Archive for 'News':

Creative Classes For $FREE.99 @ ::

April 9, 2010 | • Resources Events News

I’m pretty stoked about a new project that Chase Jarvis has been working on for the past year. Chase has teamed up with the good folks at CreativeTechs to create a portal called CreativeLIVE. CreativeLIVE is bringing free education to us!

Here’s the breakdown of how it works…

You check out the schedule on the CreativeLIVE web site. You see a class you want to take and simply log on to when that class is taking place and you get it for free. There aren’t just photography classes though. You’ll be seeing more classes about other creative and technical disciplines as well. Painting, video, programing, etc. The classes will be available for download after the class has completed. There will be a charge for the download. That’s how they are going to be able to offset the cost of doing it live for free.

I’m going to be teaching a studio lighting class. White seamless and beyond. Models, bands, etc. In order to maximize this for as many people as possible to see it live and for free I will be teaching the class over a weekend. Probably about six hours of live training with live Q&A and critique. I’ll be announcing the date here, twitter, and FB once we finalize the date.

I don’t do very well speaking straight to a camera so I’ll be doing some sort of twitter something or another looking for five people to come to the class, in person, for free. I do better if I have some real people to interact with but I’ll make damn sure that the viewer’s perspective isn’t just one of a camera on sticks in the back of a standard workshop. More details on that once we nail down the date.

Since this is a new venture they would love to hear from y’all about what kind of classes you would like to see offered. If you have some ideas drop them in the comment box here. Who else would you like to see teach? Let me know and I’ll pass it all along to the folks running this venture.

Cheers, Zack

Gulf Photo Plus :: The Shootout with David Hobby and Joey L.

March 29, 2010 | • Resources Events News

Here is the official video of the shootout I did with fellow dorks photographers David Hobby and Joey L.

What we all want to know is… Who won? :)

Cheers, Zack

PhotoCamp Utah :: My Talk Will Be Streamed :: March 20th 3:30pm MDT

March 17, 2010 | Events News

I will be giving the keynote speech at PhotoCamp Utah this weekend. You will be able to find the webcast at uStream on March 20th at 3:30pm Utah time. I think that’s mountain time isn’t it? Pretty sure about that. I’ll twitter it and stuff.

I’m really grateful to everyone who has been involved in getting this together and I’m humbled and honored to be a part of it. Personal thanks to Jeremy Hall for all of his work getting me out there.

In other news. Look at that photo of me. I’m such a dork.

Cheers, Zack

Gulf Photo Plus :: My Shootout With David Hobby & Joey L

March 6, 2010 | • Workshop Misc. Photos News

Meg, Hawke, Dan, Sherri, and I have had an amazing week here in Dubai being part of the teaching crew at Gulf Photo Plus. This is my second year teaching at GPP. Last year, being the new guy, I had to take the group photo of all the amazing photographers that teach at this event. This year Mohamed Somji, the organizer of GPP, decided it would be fun to have a shootout between David Hobby, Joey Lawrence, and myself.

The rules were simple. We would be given a subject to photograph in the main auditorium in front of a live crowd. We would have twenty minutes each to shoot tethered & edit a photo while our images were projected on a large screen. We all would have the same subject to photograph and we were not allowed to see what the other was doing. Hobby went first. I was second and Joey brought it up from behind. We were also told there might be a surprise or two.

The surprise was A) we would have two subjects instead of one and B) Joe McNally would have a microphone and be giving live commentary as we were setting up a shot and shooting. Two people? David and I asked the same question… “Do they both have to be in the photo at the same time?” :)

No pressure.

So the photo above is what I came up with. It was a great teaching exercise if anything and we all had a fun time with it. Yes… there were video cameras and it will be online as soon as we have links to it. David and Joey will post their photos at some point I’m sure. Joey… well he threw us all a curve ball. :) Lastly… an official winner was never named so… IMHO the best shot was

Six days of non-stop teaching and the stress of having to perform to a packed auditorium has me worn out. I have two days of personal shooting to do now. Can’t wait to share more images from this trip. I have had such an amazing time here in Dubai. I love this city. Usedfilm Dubai? I don’t hate the sound of that. :)

Cheers, Zack

OneLight Family Tour :: Photography & Music :: City Reps Needed

February 22, 2010 | • Workshop Events News

I take pictures. Meg makes music. I go out and take my pictures. Meg goes out and plays her music. What if we combined them? And what if we brought the whole family? And made it a road trip with workshops and concerts?

