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


  • Gary Kurtz said on March 29, 2010

    Who won? We did! We get to see how the three of you handled a crazy shoot with some crazy curve-balls thrown in there!

    Well done you guys!


  • Eric Doggett said on March 29, 2010

    They never announced a winner? Well that’s no fun.

  • Glyn Dewis said on March 29, 2010

    Great video Zack.

    Joe ‘Cowell’ McNally…too funny and from now on I must remember not to use my Octabank…lol

    Looked like alot of fun.


  • Kevin said on March 29, 2010

    IMHO- you won Mr. Arias, though Mr. Hobby did give you a good run for the money. Joey L to me provided a ‘cute’ stunt, but showed a lack of respect to the assignment I think. Beauty may be in the eye of the beerholder, but my thinking is he plain wasn’t up to the competitive nature of the assignment and time structure.

  • NoelS said on March 29, 2010

    I agree you won zack. Joey L bailed.

  • Michael Seneschal said on March 29, 2010

    At first I thought David Hobby was the winner. And to his credit, his idea was more interesting. However, the quality of light is just so superb with your image, I’ve got to give the award to ZA.

    When I heard about this shootout, I got really excited to see what Joey L. would do… even just watching his entire process. His Ethiopia photos are jaw dropping.

  • Jim said on March 29, 2010

    Reminds me of how – in a different sorta way – Jack White interacted with jimmy Page and the Edge in the film “It Might Get Loud.”

    Next year, I’d like to go and bring my old 110 film camera

  • Dave said on March 29, 2010

    I’ll call it a tie between you & David Hobby. Both images look similar. I liked David’s concept for the paparazzi and his creativity of using audience members and then using the optical slaves to trigger the camera flashes.

    As you know, I’m a fan of shootouts (for obvious reasons). I think it’s a great learning experience and having that bit of pressure always brings out the best in us.

    Great work by all.

  • Mark Denman said on March 29, 2010


  • Mark Denman said on March 29, 2010


  • MikeScott said on March 29, 2010

    Here’s the kiss-up answer – WE won. Great to see how the three of you work. Cheers.

  • Radu said on March 29, 2010

    I liked how you handel the hwole thing.. you where calmer then David and Joey. but I’ll have to call this a tie between you and Dave .. as far as Joey goes .. I really like his work and everything, but the kid still a little too young and perhaps a bit immature..

  • Eric said on March 29, 2010

    Canceling my octobank order…..

  • Howard Haby said on March 29, 2010

    Great post, I was waiting for this video, but did get a sneak peek on Youtube. Good job Zack, great photo, and interaction with the crowd.

  • Carlos Jimenez said on March 29, 2010

    Who would had thought that Joey being an amazing photographer can also be an amazing idiot. Might be the age I guess

  • Mike said on March 29, 2010

    Both were great shots but MikeScott said it best when he said “WE won” It’s all about learning right?

    Now, if I was in attendance I would have been pretty pissed if I spent my hard earned money and time to watch Joey L bail like that. He may be a good photographer and all but I think he totally mismanaged his “stunt”, let audience members down and disrespected Zack and David. Very lame.

    It had to be said…who’s with me?

  • Lou Janelle said on March 29, 2010

    Zach, you did a superb job. I like the back lighting idea; have to try it in my own pics …

    I really learned a lot from both you and David Hobby.

    Joey L is young and a …. He does try to somewhat apologize in his blog:

  • David Bean said on March 29, 2010

    Nice work Zack!

    As smart ass as Joey L was, I do think he made an interesting point. Spend some quality time with your models before you shoot them.

  • Ben said on March 29, 2010

    GREAT job Zack! I really like your shot.
    Regarding Joey L >>> I would have preferred if he had taken the challenge seriously actually.

  • Antonio said on March 29, 2010

    Great work Zach. I liked both shots of you and Hobby. Disappointing performance from Joey L, was he too good to participate?

  • Phil said on March 29, 2010

    My opinion is they all won. They all had a blast…

    People speaking against Joey is sorta lame if you ask me. It was just to have fun, imo.
    That’s just what he did.

    We all know Zack, Hobby, and Joey can shoot. We don’t need a demo of that…

    Great to watch all of you!

  • nick said on March 29, 2010

    I think most people never really considered it a REAL competition.

    Anyone who was interested in the shootout is probably a fan of all three of you guys.

    I think a lot of us try to get out there and light/shoot photos of subjects quickly, and it was really refreshing to see pros going through the same process. It was almost relieving to see how you and david weren’t cool and collected completely. You were both sweating a little, but in the end you both pulled out great results.

    I understand why joey did what he did. He didn’t want to compete, because he doesn’t believe there is a “best” photographer – he didn’t like the concept of competing for that title. Unfortunately, the stunt didn’t come off that funny.

    It seemed really inconsiderate to the people who organized the event, to the models who showed up, to the audience who attended, and even to you/david to pull a prank like that.

