Archive for 'Family':

An Impossible Birthday :: Impossible Project 8×10 :: Hey. I’m 40.

December 10, 2012 | Events Family
Impossible Project 8x10

impossible project 8x10

You ever get the feeling you have to shake it all up? Ever long for something you haven’t done in years and years? Ever get intrigued by something and you have to figure out a way to try it? Ever get tired of the DSLR? Does winter hit and you go looking for some sort of creative defibrillator?

I never feel this way. Ever. And that’s a total lie.

It’s winter time. I’m off social media and nearly done with all of my commitments for the year.  I’ll be head deep in shooting new work until the spring. It’s going to be a kick ass winter. It will be filled with frustration. It’s already started. The Polaroid processor I bought to use this film died after 3 whole sheets of film. That sucks but 3 sheets worked. I’m excited. It’s like someone building a rocket for the first time. They launch it. It fires. It starts to go up in the sky then it blows up. They could be upset that the rocket blew up or they could be happy that the dang thing even left the ground. I’m going to try to stay on the positive side of things. Jason Groupp gave me an 8×10 camera. Well, he loaned it to me. Good luck getting it back Jason! I shot a sheet of Impossibly expensive film in it. I guesstimated my bellows extension. I listened to the shutter speed and figured it was about a stop off. I made my adjustments and I got a photo. The processor may have blown up but it got off the ground!

Additional news… I’m older. I turned the corner last week and I’m now 40 years old. I’m over the hill. Maybe this Impossible Project stuff is my midlife crisis. I’m ok with that. Wouldn’t mind an old Porsche 911 SC though as a crisis purchase. Don’t think I didn’t look at those recently. So, in light of wanting a Porsche, this IP film at $190 a box (10 sheets) is a bargain! My wife, Meg, should be happy about that.

I’m happy with her. She threw me the greatest surprise birthday party in the history of surprise parties. This past Friday started off normally until our house was broken into. Some asshole smashed in a window downstairs and stole an xbox then went upstairs and stole a guitar and an effects pedal. I called the cops. Collected serial numbers and all that. I said expletives. I cursed out my dog for not chewing off an arm or something of the burglar. All of this before we were having my birthday party at our house on Saturday. My awesome father in law came by and boarded up the window and we went on with our day. 

It was a rare Friday night where all the kids were out of the house spending the night with various other family members and friends. Meg was going out for drinks with a friend. This gave me an evening to head to the new studio space and work on getting that place up and running. Once all the kids were deposited at other households I went to the lab. That’s what we call the new studio space down the street in Kirkwood. I started hanging some silks and my studio manager called me in a panic. She had stopped by the main studio to get something and discovered a pipe had burst and the studio was flooding. OMG! My house was broken into and now THIS? 

I rushed over to the studio taking inventory of everything that would be directly on the floor. I didn’t know where the main cut off valve was and I don’t have one of those tools to cut it off. It’s 7:30pm on a Friday. Who’s that plumber that advertises on the radio? I hear the jingle in my head but can’t remember the name. I bust through the door of the studio wondering why the overhead lights aren’t on. The place is flooding!!! Well, here’s why the lights weren’t on. 

That’s Meg in the spotlight. Playing our NOT stolen guitar in our NOT flooding studio. I walk into the studio and Meg is serenading me. A massive amount of relief washed over me as I began to realize that the studio was not flooding, and, most likely, there’s probably some people hiding back behind the big silks. I think I just walked in on a surprise party. There was also a keg of Wells Bombardier in the kitchen (Thank you Jeremy Hall!). I poured myself a beer. I turned off the overhead lights realizing I had just killed the ambience as I barreled through the front door. Meg transitioned into the happy birthday song and droves of friends and family and colleagues and clients poured out from every nook and cranny in the place. It was overwhelming. Later in the evening Meg started a video of folks who sent in their well wishes. I can’t thank everyone enough who was part of her ploy. I wish I could share the video but a few folks asked us not to because they went all out on some of them. That’s fine. I now possess bribe material on them. :)

At one point I thought the house break in was all part of this. Nope. That really happened. I may owe my dog an apology.  She may have kept the burglar out of the upstairs after all. We went late into the night and started again the next day being Cary Norton, Dave Jackson, and Dan Depew were in town for the fun. Spent Saturday night nerding out on cameras and lights and melting Polaroid processors along with Kevin Abeyta and Erik Dixon.



