Archive for 'Family':

Not Zack, It's Meg.

January 4, 2009 | Family News

It’s 6:57pm according to my husband’s computer and I am currently waiting for him to call me so that I can go pick him up at the hospital.  He’s there right now, in the waiting room of the ICU, where his father, Martin, is fighting for his life.

I have commandeered Zack’s blog in order to let all of you know what’s going on and to ask for your prayers, for those of you who pray, that Martin would pull through this.  Zack is doing his best to be hopeful, as are all of us, but his spirits are understandably low and he’s feeling overwhelmed and so if you think to pray for him, too, that would be amazing.  He could use them.  

Tuesday night, December 30th, we received a call from Elaine, Zack’s step-mom, that Martin was in the ER and that they were working to save his life.  He had almost gone into cardiac arrest.  The ER doctors told Elaine that had she gotten Martin there a minute later he most certainly would have died.  Martin has COPD ( or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ) which is a progressive disease that narrows the airways to the lungs and makes it harder and harder to breathe.  It is a disease typically brought on from smoking, which Martin did, for 47 years.  For as long as I’ve known him he’s had to carry around an oxygen tank.  Other than that he’s strong as an ox, quick witted, and most definitely not a frail old dude at all.  ;-)  He had caught pneumonia and was having a hard time breathing the day of the 30th and by the time he and Elaine got a little bag packed and headed to his hospital he could hardly breathe at all.  When Elaine pulled up to the ER he had stopped breathing entirely and had passed out. Right now he’s completely intubated ( on a ventilator and feeding tube in addition to a “port” into his heart where all meds can be injected into his bloodstream without the need for a lot of IV’s) and heavily sedated.  He’s been given ridiculously strong antibiotics to knock out the pneumonia but is now unable to breathe on his own.  Every time the attempt has been made to lower Martin’s need for the ventilator his Co2 levels spike rapidly and the oxygen has to be brought back up.  The worry is that his lungs have reached their capacity to be able to function on their own, thus rendering Martin with the need for A.  a lung transplant (which is highly unlikely since he’s 78) or B.  Having to remain intubated and sedated.  It’s frustrating because, like I said, he’s healthy in every other way.

I have to go get Zack from the hospital here in a bit.  He doesn’t know I’m doing this.  I just know that he’s in a fog right now and all the things he’d normally be doing he’s not and this year had started off a lot differently than we had originally planned.  Just know that we are, and have been, working on getting the new OneLight workshop dates set in place ( things are going to be a little…well…a LOT different.  In a very awesome way… ), new sites launched, new shoots to work on, studio parties, art gallery showings at the studio, travel, a new baby, etc.  So hang in there while we manage this crazy roller-coaster we’re on.  We appreciate everyone so much.

I hope this finds all of you well and in lovely spirits with a pocket of peace you can dive into.


P.S. For anyone who’s ordered a OneLight DVD in the past couple of weeks have no fear! We haven’t forgotten!  I am personally going to make sure that is taken care of tomorrow. Also Zack’s brother, Chris, sent out a lovely email that I posted on my blog if you’d like to read it. 

Photograph Those You Love

August 25, 2008 | Family


It is with heavy heart that I have to report that we lost my step father this morning. Craig had been suffering from ALS over the past year and a half. It is a nasty disease that leaves your mind but takes your body. I haven’t lost a lot of close people in my life. My grandfather was the closest person I have ever lost and I regret so much that I never made a portrait of him. I just have these grainy disc camera photos of him to remember him by. Nothing that really says who he was or what he was about.

When I was working at Kinko’s I nearly lost my job twice. Both times for the same reason; enlarging prints for someone’s funeral. I would meet a customer at the counter and with red puffy eyes they would slide a dog eared, scratched 4×6 print across the counter. This person in the photo had just passed away and they wanted a 16×20 made to place by the casket. It wasa always some horrible photo. Never a great portrait. There would be a laundry basket in the corner. The drapes on the windows were stained. Reflections in glasses. Scratches on the print. I would take the job, put everything on hold and start to work on the scan in PhotoShop. This is a soul’s last known image on earth. They deserve better than this. My manager didn’t think this way. Scan and print. That’s it. I revolted and continued working on images for funerals. She wasn’t cold hearted enough to actually fire me for the few hours I would spend on those images but she wasn’t at all happy with me either.

That planted a philosophy I have on every single photoshoot. “I’m shooting for this person’s funeral.” I better make images that people will want to see and remember this person by. Something that shows who they were and what they did and how they were living their life pursuing a dream. I’ve made as many visits as I could over the last year to my Mom and Craig. They live in Elkin, NC. I knew this year I had to get Craig to sit for me. I had to photograph him before I lost him. Craig was a retired homebuilder and was now preaching at a church near Elkin. He was born and raised in Dallas, TX but moved with my Mom to Elkin for a slower change of pace and to be near my Mom’s family there. He loved the community and the church he landed in had him start preaching because they were in need of a new preacher. That dying little church began to thrive.

