Archive for 'Editorial Photography':

India :: I’m Like Whoa

March 14, 2012 | Editorial Photography

I’m currently in India on assignment for Fuji to shoot promotional photos with their new X-Pro1 camera system. Hey, why not? It’s a good gig if you can get it right? Hell yes it is. I arrived in Mumbai/Bombay already exhausted after the Dubai trip and this city amplified my senses to eleven plus one. I’ve always had a bit of a smug pride about not being intimidated by places until the hour long drive from the airport to my hotel. I hit the bed the other night afraid that I may very well have met my match. I found the place that scares the sh*t out of me. It’s completely insane here and that makes it awesome.









It’s the kids on the streets that really break my heart into one million pieces. I mean really break me down. I want to earn a billion dollars and grab them all and make a life for them.







Straight from camera.

The X-Pro1 is a Fuji X camera so I’ve said my fair share of curse words using it but then the effing @#&*!@ camera locks on and O. M. G. In the chaos that is this city I can’t even begin to explain how using this camera makes my life 500% easier because they can just about fit in a pocket and rival my 5d Mk II in image quality. Twelve hours out shooting with my x100 and X-Pro1 and I don’t even feel it at the end of the day. I can play the tourist card with these cameras and get in and get out without even thinking about my gear.

Internet is dodgy here at the hotel. If this blog post publishes I’ll be surprised. More when I can. Full post about the camera after this trip and after a three day job I head to immediately following this trip.



PS – The contrast of subjects I’m photographing on this trip does not escape me.

#de_VICE Series Picked Up By CNN

February 29, 2012 | Editorial Photography News

CNN’s photos blog just picked up my #de_VICE series and ran it today. You can check it out here. It’s a good feeling to see a personal project see the light of day outside of my own feed. Big thanks to Jeremy Cowart for introducing my project to photo editor Elizabeth Johnson at CNN.

I started this project last year about people lost in their devices. It started on a trip to New York right after I bought the Fuji x100 camera. I was walking the streets shooting your garden variety street stuff and took a photo of a girl engrossed in her phone. She was wearing a white dress and standing by a black wall. I liked the composition so I snapped off a frame.

I turned from her to see another person lost in their phone and took a shot of them. I turned once more to see another person on their phone. In a movie the camera would pan out and I would be standing on a street corner surrounded by people staring into their phone screens.

I photographed a few more people for a few more blocks. Then a few more. I decided that I’d spend the day photographing people staring at their phone. Then I spent the next day doing it. Then it became a thing I was constantly looking for.


I have found that we get so focused on the screen in front of us we’re oblivious to the world going on around us. Instead of shooting this project with a 200mm lens from across the street, I like the 23mm lens on the Fuji because it forces me to be close to the subjects I’m photographing and 9 times out of 10 I can be a few feet from someone on their phone and they never knew I took their photo.



As I work this project I’m looking for layers of devices. It’s really not difficult to find which seems to be becoming a disturbing trend. They’re everywhere and we’re stuck to them and oblivious to everything around us.





This is one of my favorites of the series so far…



You can see more from this series on the CNN blog and in my 500px feed. Thanks for looking! Are you looking on your device? :)



Faces & Spaces :: Jan

February 14, 2012 | Editorial Photography




Had another shoot for my faces and spaces project today. This is Jan and she’s adorable. She is a very talented artist working at her craft each and every day. She has more hustle then most artists I know who are still in their 20’s. That’s some of her work on the wall above. Her house is filled with art and she makes an amazing cup of green tea. Jan asked me several times to filter my lens to get rid of all her wrinkles but in my professional opinion she’s beautiful just the way she is. All of us could only hope we have so much grace as we move on through life as she does.

This is a personal portrait project focusing on subjects 70 and older. If you or someone you know lives in the Atlanta area and would like to be a subject for this project please email us at studio [@] zackarias [dot] com. Shoots typically take about thirty minutes and I’ll travel to you.

The reason I started this project is two fold. I was showing my portfolio last year in New York and some consistent feedback I received was I needed some more age diversity in my book. Most of my work for the past eight years has been working with musicians so the “age” of my book are subjects 30 and under. Second, two photography regrets I have is that I never got a great portrait of my grandfather nor my dad. If I close my eyes I can see the portraits I would shoot today if I could but unfortunately I’ll never have an opportunity to make those portraits. This project is sort of my way of giving families images of their elders that I wish I would have shot of my own family.

Lastly, some of y’all have asked how I shoot for this project. Here’s a quick shot of my set.

The set up here is an Einstein as the main light in a PCB 22″ white beauty dish. That’s hanging out on a 40″ C-Stand with an arm acting as a mini boom. That flys right over my camera and we put a 25lb sand bag on the stand just to make sure it doesn’t go over. The background is a large pop-up scrim/reflector that is A clamped to a stand. It’s lit with another Einstein with a PLM reflector on it. Both lights live in the 1/4 power range. The PLM reflector gives a nice wide coverage on the background without spilling onto the subject. That pops the background to white. For this project I wanted a consistent set up that had a small footprint. I can set this up in just a few square feet of space and it gives me a consistent look no matter what location I’m in. For the spaces shot above I took the dish and pointed it to the back of the room and ceiling. I typically shoot the spaces part with natural light but we just didn’t have enough here due to it being a very overcast day so this one had to be lit.