    Everyone else worked so hard – and his prank basically amounted to saying “this competition is stupid, and I don’t care about it!” That’s kindov a subtle insult to everyone who was enthusiastic about it…

    He could have easily treated it like a teaching opportunity (like you and david) or just bowed out completely beforehand.

    Anyway, great image!

  • Chris Bergstrom said on March 29, 2010

    Very cool Zack! I wish I could be in one of these events too someday. I have so many wacky ideas, but not a lot of gear. To have an endless supply of lighting equipment, beautiful models and a HUGE auditorium to pull it off in would be FUN!!! I hope I can shoot with you and Mr. McNally someday too. The other contestent was not familiar to me, but I’m going to go look him up. I don’t follow what everybody else is doing, I try to figure stuff out on my own. I think of lighting as painting with light and since I’m a painter, it’s a fun challenge in that respect. It looks like you had a blast out there and I hope that one day our paths will cross and we can show each other a thing or two…


  • Darryl said on March 29, 2010

    I thought Joey was a little rude at first…but I like how he seemed to just pay homage to David and Zack….it was kind of respectful in a weird way… I did find the thought process of David and Zack interesting…and even Joey…because he does have to get to know his subjects maybe a bit more by doing all of his cultural stuff.

  • Andy said on March 29, 2010

    I agree with the above comments. Joey kinda played it like a punk ass kid, if you ask me.

    I am a huge fan of Joey’s work, but this was disrespectful, and really turns me away. Humorous, some degree at first, but Cocky.

  • Thanapatra said on March 29, 2010

    Really enjoy watching this vdo.
    Great job!!!

  • Shane Empie said on March 29, 2010

    Lol, I’m not sure why but when I searched for Zack Arias in google the first link was title “Order Viagra Online – Lowest Prices Guaranteed” but underneath it said so I clicked and it was the right sight. I guess it might be a joke I haven’t read on your site yet, lol. Also great video, and great shot :)

  • zack said on March 31, 2010

    Not a joke. It’s a hack we are trying to fix.

  • Dan said on March 30, 2010

    Loved the contest !! Being able to see how you guys are reacting to the situation, was quite interesting. It was definitely a tie between you and DHobby. Now JoeyL .. He is talented youngster and I would have liked to see him take the challenge seriously instead of playing the cool dude card …

  • singh said on March 30, 2010

    I liked Joey’s bit, saying that he didn’t take it ‘seriously’ is missing the point. The whole process is supposed to be fun, and his approach was the most creative by far.

  • Selwyn de Wind said on March 30, 2010

    David had it hard and took it more seriously.

    I thought David put a scene with a story in it and using the public as standins and light sources and it worked well.

    David is my winner.

  • Bob DeChiara said on March 30, 2010

    Hey Zack, great video. I am big fan of yourself, Dave, Joe and Joey. Great stuff by all. Hope to meet you at PSW in Boston next year, I’m buying.


  • Dade Freeman said on March 30, 2010

    Great stuff, really to see what you guys experienced, cheers for the share 😉

  • GT said on March 30, 2010

    Thanks for sharing the process. It was very fun to see it. I don’t think their is a winner. I like Strobist way of making a scenario out of it. Pretty clever. Joey, was a bold move and funny! Zack, you made me laugh the most with your approach and so true!


  • antonio said on March 30, 2010

    Great meeting, great funny work of all of you, the best!
    thans for sharing, will be nice to bee there too!


  • Jason said on March 30, 2010

    What a great video. It was really cool to see everyone’s approach, especially with the time limit and pressure of a live audience.

  • Hugo said on March 30, 2010

    Hilarious, good job guys on the pressure cooker shoot. I simple cracked up on the “Nikon has a really cool O-N feature”..

    1 shot 2 people (the look…) priceless..

  • Mike Bartholomew said on March 30, 2010

    I really enjoyed the video if only for the humour and banter!
    I would have loved to see Mr McNally in the shoot out too as he’d probably whip out about 50 SB900’s!

  • Chris V said on March 30, 2010

    Joey L. won. Photography’s not about the gear, or the lighting, but about keeping it individual and unique. I know the video had cuts, but it seemed like also was a bit more acknowledging of the talent, what with the water and such. Can’t be easy to be on display in front of hundreds of people, especially after being referred to as Model A and B…

  • Harvinder said on March 31, 2010

    Awesome video, Zack! I was stressed just watching it LOL. Don’t know what I would do in that situation.

    Both yours and Davids images are very compelling.

  • Steve Simpson said on March 31, 2010

    I agree with the rest Zach tha audiance won we watched 3 of the best compete and I for 1 was entertained and enjoyed the experience immensly. Take Care Steve.

  • Brian H said on April 2, 2010

    Welcome back.

  • JoeyL Hater said on April 2, 2010

    **** If you want to have an opinion about someone that’s fine just don’t hide behind the Internet.

  • ThomasMN said on April 3, 2010

    Mr. Suckssesful nailed it

  • Tommy said on April 5, 2010

    Hello again! I think you and strobist did great..close call. i think Joey L, although i love his work, came off like a tool.just my opinion. anyway, i got a gear question for you. Going to be investing in what i thought was going to be a pair of pocket wizards…but after seeing review of raidopoppers, i’m not so sure. if you get a second, could you let me know what would you recomend?


