My Interview on TWiT Photo :: Video

August 17, 2011 | • Discussion Shop Talk

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the TWiT Photo podcast with hosts Catherine Hall and Leo Laporte. I suppose with a name like TWiT I was the obvious choice to be a guest. I’m hoping to get to California at some point to see their brand new studio. Check out their weekly podcast here. Also, I’ll be part of a panel discussing photo sharing on the web. That will be live today. I’m sure it will be recorded for future viewing.


Catherine is hosting a webcast tomorrow (Thurs. 8/18) at 3pm EST. I’ll be joining the panel discussing copyright and sharing photography on the web. The panel is full of some amazing folks like photographers and bloggers Trey Ratcliff, Frederick Van, and Nicole Young. We’ll also be joined by Mike Linksvayer (VP of creative Commons), Christa Laser (specialist in copyright law), and Brian Rose who is the photos community manager over at Google+. I’m sure we’ll be discussing, among other things, the hotly debated G+ TOS that have divided opinions from many in the photography industry. It’s going to be good to hear from a manager of the community there.

You can watch the live broadcast here today (Thursday 8/18) –





  • Philip Rawson said on August 17, 2011

    It’s nice to see quite a few of the photogs I follow appear on TWiT Photo, thanks for sharing the recording! Tomorrow’s webcast sounds like it’s going to be jam packed with tons of helpful insight and well-rounded discussion, looking forward to tuning in.

  • Leoraul said on August 17, 2011

    Tomorrow 8/18, right? Don’t want to miss it!

  • Graham said on August 17, 2011

    Great interview, Zack, but the presenters talked over you too much! Thanks for sharing…

  • Neil Rasnick said on August 17, 2011

    this is a great series, but i notice that you folks ask a question then talk over during the answer. great questions, but allow space for the answer.

  • Brad Martin said on August 17, 2011

    Does that Leo guy know anything about photography? It certainly doesn’t appear that way.

  • Mark said on August 17, 2011

    Zack, always impressed with you level of candid-ness-ability, great interview. (btw, love the harley comment… had mine for 30+ years, as John Housman said years ago “I earned it”!) Appreciate you and your work, best wishes as always.

  • Philip Rawson said on August 17, 2011

    I just finished watched the re-run. That was a very motivational and inspirational talk! And your family was on vacation? You’re too generous, Zack! But I must say thank you.

    PS – I have to agree with Graham and Neil that the hosts did chat it up a bit too much. Oh well, it was an exceptional webcast in the end.

  • Charles Wynn said on August 17, 2011

    Zack’s information is SO valuable as always! I love Leo’s enthusiasm too, but he has a chronic problem of cutting off a guest’s comments unfortunately… Gotta take the good with the bad.

  • Universal Creations said on August 17, 2011

    I totally agree on the “you have to earn it” subject. I even want to add something to it: “you have to outgrow the gear that you want to replace.”

  • Brian harwood said on August 18, 2011

    I have learned so much from you Zack… Your realism to every shot has been great for me. You have great vision & calm. At least you appear to be, ha. You are very humble to the industry which causes me to jump & pay attention whenever you’re on video teaching or an interview.
    Cheers to you…. YOU ROCK!

    Thank you for all that you do.
    (I) am grateful to have you around.



  • Jeremy Corbin said on August 18, 2011

    Hey Buddy! Thanks for representing on this!

    The link you have for the webcast looks broken. I typed in and got the right link.



  • Scott Peek said on August 18, 2011

    Zack, I am glad you are starting to blog again, I have missed seeing your inspirational work. Thank you for your humbleness as I have taken a few of your quotes and posted them on my walls as a reminder. The best reminder is incorporating personal projects into my work so I don’t take the money making avenue too seriously and get burned out.

    I look forward to your posts!

  • Kyle Branum said on August 19, 2011

    The hosts were super annoying, don’t ask a question if you won’t wait for the answer. Thanks for sharing an hour.

  • Kyle Branum said on August 19, 2011

    Jesus came up with “many are called but few are chosen”. :)

  • Zack said on August 19, 2011

    @Kyle, Yes He did…. but not with photography thrown in there. :)


  • Evan Felts said on August 19, 2011

    nice bro. thanks for spreading the knowledge. i enjoyed listening while shooting trimmings and tassels at my day job :)

  • Great to see you doing your own work. It’s an inspiration to the street photographer in me. Makes me want the X100 even more.

