Crew GOYA :: $5 Thrift Store Shootout

March 12, 2010 | GOYA

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We are back with another GOYA shootout for the crew. Here was the challenge set before us today.

We had to go to a thrift store and spend no more than five dollars on whatever we wanted. We then had to incorporate whatever we purchased into a photo. We had 2.5 hours to complete the challenge.

Today we had myself, business manager Sherri, studio manager Dan, intern Robin, and the ever so lovely and talented Meghan.

….. ETA ……

The contest is now over. Sherri won!

Cheers, Zack


  • Laura said on March 12, 2010

    Well hubby and I disagree on which one to vote for but he beat me by voting first. So although our IP address has registered a vote, I’d like to include mine. Photo “C” please!! :)

  • Laura said on March 12, 2010

    I mean “E” “E” “E”!!!! Oops!!

  • robin the intern said on March 12, 2010

    After seeing everyone’s stuff, I think the reward should be the thrift store finds – and the duty of shooting all of the finds in one shot together.

  • bryan said on March 12, 2010

    prize – $10 to spend at the thrift store.

  • Andrew said on March 12, 2010

    E by a long long way.

  • Alex DiFiori said on March 12, 2010

    Photographers A and E look like they really put some effort into their shots.

    The other ones seem sort of thrown together. Not that they’re bad, just that the item and how it’s used don’t really connect as well as in A or E’s photos.

    E appealed to me most of the two, probably because it has that nice dramatic touch whereas A was just very clever.

  • paultwo said on March 12, 2010

    I like A because the item stands out. Excellent presentation.

    Everyone is voting E but to me it’s not as obvious. Very nice shot though.

  • Dave said on March 12, 2010

    For me it was between B & E. I chose E because of the colors & composition. I like the frame within a frame, within another frame.

    Great job everyone.

  • Charley Pinck said on March 12, 2010

    It’s all about the concept in C. I love the surreal absurdity of it.

  • greg said on March 12, 2010

    B!! That guys is full of all types of awesome.

  • Spencer said on March 12, 2010

    Love #1. #3 could have been better if action was worked into the shot.

    #2 wins. Framing, the expression and of course the hat.

  • Rhonda said on March 12, 2010

    Very fun!

    I honestly like all of them for different reasons, and its fun to see the vast differences of the items.

    My vote ended up for E. In a roundabout way it reminds me of a Normal Rockwell painting that I’ve always loved.

  • Rhonda said on March 12, 2010

    Oops. And that of course should be Norman, not normal.

  • Allen Ross Thomas said on March 12, 2010

    B wins on image. A wins on theme.

    Winner wins wearing a wardrobe component from thrift store during a client shoot. Looser pics out said component.


  • Izham Effendi said on March 12, 2010

    ive already viewing this for about half an hour, i think ill go for photo B

  • Toby said on March 12, 2010

    E seems to have the ‘Zack Arias sheen’ to it – so if it’s anyone OTHER than Zack Well Done To YOU!!

    They’re all great, but E is the better composition in my opinion – it wreaks of ‘the beard’…!

    Toby. x

  • Tom deBruyn said on March 13, 2010

    What does GOYA mean?

  • zack said on March 13, 2010

    Tom – GOYA = Get off your ass … And go shoot. :)

  • Rikke said on March 13, 2010

    Great pics all of them, har to choose the best, but E just stuck out with alot of emotion and mood

    But what a great idea. We’ll have to try that aswell :-)

  • Glyn Dewis said on March 13, 2010

    For me it was always between Photo B and E. Photo B for the crop and superb expression/feel and Photo E for just everything about it…great framing, expression…

    Finally went for Photo E.

    Nice job everyone!!


  • lou h said on March 13, 2010

    Strangely, E doesn’t give me any sense of thrift store involvement.
    I love C for it’s frankness and it’s judicious use of colour. It creates a bond between person and object which means photographer C created something about the spirit of the brief. Hunter-gathering for random oddities in a thrift shop is all about the pleasure of finding hidden treasures, and this image catches the pride of a successful hunt.

  • Janine said on March 13, 2010

    E for mE :)

  • Howard Haby said on March 13, 2010

    I like E the most. I’m guessing that maybe the Painting next to the mirror was the item purchased? That’s my vote.

  • Kenny B said on March 13, 2010

    Let there be no doubt, “B”.

  • Cati said on March 13, 2010

    Well, I really like the idea behind the C trypthic but I find a certain lack of interaction between the model and the object. On the other hand, picture E is really outstanding (the tones, the mood…) so I’ll go for E but I really liked the concept behind C.
    I would’ve had the model hold a wet bubbly sponge or something that transmitted the idea that she was gonna actually wash the little car and maybe grin a little so there was some roleplay in it, but well, that’s my point of view. Really nice pics, great concept.

  • Eric Doggett said on March 13, 2010

    Definitely C. I don’t know what’s wrong with you people :)

  • Jeff said on March 13, 2010

    I liked C. That is the best “say cheese” expression I have seen in a long time! Most of the time it doesn’t work but it sure does here.

  • Jeff said on March 13, 2010

    Geez…..I meant B. So much for trying to operate with no coffee….

  • Aamer said on March 13, 2010

    I loved ‘E’ the most as a photo, but I just couldn’t tell what the photographer bought for the 5 bucks in the photo. So I chose ‘A’ instead.

  • French Press said on March 13, 2010

    I love both E and C for the relation between the object and their new owners.

    C was my final decision.
    Contrat to all of you.