Again, thanks to everyone who was a part of my 40th party. I’ll never be able to top that Meg. But at some point… I’ll try. :)



The Cracks & The Crevices :: My Wife’s Heart Beats Again

July 17, 2012 | Family

When my wife, Meghan, and I got married she was a single mother with one boy. I had two boys. Within a year of marriage our honeymoon baby, Hawke Danger, brought the count to four boys in the new home we were building together. To say that we hit the ground running is an understatement. That honeymoon I speak of was on the West Coast where Meg was touring to support her second full length release, Songs To Sail By. Needless to say that the addition of Hawke to our house brought the life of the touring musician to an end.

Meg walked away from music for darn near three years to focus on our home and our crazy life. Music is to Meg what photography is to me. It’s been hard to watch my wife bury her dreams and her talent; but she’s done such a damn fine job running our household, putting up with my crap, and being a kick ass wife and mother.

At the end of last year, and into this year, she slowly began approaching her piano again. Small little melodies began to trickle out. Then more music came out. Then words started being applied to these “song babies” as she calls them. Here we are now with her new EP, The Cracks & The Crevices, being released today and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Now, you may be thinking that of course I love her music. She’s my wife! Honest to God, I was a fan of her music before I ever even met her. I first heard her performing a few years before I met her in person. So… Yeah. I’ve been a fan of hers for awhile. :)

Her new EP can be found here for free.99. It can also be found on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Please feel free to grab it and share with friends. The next EP is slated for release in October. We hope you enjoy it.

Cheers, Zack

Happy Mother’s Day Meg :: My Better 7/8th’s

May 13, 2012 | Family

I wanted to find the perfect Mother’s Day card for my awesome wife Meghan but nothing really jumped out at me this year. I’m usually the guy who goes for the humorous cards but I needed to let her know how seriously I appreciate her being a mom to our pack of boys. The serious cards though didn’t really say what I wanted to say. I thought of making a card but if you have ever seen the handmade cards that Meg makes, well, let’s just say mine would look like a Kindergarten class project gone wrong.

When Meg hitched her wagon up to mine she was a touring musician and a mom of one. Within a year of our marriage she was a stay at home mom of four. Four. Boys. Plus me. Her life changed immensely as my life seemed to propel forward even more. This change happened because I brought kids and she brought fuel and inspiration and, from time to time, a crack of a whip.

Meg pushes me. She inspires me. She keeps me in line and moving forward and has done so at the cost of her own creative endeavors and, at times, sanity. My work takes me to some far flung places and many of you comment on my blog or hit me up on twitter about how lucky I am, or how jealous you are, or congratulating me for this or that because most of you know the bottom of the barrel from which I come from. But what I want you to realize is that while I’m here or there doing this or that Meg is at home.

She’s getting Joshua to the soccer practice that she made sure he was signed up for. She’s doing truckloads of laundry that no child has ever thanked her for doing. She’s making sure Hawke is getting his ears checked and scheduling his doctor’s appointments. She’s taking Caleb to the ER when his arm goes through the glass of the front door. Phoenix is getting to band practice by 7:30am. I get 100 replies on Twitter because of something I’m doing and she get’s yet another dirty diaper and silence from the rest of the world.

You see, Meg has the hard job. Meg left her career behind to support mine. That support has lifted me and enabled me to pursue opportunities I’ve never had before. It allows me to go here and go there and do this and do that. But it cost her dearly. Yes, there is great joy in the job of raising children but when the piano has an inch of dust on it (metaphorically of course, cause this house stays pretty clean as well) then there’s a part of who Meghan is that isn’t growing. It isn’t growing because she’s too busy being a kick ass mom.