  • vizcara said on August 19, 2011

    At the first break on this video it’s hilarious the first questions that came in via twitter etc.. was “What hardware do you use” The typical nob newbie stupid questions. When are nobs going to get it 80% of what your doing has little to do with the gear… Especially if you dont even know “HOW” to use it or apply it well… The gear only makes a different if you have learned the how to use first “Then” and only “Then” will it make a small difference. Gear will never make you a better photographer.. When are they ever going to get this through their heads.. The flicker commentary was spot on as well as the commentary on “Critique” via forums etc..

    This why I really have liked Zacks approach to things he may show a few things on “Strobist” or Pocket flash use but doesnt imply that it should be use for “Everything” He isnt doing it for “Product endorsement” for canon Nikon etc. He shows Studio heads outside when its the “Correct” thing to use for the job and not trying to Stick 5 canon 580’s on a stick to and slave them when its totally unnecessary.. When will show you how to do that if you “NEED” too.. In doing this Zack shows honestly what its like in the real working world of shooting for a living. Not the flash banging bus “Wow Whoopie” look at the latest craze of gimmicky toys I have to show off and play with versus the Here this is what we did and “Why we did for this situation to get the JOB DONE” in the most efficient effective timely manner because time is money and subject dont like sitting around waiting for batteries to recharge or recycle nor trigger to fire or not fire.

    Clients want to walk in and out quickly and as painlessly as possible. Zack has shown the real “Diversity” of shooting paid jobs and not the “Buy this and use it this way for everything” way to be a photographer.. He is just like me I will shoot with a profoto head if need be and need the power to over come ambient daylight in the 3pm sun in the daytime to get a shot. As well as have no problem throwing a beat up old vivitar 285 in a back corner or shelf to open up an area with some light. To shooting with cheap power packs and heads or old ones in a dirty factory job were you dont want you nice studio packs getting filthy full of soot and debri… He shows what its like out there in the working field.. Not all of us get free pocket flashes or rolling cases that are brand new from manufactures like some of the Seminar folks do from BH and all those companies.

    We buy our own gear we have to maintain it and justify the expense of the items. Zack is honest about these things when so many out there portray a image “Oh look I use the DSI 3409 with a BRT xy attachment” along with three of the xxx why and zzz modifiers that look “BRAND NEW” and shinny” Go to any real full time working commercial shooter and take long look at their gear most of it has tape all over it with writing or is scuffed up because they use it day in and day out.

    Enough said thanks Zack for being real….. Tellin it like it is and for the goatee promotion for the rest of us.. :)

  • Fotograf Göteborg Håkan Ivarsson said on August 19, 2011

    Like this! :)

  • vizcara said on August 21, 2011

    At time line 1:01:30 one world “AMEN!” Thank god someone the masses are listening to finally had the backbone to say it and tell the truth about the idiots with a brand new MarkII blah blah and 1.2 lens and using them on AWB and 14 zone autofocus with Apeture priority and have no business shooting with such gear….. Also the part about one paying their dues “BEFORE” calling themselves a photographer. It really does take 10 years of experience to be a well rounded experienced photographer and not a “I can take tack sharp photo of my neighbors kids with a good histogram” and then call my self a photographer now way of thinking. Sure you pissing off a lot of people zack but hey I give you major points for telling the truth keeping it real and saying what needs to be said. Especially in this day in age when everyone is to be so so politically correct and “Branded” with fancy fonts. I often see so much better talent that comes from some amateur with a point and shoot that cares nothing about taking photos and occasionally post those photos run circles around those self proclaimed photogs with the best of gear that read specs sheets day in and day out. Anyone can read a spec sheet but few can take good photos.

    2nd note I see many dont post comments here as on many of the other highly popular photog seminar teachers leadrer or what not. Here you only see a couple of few honest comments. Were on those other photog guru’s sites you see a gang of comments “Oh bob your the best” “Oh bob I just love your light” “Oh bob I need to wipe my nose because it got something on it” type of comments. So I hope you dont think that in getting lest comments that are all pucker up that you think your not as popular or what you doing is not as desired. I say it is a sign that those that read you blog and post here are actually thinking and not posting just Puckered sweet fake comments. What you doing Zack is right tell it like it is… Tell the truth… Be honest… Thats what makes you one of the only ones out of the 10 or so photographer seminar guys I actually have any respect for that is not a Product endorser, Ego seeking, Sell photoshop books,or sell seminar tours types out there. I been around doing this for a living for 17 years now. Back in the days of dip and dunk snip tests polaroids with balcar packs that weighed 40lbs and mono heads did not even exist. When there was wired syncs and we never even thought about wireless triggers. God back then we we used cable releases with a mirror up..