That is what we are doing this summer! The OneLight tour starts this June and we are hitting the road for three weeks. From Asheville to Nashville with photography and music all along the way.

You know those mixers we like to throw before a OneLight? Well Meg is playing our mixers this summer! We are really looking forward to it. We hope to meet many of you along the way. Mixers, BTW, are open to the public!

To make things come together and have a successful tour, our City Coordinator, Kara Pecknold, needs to find city representatives for each city we plan to visit:

June 29/30 Asheville, NC July 1/2 Washington, DC July 5 Pittsburgh, PA July 6/7 Cincinnati, OH July 8/9 Indianapolis, IN July 11/12 Chicago, IL (city rep already found) July 13/14 St Louis, MO July 15/16 Nashville, TN

If you want to work with us on this unique OneLight experience, contact Kara directly and she can provide you with more information about all it entails. kara [at] olivelifegroup [dot] com.

For more information about the dates of the workshops visit

Cheers, Zack

Gulf Photo Plus :: Dubai :: March 1st – 6th

February 1, 2010 | • Resources • Workshop News

I’m excited to be part of Gulf Photo Plus again this year. I could go on and on and on about the event.  It’s simply one of the most unique series of workshops I’ve seen. There are six solid days of workshops that go from morning ’till night with lots of special events.

The image above is part of a project I’ll be showing for the first time and it will only be shown as prints this year.  There will be a showing of this work later this year in Atlanta.

Normally I would give you all of the details about the conference and what to do in Dubai but David Hobby has done it for me!  :)

For those of you in Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, or Asia, this is a must attend photography event. I’m equally excited and nervous about an intensive two day, on location, class that I’ll be teaching. No lecture. No power point presentation. Just get on a bus and shoot for two days! It’s going to kick my butt. In addition to this class I’ll be teaching a few OneLight’s and a one day Photo 101 class.

Cheers, Zack

Winning Visionmongers Entries ::

January 12, 2010 | News

Here are the winning contest entries for the Visionmongers box of encouragement contest we were running in December.

I would like to again thank everyone for writing in and everyone who contributed to the stack of goods for this contest.

Thanks to those of you who really added a great personal touch to the package.  You know who you are.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A big thank you also goes out to Rhonda Dixon and Robin Shetler for reading each and every story that came in.  They did the most amount of work on this project.

These stories have been edited a bit to remove names, places, and personal information. You’ll get the basic idea behind the stories. We had more than 500 entries come in and it was quite an undertaking to get them narrowed down to only 10 winners. Read all of the stories after the jump.


VisionMongers :: Give The Gift of Encouragement Contest

December 1, 2009 | • Resources News

I’ve just read the best book about being a photographer that I’ve ever read. It is the new book VisionMongers by photographer David duChemin.

I don’t even know where to start with my review of this book. I do have to say for the sake of full disclosure that I am one of 9 photographers profiled as a case study.  I know that there will be some folks who discount my review of this book because I have a few pages in it.  So for those of you who may feel this way, please buy this book and rip those pages out and throw them in the trash. Hopefully the majority of you know that I don’t jump up and down and scream from the rooftops about anything but I am about this book.

To do a full review of this book will take me a week to put my thoughts about it into words. VisionMongers isn’t a “how to” book.  There is no formula to follow.  There aren’t 10 easy steps to becoming a full time photographer.  This isn’t a “follow your heart and be passionate and go get ’em tiger” book either. It is more philosophy than ….

Look, this review is stupid so I’m going to stop and get into the meat of this blog post.  I’ll do a better review later.

I only made it through the introduction of this book when I got on the phone with the publisher, Peachpit, to ask for 10 copies to give away on the blog here.  Seriously, it hit me right between the eyes from the first five pages and it kept hitting me there until the end.  So Peachpit sent 10 copies to give away.  Then I thought that many emerging photographers will not buy this book because it doesn’t tell you a damn thing about what lens to use, what settings are best, how to use a softbox, the best way to handle post production, etc.  This book has nothing to do with how to make photographs.  It’s all about why we make photographs.  It’s all about the demons inside that keep us up at night fretting with this “thing” that we have to do because we have no other choice but do it or die trying.