  • zack said on April 7, 2010

    I’m fan of the PW plus II’s. Those are the only ones I recommend.

  • Rick Lohre said on April 6, 2010

    Great Job Zack!

    Gotta give it to you…although I did enjoy David’s idea…love how given the same situation three (err 2) photogs came up with different ideas.

    Don’t know this Joey L from a hole in the wall, but think he could have handled his “prank” a bit better.
    Seemed as though he tanked it as he couldn’t handle the pressure. Just my opinion…then again, I would never have the stones to do it in the first place! So who am I to talk?!?!

    Good point Mr. Bean! Totally agree that you want to connect to Model A and Model B before a shoot 😉 Definitely helps pull some chemistry into the shots.

    Looking forward to having you to our studio in Cincy Zack…have a good spring!


  • Craig said on April 7, 2010

    I think I won by being exposed to that :) Thanks for posting. Fun and insightful.

  • Cuba said on April 7, 2010

    Is it about performance a show or about making good photography. I don’t get it …it seems the meaning of photography has been twisted. I always have thought photography as a medium to communicate, denounce or to express an idea or a concept.


    IS iIT A GAME?

  • Dominoe Imus said on April 8, 2010

    Personally, I have always been a fan of Joey L. but I think you all did really amazing…

  • AntiGravity kido said on April 9, 2010

    Very very nice / wish i was there..

  • Obi said on April 12, 2010

    definitely need to be in Dubai next year

  • Alvah said on April 25, 2010

    Great video overall but I do have to agree with the comments about joey acting like a punk. I love the kids work and was excited to see what he would do, but….. in the end his performance was pretty damn disappointing.

    I don’t know if he’s the kind of photographer that takes an hour to set up his lights or maybe he wants to keep all of his tips secret?? Maybe he’s just got the arrogance of youth mixed with the celeb/hollywood attitude. Whatever the reason was, it would have been much cooler to actually participate and show us how talented he is by turning out some results under pressure like the old guys :-)

    David and Zack… you guys rock! Thank you for sharing with all of us and being down to earth.


  • Nick Everitt said on April 26, 2010

    Awesome video and very funny.

    Great example of how easy to watch and listen to both David and Zack are.

    The One light DVDs and the Strobist DVD’s are definitely some of the best money I have spent in photography, watched both sets multiple times and learn something new or get new ideas each time.

  • Olivier borgognon said on May 7, 2010

    well i have not looked up yet to see who was the winner, but i think my general feeling is : everyone who took part in those workshops during the few days, and those who enjoy a laugh at the end.

    Thought the idea of david with the paparazzis was fun, the light with zack was a cool idea, and well joeyL hmm, was put off totally thinking he was a young punk

    and that shows that the problem is not about what we think, it’s about our expectations… i was thinking wow let’s see what joey can pull off there as i don’t know as much about him as i read from the others, and found myself disapointed because my expectations were not met.

    But thereafter when reading his blogpost on it

    i thought well he felt it that way, and did it in a fun way, it’s all about a concept. And explaining more about the workshops & final contest… I love his final shot with the team of all of you, simple, to the point, and making sure that all of the “behind the scenes” people are in it as they are essential.

    So yep, based on that I hope you, david & joey had great fun teaching your workshops so that we have a “winner winner chicken dinner…” rolling :)

  • Mands said on May 7, 2010

    Well I think hammering Joey is lame. Having met both him and Zack in Australia, I can tell you that they are both AMAZING! I saw Joey shoot under pressure, with two models in 10 mins, and his sooc was phenominal! He could have done it easily, but going by the last comment on this video, was this at the end of 6 days of teaching??? Sorry but I would not have wanted to do that, and Joey IS YOUNG…isn’t that one of the things we admire and envy about him??? It’s not a crime.
    When I can shoot as well as any of these guys, then I’ll post feel free to offer a negative opinion.
    Haven’t read on Joey’s blog, but he really is one of the nicest, coolest, easiest guys to be around, and super super talented…a genius with the camera. I also think that one of the reasons he gets the images he does, is because he takes time to know his subjects.
    He doesnt’ need defending…but neither does he deserve the bashing.
    Loved all the shoots!

  • charley said on June 5, 2010


    I have a question about the their shoot.

    How can they instanteanously display the photos in the large screen while they we’re shooting?

    Thanks a lot!

  • zack said on June 5, 2010

    Charley – it’s called “shooting tethered”. You connect your camera via USB to a computer and use capture software to download straight from camera. Nikon and Canon each have apps for this as do 3rd parties.


  • joals said on August 12, 2010

    i’m also a big fan of joey L.. but for “me” what he did is disrespect to the audience..
    ZA and dave wouldnt mind it.. but the people who’s expecting.. hoping to learn something.. the people who pay some money for that..

    it’s like, you went to a G3 concert and watched steve vai just broke his guitar and not even play any piece..
    just my opinion (i just put my self to one of the audience)

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