Cupcakes for the soccer team. Mystery reading for the Kindergarten class. Appointments for the dentist. Scheduling 100 activities in half as many days. Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Watching my sky miles account grow. All without the accolades, the paychecks, and so forth. If you ever feel compelled to say “Thanks Zack for this or that…” You ultimately need to be thanking Meghan.

The good news is Meg is back in the studio. Not my studio but a recording studio. In the last few months the dry well of music has found a new spring to feed from. New songs have been written. A producer she loves and trusts has been found. Fellow musicians are joining the project. New work is being produced and I’m so very honored that I get to take the back seat. Picking kids up from school. Doing laundry. Cooking Ordering dinner. Changing diapers.

Thanks Meg. I’d like to say you’re the wind beneath my wings but that would be cheesy so I wont say that you’re the wind beneath my wings even though you are.

So here’s to all the Mom’s doing the hard job. Here’s to the support team of one that makes the world go ’round. Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms.



PS – Meg, the Mother’s Day frames in the hall will be updated this week. I have two down and two to go. Just letting you know I haven’t forgotten… like, um, last year.

We All Live In A…

June 30, 2010 | Events Family News • Workshop

We all live in a big a$$ yellow bus. We are on the road with our OneLight Family Tour!

We are currently in Asheville, NC. As soon as we wrap up the OneLight here tonight we drive all night to DC. With the exception of Pittsburgh we are having mixers in each city and we would love for you to come out and catch some live music, win gift cards from B&H, OneLight DVDs, and network within your local photographic community. The mixers are free and open to the public. Here is where we will be…

7/1 :: Washington DC

7/6 :: Cincinnati, OH

7/8 :: Indianapolis, IN

7/11 :: Chicago, IL

7/13 :: Saint Louis, MO

7/15 :: Nashville, TN

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all of the details as to places and times in these cities. Hope to meet you soon!

Cheers, Zack

Our Family Portraits :: By David E. Jackson

November 26, 2009 | Family


About a month or so ago Meg announced that we HAD to get a family portrait done. Like, for real.  Knowing how busy we are and how photographer’s kids don’t have photos she said we had to hire someone to do it for us.

That led to the ultimate question… Who?  Who would we want to photograph us?

Well, that list is long but since it was Meg’s prompting she got dibs. Those dibs went to long time e-friend David E. Jackson from Wisconsin. Dave and his studio manager, Trevor, came down this weekend for the shoot. It was an amazing time and we love, love, love our photos.

You can see more on his blog.  Yes, we picked the Prison Farm for our location because we knew Dave would love it and it would suit our personal aesthetic. See his blog to see the images from there!

Thanks again Dave!

Cheers, Zack

Hawke Danger Arias :: Yes, Danger is his middle name!

June 22, 2009 | Family


Needless to say my dear friends, it has been a tad bit crazy around here over the last 6 weeks since last I blogged!MOST importantly – Hawke has joined us May 16th!  He was born at home and both baby and mom are doing great!  I was apprehensive to say the least about home birthing but now I’m all for it.  IF we were to have another (which I don’t think we are!) there is no way we go back to hospital birthing. Ever.

For those who read the blog but don’t follow us on twitter and facebook and all that please know that I have been sharing lots of photos via twitter.  I mean, he’s not completely neglected on the Internet.  But life has been crazy to the point that I have yet to sit down and blog about our new little boy.

I could go into all the details but Meghan already has. Why reinvent the blog entry?

What’s going on from this point? Well, we just got home from vacation where we took all FOUR boys to Florida for a week. They had more of a vacation than Meg and I did and poor Meg got the shortest end of the stick since Hawke is pretty much dependent on her for all of his food. As soon as he was born my schedule blew up and I’ve been trying to balance work and home. You know how hard that is. Some things had to slide for awhile and the blog was one of those things that had to slide to the back burner.  I’m slowly coming back around and Meg and I will be back with some critiques in a week or two.  

I’m now off to San Francisco for some VERY cool speaking and teaching engagements!  Stay tuned!  

We are booked through July right now and we’re expanding the office to include a new face to our lineup in the studio. More on that in August!

Hope you all are doing well! Are you? Is the summer turning out to be busy?

