Archive for 'Editorial Photography':

Street Portraits :: NYC 09/2009 :: Video + Stills

I’ve been talking with some folks and the topic of street portraits came up. Some are scared to death to approach strangers on the street. I understand the feeling completely but there are times you have to get over your anxiety about talking to strangers and pursue what it is you want to do. While I was in NYC a few weeks ago I decided to practice what I preach. I gave myself the assignment of shooting 10 portraits of 10 strangers in 10 hours. I had to sandwich these in between other shoots I had on the books while I was there. I approached 15 people and 9 accepted my request.

For those of you who have expressed your concerns about approaching strangers lemme give you some advice.

1) Read David duChemin’s book Within The Frame. David talks in depth about pursuing and expressing your vision where people, places, and culture are concerned. It’s a fantastic book with lots of technical and philosophical meat to dig your teeth into.

2) Get over talking to strangers. I know your mom told you not to but seriously, it’s ok. You will be amazed at how many people open themselves up to you. It’s a great experience for them and for you.

3) Don’t try to approach people who are on their way somewhere. Find someone just hanging out. You won’t be interrupting their schedule.

4) Guys, know your limit with approaching females. Some of you are suave and can do it with style. Dorks like me look like we are just trying a bad pick-up line. Know your limit. Ladies, well, y’all have it easy. Talk to anyone you want. :)

4) As David writes in his book, be kind, smile, and extend warmth and friendship to the folks you meet.

5) Many will tell you “no”. Many will say yes. Listen to what Janet said in the video above. She had not had a portrait made of her in 35 years! She wouldn’t have one getting shipped to her if someone had not simply asked to take a portrait of her.Anyway, here are my portraits. They aren’t the most amazing portraits I’ve ever shot but I’m glad I put myself out there. I met some great people I would have otherwise never talked to.

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NYC street portrait half_spacer.jpg Cheers, Zack

Greg Holden :: NYC

September 5, 2009 | Editorial Photography

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I would post more images but it is 2:23 am in NYC and I’m on day 3 of shooting up here with one more to go tomorrow. This is an image from a shoot I did with Greg Holden yesterday.  He’s an amazing musician from the UK who will be on tour with Ingrid Michaelson for the next six weeks or so. You should check out his myspace page to see if he’s coming to your town.

More to come.

Cheers, Zack 

Treasure Fingers :: NYC

September 4, 2009 | Editorial Photography

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I’m shooting my tail off in NYC this week.  These are a few images from my shoot with Treasure Fingers.  He makes music that makes you shake what your momma gave ya.

Many thanks to Brian for coming up from the A to help me shlep my gear around the city.  He just won Best Portfolio of his graduating class!  Congrats!

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Here’s a funny little grab from some video I was shooting in Times Square. Notice someone else’s flash firing off in the background the same time. One tourist helping out another with some rim light. The world is a good place! :p

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Cheers, Zack 

I’m Still A Photographer Right? :: Lots Of Pictures ::

photography_by_zackarias_19.jpg photography_by_zackarias_32.jpg I have a lot of images I want to share here on the blog and very little time to make specific blog posts about each shoot. This is a selection of some of the things I’ve been shooting. I had three more assignments with Nylon Magazine since shooting Living Things for them. For the record, they prefer natural light as opposed to lit photos.

Dallas Austin ::

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Vistoso Bosses ::

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B.o.B ::

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Animation guru Craig Hartin for Relevant Magazine ::

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Atlanta music legend Butch Walker :: His band :: His BMW

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My friends Mike & Priya got hitched ::

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Been shootin’ a lot of headshots like these of local actress Brenda Weitzer. ::

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Mark Adams of LaCour Photo came in to speak to the three day Photo 101 workshop I held a week before last :: Uh-Maze-ing time to be had. Thanks to you fine folks who traveled in for the workshop!

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Here are some images from that workshop. We set up some chatoic real world situations that beginning photographers may run into. Like… Shooting a family of seven at 10am in the front yard.

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And how to take on headshots without a flash and without a studio. It’s an exercise in finding light for portraits of any kind really.

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Shot some pictures for local musician Jeremy Agers ::

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Had a great OneLight workshop after the Photo 101 with our friends Jonathan Baker and Julia as our clients to photograph ::

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Oh man… I had Phive Starr in for a shoot. This production duo is un-freaking-believable. Super stoked to work with them. ::

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I haven’t even talked about my experience at Twitter and Google yet! This is @ded. He brought me to Twitter because he works there, he is awesome, and he is a kick ass photographer.