So if folks aren’t going to buy this because it has nothing to do with camera settings I thought I would give a OneLight DVD away with the copy of the book.  Then I started thinking about other resources that have been super helpful and inspiring to me as a photographer and to me as a business person.  So I got 10 copies of Drew Gardner’s Location Lighting DVD because I have watched that a number of times this year and it has been a massive inspiration to me.  So VisionMongers, a OneLight DVD, and Drew’s DVD.  Oh yeah then there’s this, and that, and the other… So I started making phone calls and this is what is going into each of 10 gift boxes.  These are hand picked resources that have been a help to me this year.

1 year membership to

6 month membership to ShootQ

VisionMongers by David duChemin

The Moment it Clicks by Joe McNally

Trade Secret Cards by Chase Jarvis

Location Lighting with Drew Gardner DVD

Sessions with Joey L DVD

Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington

OneLight DVD

That brings the retail value for each package to $1,100 plus change.

There are a few other things that are going to be added to each gift box that no one will know about until they are opened!  And, well, we might just get Willy Wonka on one or two of them. Who knows? :)

Here is the thing… It’s the holidays.  It’s the time to give and not receive.  So you CAN NOT win this for yourself.  You are going to win this for someone you know and give this package to them on (insert the big day of your holiday choice here.)  Like… Christmas morning or something. Right? All inclusive we are around here. :)

How to win ::

We love stories around here.  We want to hear the story of someone you know who would really, really, really be blessed by this gift of encouragement.  Someone who lies awake at night dreaming of becoming a photographer.  Someone who is doing all they can to make this dream happen but they just aren’t there yet.  Maybe they are just learning and dreaming about it.  Maybe they are 1 year into it and are having a hard time.  Someone you know needs a big ass package like this to help them get through the winter months and keep going.  Every single person listed above knows about this contest and are personally interested in giving this stuff away to someone who will appreciate it, love it, and RUN with it!

Maybe it is your spouse. Your friend. A photo student. You know someone who will jump with joy to get this package and YOU want to give it to them.  Maybe you can’t even afford a single book on this list and it would be a blessing to YOU to be able to gift this to a loved one.  We only regret that we can’t give 1,000 of these packages away.  We only have 10.

You figure out who it needs to go to and tell us their story in 750 words or less (or there about) and email us at  You have until midnight December 10th to write in to us.  Include a link to their blog, their site, their flickr account, whatever.  If they don’t have a link, no worries.  Send in their story all the same!

Who better to chose the top 20 stories than our two brand new interns?  Two folks trying to get this madness of photography turned into a dream and turned into a vocation.  So Robin and Rhonda are going to pick the top 20.  One more intern may be added to the mix soon as well.  Then on December 11th we as a studio will pick the top 10 and start packing the boxes.

Once we have the top 10 chosen we will notify the winners by email.  The “winners” are the person who wrote in.  We will be shipping the winning packages on the 15th.  It will be the winner’s job to wrap it up and hide this away until big holiday morning of your choice.  Like, Christmas morning, or whatever.  Get it?  Got it?  You have until the 10th.  Let us know.

Happy Holidays everyone.  We love you a lot.

Cheers, Zack

PS – Buy VisionMongers.  I swear I don’t make a red cent off of it. I have no motives other than to say you have to read this book. Just buy it. Seriously.  I’ll do a better review soon.

PPS – Legal stuff about winning contests and stuff and stuff and legal mumbo jumbo and stuff and responsibilities and stuff. Blah, blah, blah. Not valid on the moon.

PPPS – If you write in about yourself in third person to try to win this for yourself then your teeth will rot, your transmission will blow up, and Jesus will know about it.  Just sayin’.  😛

Edit :: Stroke

October 14, 2009 | News

Our studio manager, Erik Dixon, was invited by Brad Moore of the Scott Kelby team to be part of their ongoing Guest Blog Wednesday series. Erik decided to borrow from Transform to create Stroke.It’s all true! Every bit of it! :)

Well done Erik! Now that you’ve had your “moment”… get back to your cage. :)

Cheers, Zack

Help-Portrait :: By Jeremy Cowart

August 26, 2009 | • Philosophy News

From following Jeremy Cowart’s twitter feed, I knew that this video was in the making and now it is up! Jeremy is today’s guest blogger on Scott Kelby’s site. This is a great idea. A few photographers here in Atlanta are already on the ball with getting this organized locally and our crew is ready to jump in and do whatever we need to do to help. Be thinking about it for your town as well.