Walking through the door we have three cases. My ThinkTank Airport International bag with camera gear. A ThinkTank Logistics Manager with all the lights, cords, grip, and two small light stands. Finally the beauty dish has it’s own bag that also holds the pop-up reflector. The C-Stand is just on it’s own. It’s a beast.

You can see more of my Faces & Spaces images on my 500px portfolio. I use 500px as a holding area / dumping ground for images that either do not fit on my main site or for projects that aren’t completed enough to make it on my main portfolio page.



PS – The only thing stopping you for doing a personal project is … Oh yeah. There isn’t anything stopping you from doing a personal project.

Faces & Spaces :: Thad Taylor

February 1, 2012 | Editorial Photography

I’m still working on my Faces and Spaces project. Today I had the pleasure of photographing Thad Taylor. Mr. Taylor is a photographer as well. He got his start after WWII and the stories he has to tell! In fact, I’m going back to see him soon to record some of his stories. The experiences he’s had are relevant to our times today as photographers.

I really appreciate everyone who is helping me with this project. Basically it’s a portrait project I’m doing for personal work. If you or someone you know is over the age of 70 and lives in the Atlanta area please email dan [at] zackarias [dot] com and we’ll set up a shoot. The shoots typically take about thirty minutes and I’ll drive to you (them). As this project goes forward the people I’m getting to meet get more and more interesting. Personal work is a great way to build a new portfolio but it’s also a great way to build your own character as a photographer.

The face shot above is from my new PhaseOne IQ140 back on the PhaseOne camera body with the Schneider 80mm. You could extract your subject’s DNA from these files. I can’t believe the level of detail this camera is able to capture. The 5d came into place for the “place” shot though since that was shot at ISO 1600. DSLR for the ISO. Phase for everything else. I’ll blog specifically about the Phase soon enough.




The General :: Faces & Spaces

December 9, 2011 | Editorial Photography


I’m still seeking subjects for my personal portrait project based in Atlanta. It’s called “Faces & Spaces” and I’m seeking subjects 70 years or older for this project. This is the General. He’s 94 and served in an Army artillery unit in France and Germany in WWII. The best part of this project of mine is not the photographs I get to make but the people I get to meet. The purpose of this project is to expand my portfolio to subjects beyond musicians. I’m not selling these for stock or commercial uses.

If you or someone you know who is 70 or older and lives in the Atlanta’ish area and would be willing to be part of this project please email my studio manager { dan @ zackarias . com }. I need about six more subjects to finish this project. I’ll drive to them and they and their family get images from the shoot. I’m typically need about 30 minutes for a session. I shoot an environmental portrait and then something like this…

What a face right? He is that kind in person! Such a wonderful man. You can see more from this project on my 500px collection.



Seeking ATL Subjects For Project

November 11, 2011 | Editorial Photography

I am currently working on a personal portrait project shooting faces and spaces of folks 70 or older in the Atlanta area. If you know of anyone who would like to be part of my project please email my studio manager, Dan Depew, at dan @ zackarias [dot] com. (z a c -> K <-)

I’ll drive anywhere in the metro Atlanta area for this project. The subjects and their families will receive photos from the project.

I’m concentrating on shooting tight head shots and then capturing an environmental photo of each subject. I’m hoping to find 10 or 12 more subjects by the end of the year. I work quickly and can be in and out in about thirty minutes. Hope to hear from you!



Editing Your Portfolio

I’m currently in the process of updating and printing a new portfolio and I thought I would take a moment half day to talk about the process.

My dear friend, Marc, has said of editing, “It’s like lining up your children and deciding which ones you’re going to shoot.” That quote isn’t going to end up on the front of a greeting card anytime soon but it does get to the heart of the matter. Andy Lee rephrased it to, “…deciding which ones you love more.” Either way, the process can suck but it is a process you need to go through on a regular basis. At least twice a year. Minimum.

I know many of you are wondering why I’m working on a print portfolio. What about web sites, PDFs, iPhones, thumb drives, laptops, etc, etc? Are printed portfolios still relevant? In my opinion they are. That opinion also is held by many in the editorial and advertising world. I know of two leading Ad agencies that won’t meet with you if you walk in with only an electronic portfolio. They want to see your book. The printed output of your work. Anything can look good on an iPad. Can it print? Can it run larger? The devil, and the jobs, are in the details. Wedding photographers know this all too well. Do you want to deliver a disk of zeros and ones or would you rather deliver a beautifully printed album? What is going to live in plain sight? A thumb drive or a book? Which one will be cherished? Which one has lasting value? Which one makes you more excited to deliver? Which one is instant? The book. That’s which one.