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I did a OneLight workshop for a bunch of google folks at the Googleplex. I can’t even begin to describe what an amazing place that is filled with amazing people who love their jobs. Here’s a few from that workshop. ::

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Lastly, another one from my shoot with Stephanie Lawrence a few months ago :: photography_by_zackarias_01.jpg photography_by_zackarias_32.jpg

I have yet to catch my breath and we leave for Australia tomorrow. That flight is going to suck but the experience there is going to make up for it I’m sure. Sorry for sucking up your bandwidth with this post! I just had to purge.

Cheers, Zack

PS – While I’m gone somebody keep the photography campfire lit!*

*Twitter ref. this week. :)

Living Things for Nylon Magazine ::

July 15, 2009 | Editorial Photography

Living Things photographed by music photographer Zack Arias

I have a lot of blog posts to make with recent work and very little time to make them. These images are from my shoot with Living Things. This was an assignment for Nylon Magazine. I’ve completed four assignments for Nylon and as they hit the shelves I’ll blog about them. The assignment was to shoot the band, individuals, and cover their show here in Atlanta. I haven’t worked with a better group of artists than these four guys.

Living Things photographed by music photographer Zack Arias

Living Things photographed by music photographer Zack Arias

Living Things photographed by editorial music photographer Zack Arias

I put out a question on Twitter during this assignment asking if I should take a 5d with a 90mm lens or a D3 with a 24mm lens. The D3 combo won. I finished the assignment with one camera and one lens.

Living Things photographed by atlanta based editorial music photographer Zack Arias for Nylon Magazine

Living Things photographed by editorial photographer Zack Arias http://www.zarias.com

Living Things photographed by photographer © Zack Arias http://zarias.com

Living Things are an effing amazing live band. If you ever have the chance to see them live don’t pass it up.

Living Things photographed with a Nikon D3 by music photographer ZackArias.com

I shot typical live shots like this…

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But… I wanted something different than straight forward live shots. Being I was shooting with the D3 I put the camera in multiple exposure mode and lit a fire of creativity under my arse. I’m now experimenting more with multiple exposure. Yes, you can shoot single frames and then composite them together in PhotoChop, but sometimes you need to come up with something different while not depending on software to do it later.

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The band Living Things photographed by music photographer Zack Arias zackarias.com

Living Things by music photographer Zack Arias © zackarias.com

Shooting a live show with multiple exposures is maddening because you can’t be exactly sure what you are going to get but that is the payoff. Sometimes it surprises you in a good way.

Do any of you experiment with in camera multiple exposure?

Cheers, Zack

Let's Test 6 Degrees :: Calling Coldplay & Diddy.

June 25, 2009 | Editorial Photography News

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I’m currently in San Francisco where I will be giving a presentation to the mighty fine group of individuals that have brought Twitter to all of us!  I’m going to be talking about the importance of social media in my life and how it has helped the photography industry build community. Both virtual and real. Twitter is a key to my marketing plans over the next year but beyond that, it keeps me in touch with so many people that I would normally fall out of touch with due to time or distance. Not to mention how many new friends I have thanks to social networking.

So… They say that we are connected to everyone on this planet by 6 degrees of separation. I want to test this by putting a call out to the 4,700+ followers on Twitter and 4,300+ friends on FaceBook surely there is a way for me to be able to photograph two prolific twitter account holders.

1 – I want to shoot a portrait of Coldplay.

2 – I want to hang out for a day and shoot Diddy. I’m locked in Diddy!  DM me!

What does this mean? Someone out there knows someone who knows someone who can connect me to Coldplay or to Diddy. I want to shoot portraits and I will travel for this project at my own expense. If Tom reads this and forwards it to Sally who knows Jeff in NYC who can connect Tom over to Bill who can get back to me with a time and place I could go and photograph Coldplay then this project can work. I’m still working on my list of folks on Twitter who I want to photograph but I’ll start simple.

Will you help me out with this? Retweet my tweets? Let’s test six degrees.

My expectations for this project is it will be a complete bust… But I just have to try it.  Who knows who you know? :)

Off to Twitter HQ!

Cheers, Zack 

Brent Lundy Promo Shoot ::

April 25, 2009 | Editorial Photography

Brent Lundy promo / press photography by Zack Arias #1 – 30º grid on Brent. Lights shot through sticks to create the pattern on the background. Brent Lundy was in town this week and came in for a full day shoot. Erik and I went location scouting Tuesday afternoon and were wishing we had brought coats. We were cussing at the heat the next day. Welcome to Atlanta. I twittered some of the locations that day and a lot of folks responded to the the “rust bucket” so I’ve included a few extras of that spot.