Knowing that things would escalate quickly I had prints made and shipping arrangement taken care of well in advance. Also knowing how many people loved Craig in his community, I had dozens of 8×10 prints made of this for folks to keep.

craig02.jpg half_spacer.jpg


On my last trip up there a month or so ago I photographed Craig watching the kids play in the backyard. Goodbye Craig. My gosh we are going to miss you. You’re home now though. Finally in a place bigger than your home country of Texas. Are you photographing those you love? I’m not. Not like I should be. I have a big long list of people to get started on. You always think you have time. Sometimes you do. Most of the time you don’t. Had I not known that we would be losing Craig this year, I probably would have never gotten around to making the images above. Sad isn’t it? Me. A photographer who can’t turn a camera on to his own family. There’s your challenge for the week. Family portrait time this week.

Cheers, Zack

PS – Needless to say I am leaving the studio for the next 3 or 4 days. All normal business will proceed later this week or the start of next week. If you ordered your DVD last week before it sold out, it will be out the door by tonight if it hasn’t already gone out the door this weekend.

Introducing Gracie ::

August 18, 2008 | Family


This is Gracie and she is anything but “gracie”.  She is a 5 month old Labradoodle that we took in a few months ago and have not let go of.  

It took a lot of wrangling to get her to sit for this photo.

Cheers, Zack 

Meghan @ Paste Magazine Today

June 17, 2008 | Family News

Meghan Coffee plays at Paste Magazine. 

My totally darling awesome fantastically talented gurl’fren, Meghan Coffee, just played a set for the staff of Paste Magazine.  Meg’s new album, Songs To Sail By, was just released this week and she is only just a little bit stressed out this week as she prepares for her CD release show this Thursday at Smith’s Olde Bar.  If you are a local Atlanta reader, we would LOVE to see you there!  Get your tickets here.  

She also has a few more interviews and some TV appearances to take care of before opening for Edwin McCain at Chastain Park next weekend.  I’m really proud of her. She’s been working on this new album for a long time and has done such an amazing job with it. I’m glad to see others standing up and taking notice as well.


Meg is still in her interview.  I’m posting from my studio.  Want to know where my studio is?  See that guitar on the right side of the picture above?  Knock a hole in that wall right there and you would be in the studio.  Paste and I are neighbors.  Yes, it IS a relationship I want to foster!  Strategic?  Yes?  No?  Hmmmm.  

Check out Meghan’s new site as well.  It just went live.

Cheers, Zack 

Meghan's New CD :: Releasing This Month

June 11, 2008 | Family News

AS IF we didn’t have enough going on around here, Meg’s new CD Songs To Sail By is releasing this month. Meghan is our OneLight workshop registration coordinator and my amazing girlfriend.

For those of you here in Atlanta, we would love to see you at her CD release show next week.

Thursday, June 19th Smith’s Olde Bar – Doors @ 8pm Click here for tickets.

She has released 4 of the new tracks on YouTube. These are my two favorite of the four. But holy cow… you should hear this entire album. I’m currently sitting next to 1,000 of them waiting to be released on the 19th. I’m so very proud of her. She has worked really hard on this album. It has been a 2 year effort with writing and recording.

:: Dear East :: (Meghan and her band of brethren. The full experience.)

:: Psalm Two :: (Just Meg and her 88 keys)

Enjoy! Her album will be available on CD Baby and iTunes later this month.

Cheers, Zack

GOYA :: 04.10.08

I’m getting my GOYA back on.  What is GOYA?  Get Off Your Arse.  This was a personal project I started a few years ago that started strong and then dwindled out.  I get in creative ruts when I’m busy shooting for everyone else but me.  Today was a good day to get off my arse and shoot some personal work.

Today I decided I would work this technique I alluded to in the last post and nothing is more personal to me than my two boys who never get photographed enough. Cobbler’s children go without shoes and all that.

Diptychs of my two boys playing on the 4 wheeler.

I have some more experimenting to do with this technique. Tomorrow I’ll post how it’s done. Its pretty freakin’ easy really.

Cheers, Zack

Spring Break!

April 8, 2008 | Family • Gear & Gadgets

We have been having a great time down here in Orlando for spring break…

Caleb shot with the Olympus 790sw camera

Since I’m a photographer, I have to talk about gear.  I could not be happier with my little Olympus 790SW point-n-miss camera. It’s waterproof up to 10 feet so it has been the perfect camera to take to amusement parks. We head back to Atlanta tomorrow and I’ll post some more photos and videos of our perfect 10 trip from this perfect 10 little camera!

Cheers, Zack

A Day With The D3

April 1, 2008 | Family Misc. Photos

I bought the new Nikon D3 camera about a month or so ago and it is the finest camera I have ever owned.  There are tons of resources online about the techs and specs of the camera so I won’t even go into that.  A 50mm lens being a 50mm lens again (full frame sensor) and being able to shoot at ISO 6400 without apologies is all I’m gonna say about that.  The D3 has gotten me excited about personal photography again.  I take it with me everywhere.  It is going to change the way I shoot.

Here are a few shots from my first outing with my sons and the D3.


More after the jump… 


Page 2 / 2