A printed book is a thing to take pride in. There’s something tangible about it that holding an iPad doesn’t compare to. Note that I’m a big believer in electronic forms of showing your work. I walk into every meeting with a print book AND an iPad. The book is the best representation I have of the work I do. The iPad holds expanded galleries of work that support the book and hold other galleries of work that don’t find their way into the main book. Things like personal projects, travel photography, video, etc. Eventually I want to have a series of print books that show a range of the work I do.

I’ve lived as a photographer for some time without a book. I wanted a book but didn’t have the time, money, discipline, etc to get it done. Going from having no book to having a book you’re ready to show is a pretty large mountain to climb. Choosing the physical book and making the prints are the easier parts. It’s editing the book that will make you cry and leave you feeling completely inadequate as a photographer. You’ll pray for your strengths while constantly focusing on your weakness through the process but I can’t stress enough how invaluable the process is. For me it’s more about the process of building a book than actually having a physical book to show. Let’s talk through the physical process.

The full discussion can be found after the jump…


Two Weeks On The Road Ends In Montana

September 3, 2011 | Editorial Photography Misc. Photos

I’ve been on the road for two solid weeks now and I can’t tell you how much I want to get home but what a great trip this has been. I’ve been teaching up here in the beautiful Northwest of our country. It started in Portland…

Had a great meeting at W+K in Portland and then I went to Seattle. (I just realized those photos are on a hard drive in my hotel room so here’s a photo that I’m not entirely sure what was going on at the time. It feels like I shot this a year ago right now but it was just last week.)

I had a day in off in Seattle and walked through the hallowed doors of the Wexley School for Girls. If I die and come back as something, I hope I’m an art director so I can work in an agency. They always have the greatest work spaces. Played credit card roulette at lunch with the Chase-ster. He lost. I won. Met Mark Wallace for the first time as he was getting ready for his creativeLIVE weekend. Super great guy and I watched his class off and on that weekend and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Hopped on the Mosquito Express wing-n-a-prayer prop plane and flew to Missoula, Montana after that to teach for a week at RMSP. Spent six days with sixteen students from all over the country. It was a long exhausting week that finished today. Yesterday we were out on a ranch.



The image above was shot with the Canon 135 f2. That lens is reason enough to switch to Canon. Oh Em Gee. Love that lens.

Traveling is a weird beast. It calls you. It’s sexy. It’s the goal of many and then you get into it and it becomes a beast. It takes you from those you love the most. Meg and I have a hard enough time when I’m on the road for five days. Two weeks apart has left us both frazzled. If you read this blog you’ll know I’m not putting two complete sentences together all that well. :)

RMSP is a jewel in big sky country. I’ll be coming back next year to light it up once again. Thanks for all the new friendships everyone.

The cherry on top of my trip was the shave and a haircut at a main street barber shop today. A guy named Steve took a razor to my neck and it was amazing. Guys, go to a barber shop and get a good ol’ fashioned shave. It’s better than a day at the spa. Off to find dinner. I’ll be at the Rhino by 9:00 tonight. Best bar in town! Is it the travel or all the nights at the Rhino this week? :)



Here Kitty Kitty :: New Street Photography

This month’s promotional mailer and the inspiration for a new gallery on my site is based on this poor lady I recently came across in Times Square. Evidently she did not have the proper permit to be posing for photos with tourists and a few of New York’s finest were telling her she needed to get lost. In those words. “Get lost lady.” I think she was already lost. My new street gallery can be found on the main page of this site. It’s called “Here kitty kitty.” (note: using your arrow keys is the easiest way to navigate the new galleries)

This work is a departure from my editorial and commercial portraiture work. It’s taking me back to the journalistic roots that I grew from when I started pursuing photography 15 years ago.

Street photography is a difficult way of shooting for me for a number of reasons. In my commercial work I am in control of every aspect of a photograph. I control the subjects, the environment, and most importantly, the light. Street shooting is the antithesis to this. I’m in control of nothing . I also struggle with the emotions that I am part voyeur and part thief. It is not uncommon for me to spot an interesting character on the street and start to trail them. I’ve followed some people for more than an hour all while stopping for brief seconds to put my lens on another subject along the way. I steal personal moments. There they are just going about their day and I show up, take a moment of it, and push it to tens of thousands of people through social media. It’s fascinating, exciting, and kind of pervy. I love my job. :)

If you would like to see more of my street work, miscellaneous personal photos, and partially completed projects then I invite you to check out my visual dumping ground over at 500px.



Flat Black Cutlass :: Chandler, AZ

May 6, 2011 | Editorial Photography

I spotted this car at a 7-11 and knew I had to take a portrait of whoever was driving it. As I crossed the street he pulled out and drove down the street only to pull over at a cell phone store where I was originally standing when I saw the car at the gas station. I should have just stood there and let him come to me. I hung outside of that cell phone store for thirty minutes waiting for him. I’m glad he agreed to have his portrait made. That reflection on his eye off the window trim makes it for me.

From an afternoon stroll through Chandler, AZ. Shot with a Hasselblad SWC/M. TMAX 400 developed and scanned at Richard’s in Hollywood, CA.



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