  • Michelle said on March 13, 2010

    Wow! This is really a tough one for me… what a great GOYA assignment! Eeeek… it’s a serious toss up between A and E (and in ‘E’ I think the $1 store items are the 5 hair clips around the mirror).

  • Sheryl Rayner said on March 13, 2010

    I picked A because I love the photo on the right.

  • ThomasMN said on March 13, 2010

    Funny :)

    2 pictures are shot with a 5D mk. II

    1 picture with a 5D mk. I

    1 picture with a D200

    1 picture dunno

    I voted B

  • Brett said on March 13, 2010

    B has Zack written all over it. If true, sorry Zack but I voted for E.

  • Dave said on March 13, 2010


  • Bryan Mitchell said on March 13, 2010

    I would have picked C if it would have just been the shot of her with the toy car. Having the other 2 made the entry weaker. I choose E. Then saw most others did as well.
    I might go do the same thing for fun.

  • meg (the fiji one) said on March 13, 2010

    Well I voted for B, but I thought a prolly told the story of a “thrift shop” best….

  • SexyNinjaMonkey said on March 14, 2010

    While E looks the best, I think D followed the challenge best. So D gets my vote.

  • TheWeakestLink said on March 14, 2010

    Nothing to truly get excited about about. But “B” gets my vote. Barely.

  • Julio said on March 14, 2010

    Well… I like E because of the nice lightning and mood but… MY VOTE GOES TO A!… nice portrait there.

  • JVL said on March 14, 2010

    B – just cuz that hat plus smile are doooooooooooooooooooooope

  • r-dean said on March 14, 2010

    I’m curious who the artist is of the painting in the Photographer E’s photo is – as we have a copy of it in our house, that has been there for years and years.

  • Bryn said on March 14, 2010


    Perhaps the prize is that the winner gets to make the losers wear something from the thrift store all day

  • Markus said on March 15, 2010

    It think it is quiet obvious that E stands out, for its amazing mood and boldness. I do though like A, for its almost poetic concept. The stories all the thrifts tell, opposite to the staring of the stiff, non-emotional wig-heads- Classic!

  • John ODD said on March 15, 2010

    Hi Guys, thanks for sharing these with us. I love the lighting in E and the set up with the old pict on the stand. to me, I see this as being a shot taken by a female(meghan)mabye, although i’m not sure why. I love C though and this is my vote. I like the “street” feel to it and the girls expression is outstanding.

  • Xavier Wallach said on March 15, 2010

    I voted for E! It’s winning head down at the moment. I liked the others, but … One pic. only should have been the rule. In my opinion, photographers who proposed several shots killed the best one with the other.

    This challenge was a very good idea !

  • Joshua said on March 15, 2010

    I really love E. It has great texture to the light and the use of the item isn’t as obvious as the others – which I think adds a nice element of delayed response on the part of the viewer. I, for one, am also a sucker for frame-within-a-frame – so this one just made me giddy from that alone.
    It also seems like B, C, D really let it show that you only had 2.5 hours – and E was able to make the project look methodical and steady.
    I agree with Bryan (above) in that making C a triptych made it a weaker entry – having the car and the girl solely highlighted like that distracted from the main shot
    Great shots all around, guys!

  • Damon said on March 15, 2010

    Was this inspired by “Secondhand Sureshots”? That was a cool idea…

  • Javier I Sanchez said on March 15, 2010

    Had to go with “C”. I’m pretty sure Zack’s is “E” though, but we can’t have you win all your own contests! :)

  • K@YL33_H@TCH said on March 15, 2010

    I vote for C because it shows what they bought, and it doesn’t look worth more than 5 dollars.

  • Hasby said on March 15, 2010

    Zack, anyone following your 365 would know which one is your shot.

  • Nigel Wheal said on March 15, 2010

    Really enjoying visiting the site and viewing the GOYA sessions you a holding.

    For me E is just streets ahead and it is jumping up and down and screaming to be noticed.


  • Wilfredo said on March 15, 2010

    I voted “E” hands down…nice job everone!

  • Wilfredo said on March 15, 2010

    my wife say’s “B” ….quote “plain, simple and to the point”

  • Simon Andrews said on March 16, 2010

    All great this week I think. No clear winner. Ranked in order for me.

    B made me smile
    D is creative
    E is well executed
    A (right) is engaging
    C is funny concept

    A makes me feel something
    D makes me think
    E impresses me with the polish
    A make me explore the image
    C gives me an idea :)

    I think an image that makes me feel or think something trumps an image that is technically superior. Just IMO as always.

  • Greg said on March 17, 2010

    Can anybody tell what the item in E is?

    The most likely item is the painting, but it could be anything in the photo.

    In A, B, and C it’s obvious, and people have pointed it out for D, but I just can’t tell for E.


  • Brett said on March 17, 2010

    Zack, since your DedPxl post made it sound like you won’t be the winner here, I think the winner should get a special, Zack-produced, documentary video made about them… and posted on your blog so that we can all get to know your crew. Plus, just think of the audio and video practice that would allow you. I know, I know, a lot of work, but it would be fun.

  • Black Cat White Cat Photography said on March 17, 2010


  • Moshe said on March 17, 2010

    I agree E is more slick… but B, with the negative space, is the one for me.

  • Dan said on March 18, 2010

    @Greg – Sherri’s item was the dress.

  • Randall Douglas said on March 19, 2010

    Something wrong with pollcode…

    A is my vote

  • Zauberer Markus said on July 4, 2010

    I think E ist the one that rocks

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