. I have found that John Frieda’s Air Dry Waves works wonders on my hair and gives me just the perfect amount of definition for those loose beach waves.

8. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G lens

This puppy doesn’t get too many days off during these summer months. The Nikon 24mm f/1.4 is my workhorse and I adore her. She is always with me underwater (because she allows me to get the widest scene possible without introducing a ton of distortion) and is my number one lens to take on trips and vacations for the same reason. It is crisp, fast-to-focus and very versatile. Definitely one of my favorites!

9. Architectural and interior design

I find the process of designing a space to be such an exciting one. Not only is the space being brought to life, but you are also getting to see your vision come full circle. This year, we have been renovating our basement and it has been so exciting to see the project, which began as a concrete slab and a few studded out walls, become this beautiful space that feels so inline with my personal style. I love planning spaces in detail and then getting to see them become my reality. So excited to finally have a dedicated guest room and bath for visitors – now just to find the perfect bed!

10. Family

To wrap up this list, I saved the best for last. My family. I adore these 4 other people I call my own. They are my heart and they make me LAUGH every.single.day. I love traveling with them, being at home with them, and just doing this thing called life with them. They just are my everything…