More info should be up later today on the Help-Portrait site according to a statement on Kelby’s blog.

Help spread the word!

Cheers, Zack 

Derrick's Hope Soap Fund + B's Photo Of The Day ::

August 15, 2009 | • Resources News


Needless to say it has been an interesting few days on the blog here thanks to everyone jumping in on the conversations. What an amazing community we get to be a part of!So, B. and I have been emailing back and forth and with tears shedding on both sides of the conversation, he mentioned he needed a “man tissue.” I said I knew what those were. “They’re made of sand paper right?” He ran with that idea and shot the image above last night. Good going B!

Also… Good news! Derrick made his way to blog here and has been blown away. He and his family are so grateful for all of your kind words. The video was viewed over 5,000 times yesterday. Now that I have his contact information I have set up a donation fund for him so that we can all “buy some soap” from him. Derrick doesn’t have an email address so the thought of setting up an e-commerce store to actually sell the stuff isn’t really an option at this point so let’s show some love and support by virtually buying a bottle from him!

Send a dollar. Send twenty. Whatever you want. I’ll make up the difference that PayPal takes so if you Give $20 he gets $20. He knocked on a door to sell a bottle so let’s make sure that door turned into the biggest sell he has ever made!

I don’t think we have heard the last of Derrick because we are all really interested in hearing more about his story and this man has a way of speaking. My good friend and colleague, Ron Dawson, and I are talking about collaborating with Derrick on a project. We aren’t sure what that looks like but I’m sure it will be interesting!

Thanks again everyone for being part of the conversation this week. It isn’t done yet.

Cheers, Zack

Interviewed For Tech Tock by Jack Howard ::

July 9, 2009 | • Resources News


I had the pleasure to be interviewed this week by Jack Howard who runs the Tech Tock podcast. We talked about the Transform video I did for Scott Kelby’s blog earlier this year, the problems with the cult of personality in our industry, 6º and social media, balancing home and work, cameras, lights, etc. 

Also check out the rest of the Tech Tock podcast lineup.  

Cheers, Zack 

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

June 25, 2009 | Editorial Photography News


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 

New OneLight Workshop Site Launched! ::

May 23, 2009 | • Workshop News


The new OneLight Workshop site has just launched!  You’ll find all the dates and cities for the OneLight for the rest of 2009 there as well as information about our new three day intensive Photo 101 workshop. I’ve made the site with a mouse in one hand and our new baby boy, Hawke Danger Arias in the other!  Yes, Danger is his middle name. :)

Now that Hawke is here and he and Meg are doing well, we are ready to announce the schedule for the rest of the year. The new registration system for signing up is dope! Thanks to EventBrite for making such a great registration system.

Hope to see you at a workshop or mixer soon!

Cheers, Zack 

PS – The “resources” page still needs content. We are off to Grandma’s house so I’ll be working on that later tonight as well as getting to more questions from the PDN presentation post below. Have a great weekend everyone!

We've Lost One Of Our Own :: Frank Mullen

May 11, 2009 | News

Frank Mullen - We are going to miss you my friend.

Y’all, we’ve lost one of our own this week.

Local Atlanta music photographer, Frank Mullen, lost his battle with cancer this week. Frank has been a cornerstone of the Atlanta music industry and has photographed everyone from The Dead Kennedys to Outkast. He was a kind, kind soul who is going to be dearly remembered and dearly missed in this community. I’ve known Frank for five years and he was always generous and open with his time and resources to help me along as I was just getting started in the local music industry. He was the most laid back guy in the pit and he could always pull off that one eye open kind of shooting that I just can’t do!

5/22/09 Update – We had a donation button on this post that ran for two weeks. Thank you to everyone who donated! As a community of photographers, musicians, and friends of Frank we have raised $5,000 for his family. Thanks again for coming through everyone.

Donations are now closed and the good folks at NARAS will be delivering your gifts to Frank’s family.

Cheers, Zack

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