Cheers, Zack  

My Lovely Meg :: Maternity Portrait

April 26, 2009 | Family Misc. Photos


This is my lovely wife who complained in the last critique that I don’t take enough photos of her.  I’m calling this a maternity portrait because she is 9 months pregnant. We’ve been married for 9 months and 5 days. Do the math!  Yes… this is my maternity portrait of you my dear Meghan. Because it is a portrait of you while you are pregnant.

You see, I shoot portraits of musicians but it is a rare, rare, rare instance that I photograph musicians with their instruments. All the portraits I have of myself, a photographer, are without me holding a camera. So, a maternity photo, to me, isn’t about the belly. It’s about the place in time of the woman who is pregnant.  Meghan is going to remember this time because there she was, at Lenny’s Bar of all places, hanging out with me while I was shooting an assignment. That assignment was shooting portraits of musicians. None of them were holding anything they make music with. Still a portrait of musicians. 

Meg… I love you!  I hope you like this portrait of you! 

Nerd talk – Shot with a Nikon D3, 24mm 2.8. No post processing. Straight from camera. I was going to work with it a bit but decided it was perfect just like it is… just like my wife.

Cheers, Zack 

Said Goodbye To Dad Today ::

February 27, 2009 | Family


So many of you have written, called, and commented I feel the need to let you know that Dad passed on from this life and into the next one this morning.  I was very fortunate to have been by his side.  My father was strong.  He fought the good fight and the doctors and staff at Emory University Hospital could not have given him any better care.  

The hero in all of this is my step-mother Elaine.  She stood by her man.  She loved my father so deeply and so passionately. She is strong and beautiful and is going to miss my father so much. They had such a beautiful life. She adored my father.

Thank you to all of you who have been thinking of us and praying for us. Thank you for all the support all of you, known and unknown, have given to us. My entire family appreciates all of your emails, comments, and messages. Dad is in heaven. The rest of us are still paying rent.

And to find a smile in all of this….

Let the southern good ol’ fashioned church lady casserole pot luck begin. I don’t know what ya’ll do elsewhere in the country, but when we die in the south, we make some damn good food.

Now, go love on your family while you still have them and while they still have you.

Cheers, Zack 

Again…. Thank you everyone.

Rock Boobs – Been A Weird Week ::

February 26, 2009 | Editorial Photography Family


It’s been a weird week.

• Friday – Meg and I flew to San Francisco where I was supposed to shoot a wedding with Marc.

• Saturday AM – I got the call that I needed to get on home to say goodbye to Dad. We are told he won’t make it till Monday. That’s when we were supposed to be flying home. Thank you Cliff for covering our butt at the wedding on Sunday.

• Saturday PM – Meg and I have a chance to meet up with photo pals Ann, Gene, Jose, and Joel which means we didn’t go to bed really. Jose & Joel are awesome. Nice meeting you fellas BTW. Meg and I get back to the hotel at 2am or something stupid.

• Sunday AM – We leave the rental car with Marc. Meg and I catch the first flight home to Atlanta at 6am.

• Sunday PM – Stand around my Dad’s hospital bed all evening talking about what a remarkable recovery from the edge of death he is making.

• Early Tuesday AM – Called to the hospital. Numbers are dropping fast.

• Wednesday PM – Stand around my Dad’s hospital bed all evening talking about what a remarkable recovery from the edge of death he is making.

• Thursday – Shoot with Holiday Parade. Lady flashes her rock boobs at us.

I wonder what the weekend will bring.

Cheers, Zack

My Wife Shines ::

February 13, 2009 | Family GOYA Misc. Photos


My wife, Meghan, really does shine. I would not have made it this far without her. The fantastic thing about our relationship is Valentine’s day is just another day for us.  We have nothing special planned.  When we were talking about it in the last few days we realized that we have a great life together. We have regular date nights and we spend a lot of time together.  We are each other’s best friends.

If she and I were to do something “special” and “different” for Valentines, it would involve sitting on the couch while eating microwave dinners and bicker about the kids during commercials.  :)

Cheers, Zack 

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