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More after the jump… Plus a tip on finding a cool location vehicle. (more…)

Iain & Jamie :: My Friends @ Ticket Alternative

April 24, 2009 | Editorial Photography

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My friends Iain (upper right hand photo) and Jamie (lower left hand photo) came in this week for some images they need for their company Ticket Alternative.  These guys are giving folks like Ticket Master a run for their over charged convenience fee money!

Iain is one of the first guys I met when I entered the Atlanta music scene as a full time working photographer. We have collaborated on a number of projects since then and I had the pleasure of shooting his wedding a few years ago.

Cheers, Zack 

Sometimes You Get Lucky ::

April 17, 2009 | Editorial Photography

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One day I was going by our local rental shop to pick up a lens and I noticed these two old dead trees behind their building. I’m always looking for interesting locations especially when they don’t look like anything you would normally find in the middle of a fairly large city. This is from a shoot I did with Surveil. Shot with an Alien Bee B1600 and a Westcott Apollo 50″ softbox.

I’m going back to just shoot the trees… provided they are still standing after this week’s wind storm.

Cheers, Zack

GPP Group Shot = Pressure That Can Make Diamonds

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On the next to the last day of Gulf Photo Plus I was informed by GPP organizer, Mohamed Somji, that I had the “privilege” of shooting the group shot of all the GPP staff and photographers. I would be given 15 minutes to set up and execute the shot with 25 to 40 people.I have done countless group shots in my young career but never one that had folks like Joe McNally, Drew Gardner, David Hobby, Chase Jarvis, David Nightingale, and on and on and on. No pressure.

Last year David Hobby shot the group photo. He did it available light and had the photo posted on the web in 30 minutes. He was smart. David kept it simple. I however had could not leave “well enough” alone. I wanted to make a picture that was a tribute to some of the photographers in the photo and I wanted to keep with the OneLight theme so I decided I would get everyone in the auditorium and light them individually with one light and then comp them together in post. I have “painted with strobes” a few times in my life but never on this scale. It isn’t the most technically brilliant photograph I’ve ever made in my life but I had fun doing it. Everyone in the room had fun bustin’ my chops for taking this on. Hobby had a GRAND time playing with his wizard in his pocket while I was setting this up too. :)

How I did it = Pretty simple

• I set my camera up on a tripod so that each shot would align in the final image to be created.

• I had my studio manager, Erik, walk around the room with a Nikon SB-25 mounted on a tripod. On the SB I placed a Lightsphere that I have painted black. I call it my Darksphere. I then bunjee’d a 20º grid on the front of that. I like to have my grids placed off of the flash tube to get a cleaner circle of light.

• I exposed somewhere around 5.6 at 250th of a second to kill the ambient light in the room. I just needed the light on each person. There are 29 people in the final shot and I used 28 frames to capture them all. Chase and his wife, Kate, were lit together for one shot.

• I tried a quick multiple exposure shot on the back of the D3 to see if my idea was going to work. In this you can see Erik holding the light on the stick.

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This is what each individual shot looked like…

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This is what the group shot looks like without the auditorium showing through…

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Here is the auditorium. I would use this image to mask parts of the ambient back into the group shot.

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Once the people were together I could then bring in the image above and again, using layer masking, I painted in just enough of the ambient light to mix in with the lit shots. The final shot was 34 layers tall. 28 layers of people and 6 layers of ambient light and details like the the strobe painting on the back wall panels. Here it is again…

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So…To Joe McNally – I know you eat 30 Speedlights for breakfast every morning so excuse me while I meagerly try to pull it off with one.

To David Hobby – My light rig for this shot not only has a bunjee cord on it, but it has a LightSphere that I spray painted black to keep with the DIY / Modify philosophy you preach so well.

To David Nightingale – 30+ exposures to make one final image! How do you do it so well? You can see how much of a hack I am.

To Drew Gardner – If only I had a water buffalo and 300 gallons of strawberry jam then you too would have a tribute here. :) Maybe next year I’ll shoot it on a Phase One. Oh wait! I don’t have to shoot it next year! Some other light monkey will have to do it!

To Chase Jarvis – You talk about pushing yourself. Well… I pushed myself on this one!

I could have done this or that or the other to make this shot better but I had no time to really think it through. It was a good exercise for me though. I’m glad I did it this way.

I have one more Dubai post to make this week and then we are back to regularly scheduled blogramming.

Cheers, Zack


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