  • Zack said on August 25, 2011

    @Vizcara – :) Thanks. I learned at the end of those film snip days and 40 lb Speedobomb packs. I know where you’re coming from.


  • Jane Brennecker said on August 21, 2011

    Brilliant interview, Zack. You covered such a lot of ground in just over an hour. Thank you :)

  • Daf said on August 23, 2011

    Still about half way through, but thought I’d mention – on the Laforet topic, this is very funny:


  • Jessica Sweeney said on August 24, 2011

    As usual, Zack, it is a pleasure to listen to you for an hour. You have a talent for mixing humor with unpalatable truths. And I’m so happy you have an x100, because I LOVE your street photography.

    Keep doing it all, I’ll come to the blog every time.

  • Monica said on August 24, 2011

    Zack, I need to listen to you speak for an hour everyday. Here lately I need the reminder that my photography is about me and my camera and not the “photoshop sauce” everyone else seems to be squirting on lately. I’ve been brought back to reality and re-inspired.

  • Randy Douglas said on August 26, 2011

    Zack. Thanks for the inspiration and positive attitude.

  • Michael Montalto said on August 28, 2011

    You’re a good man Zack Arias. You always make me think. Thanks for everything! -mM

  • Ron Dawson said on August 30, 2011

    Great interview my friend. Love what you’re putting out there. Keep it up.

    And I know that Catherine’s such a great person having interviewed a few times and getting to know her when filming The Longest Day. She did get “Super 8” wrong though. Spielberg was just the Exec Producer. JJ Abrams directed it. :)

  • Rob said on August 31, 2011

    I do not know you, but what a nice interview. You struck a nice tone of artistic intensity with kindness that you did not have to try to strike you were just trying be be your honest best interview self and you came off very well. NIce job. Your site is unbelievable too. what an amazing about of information you have let for people I have not checked but I hope you took nothing off when transferring from your old blog. You sound like you are doing really really well now and thats awesome. It is so nice to see a generous soul with a passion making it work and having the right set of factors going so you can see how much your kindness has come back at you in multiples. Cheers to a good interview I have been looking for places and people on the web to learn in an smart way about the beginnings of doing some of my own camera work myself and I really appreciate an entrepreneur who has all the pressures, that I know they have, who still has the integrity to not treat their artistic business as a zero sum game. The interview only reinforced what brought me around to your site in the first place. Cheers Rob

  • Zack said on September 1, 2011

    Thanks Rob.


  • Bimal Nair said on September 9, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this Zack! There is one honest confession i have to do to you Zack…that 3 out of the 5 days, i crave to hear you talk. You, your style, your on-the-face honest comments and advices…i just crave for them. I am a little birdie types who loses track all the time and need someone to shoo me away in the right direction or else will be caught by a pet for supper. Thanks for all the generous work you do to save our lives Zack! I love you!

  • Chuck said on October 3, 2011

    I’m glad I found your blog. The honesty is refreshing, and a reminder that my car is only as good as the nut behind the wheel. Thanks.

  • Alana said on October 8, 2011

    sorry, but just wanted to clarify to the girl co-host… JJ Abrams (LOST, Alias, Cloverfield, Fringe, the new Star Trek films) was the writer/director/creator on Super8 and responsible for all the awesomeness lighting wise… Spielberg was the Producer :)

    but it was JJ’s “ode-to” his fave Spielberg films of his childhood :)

    – an obnoxious JJ Fan :)

  • Michele Rivera said on November 10, 2011

    Thank you for sharing, you are truly inspirational and refreshingly honest. Our industry needs more people like you! :) keep on keeping on!

  • Sean Gannon said on November 11, 2011

    Great video, love your honesty and approach

  • kim said on December 2, 2012

    First thing Im going to get a great portrait of my parents… Secondly that interview that dude would not shut up and listen. I wanted to listen to Zack speak not some dude about a 5d mk2 for the 11 millionth time.

    Thirdly thanks so much for the inspirational words…. Hope your online break was nice and relaxing…

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