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.





  • Robb said on February 1, 2012

    that PhaseOne photo is intense.

  • A. Shelton said on February 1, 2012

    I’ve always found pictures of the elderly to be so interesting when done well. Their faces are like books. To date this series is probably my favorite from you.

    I wish I could get my grandmother to come to ATL! She’s 87, buried two of her children, and a husband. Somehow, she’s still so full of faith, and happiness, and her face shows it so well.

    Thanks for sharing these!

  • Sander said on February 1, 2012

    Hi Zack,

    I’ve been following you for a while. We should have a beer sometime, so when ever you get to Amsterdam, let me know 😉

    Whats the approximate ROI on the Leaf for you?

    Why not use a slightly older Hasselblad ? So much of a difference?

    Good Luck!

    The Netherlands

  • sheri j said on February 1, 2012

    I sent an email to the address above and hadn’t heard back, I have a client that is 80, she’s an artist, if you are indeed still looking for subjects, I am sure she would be agreeable to doing this, I never got a reply from Dan….

  • Matthew Walton said on February 1, 2012

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, Zack. I grew up mainly around elderly people and I think I’ve come away better for it. I noticed at the beginning, you were using your x100 to shoot the environmental portraits. Have you “phased” that out?

  • Amie aka @mammaLoves said on February 1, 2012

    That portrait. Oh that portrait! I dream of producing images like that. Glad you’re sharing this project.

  • Cesar Coss said on February 1, 2012

    This project is great I really enjoy all of your work, big fan of yours.

  • Mike Yamin said on February 1, 2012

    This project has really elevated your work in my eyes. The shots feel very honest and uncontrived. And it’s not that your previous work didn’t feel that way too, but these are a step up somehow. Great job! Congratulations on the IQ140 too! I’m not jealous though. Zack, please. Stop. I’m not jealous. Nope. 😛

  • Dean McCOY said on February 2, 2012

    I love the way this camera looks, the format just gives another dimension to the story. Just amazing.

  • Jeff Grant said on February 2, 2012

    ooooo, tasty, that iq40. but HOW IN THE WORLD does one manage to find that kinda cash? Congrats 2 U for solving that particular problem.
    Looking forward to the blog post. Want so very much to go this way, trying to figure out where $25K is going to come from.
    You say that’s a Schneider lens… please write about the lens choices for this system, wouldja?

    re: your Faces/Places — these are very straightforward, non-gimmicky, genuine. Nicely done. This will lead to a national campaign, you can count on that.


  • Zack said on February 2, 2012

    @Jeff – Working hard, saving, landing a few good jobs, and not having a bag full of top end DSLRS, L glass, and Profoto lights. Also driving older cars that are paid off helps. :)


  • PsiModuloQuadro said on February 2, 2012

    I love this project! I’m always inspired by your shots!


  • Continuum Photography said on February 2, 2012

    Can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with this new camera system. – Josh

  • A great project!

  • Mars said on February 2, 2012

    Hi Zack,

    Zang Dan it Zack! Phase One = $$$, me = no $. How the frig am i going to make the jump unless i rob a bank?

    For the money Chromatic aberration still exists on the face shot just sayin’


  • Zack said on February 3, 2012

    That’s not CA. It’s the light haloing around his head a bit.

  • Jason said on February 3, 2012

    Hey Zack, I’m wondering if you could tell us – well all right, me, I’m probably the only person in the world remaining who doesn’t know how to do this stuff – about the lighting for Thad’s headshot.
    Is that one softbox front and center above him and a couple of light angled in at the wall behind him?
    Or something else.


  • Zack said on February 3, 2012

    @jason – You’re close. Beauty dish straight overhead and one light behind his back for The BG.

  • DAVID MAKKERS said on February 3, 2012

    Great shot Zack. Lost my dad at 90 in 2010 he would have been a good subject for your project. Once you go medium format it may hard to come back to a dslr.

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