DVD Pre-Release & Your Initial Thoughts…

August 16, 2008 | • Workshop News

I have been in Seattle and Portland all week while Erik was working 14 hour days shipping the pre-sale orders of the DVD out into the world.  I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting to hear the initial thoughts from all of you who got in on the pre-sale.  They are now coming in.  Here are a few of my favorites…

Zack,I just received my DVD’s in the mail. I just finished reading the booklet that came with them. The part about your family kicked me right in my heart, it brought tears to my eyes. I put my booklet down and wrapped my arms around my two year old little boy. Thanks for so much more than a DVD on photography. 


I just got my dvd in the mail today….wow!!! I just wanted to tell you that I have bought other educational dvds….and then felt cheated over what I got compared to what I spent. Not so with you!!! Everything about the package…the presentation, the quality, the information- top notch!! I feel like I got more than my moneys worth…and it is incredibly obvious you put your all into this. Thank you! –


I am on disk two of the DVD already. Man this is the best investment I ever made. I have been a real TTL advocate for some time now but I am going to see what Manual mode can offer me in my shooting style.Thanks for such an amazing DVD. You’re the man!”

I would love to hear from you!  Hit me in the comment section!The DVD will be released to the public next Thursday.  I’ll announce it here, to the email list, and on the OneLight Workshop site.

Cheers, Zack   


  • Khara Plicanic said on August 16, 2008

    I said it once (in a comment on your previous post) but I’ll gladly say it again…. AWESOME. I haven’t even watched it yet…. and I can already see the heart, sweat, and soul that you put into this. What a great investment. Thank you again. I look forward to seeing you at the KC workshop! :)

  • Aaron Brethorst said on August 16, 2008

    I didn’t know you were in Seattle. I would’ve skipped buying the DVDs to actually attend the workshop ;-). That said, I received the set yesterday and it looks great; I find myself watching five minutes, rewinding, watching again and going A-HA! So thanks!

  • Pat said on August 16, 2008


    I got the DVD last night and I’ve already watched both discs. I especially loved the second disc. I can see myself watching it over and over again. Killer photos in a Walgreens dumpster – who knew.

    Thanks for putting this together!


  • Gregg Hicks said on August 16, 2008

    Zack… I was on pins and needles waiting to get home yesterday to find out if the DVDs came, and of course they did!

    I popped in the first DVD last night and I must say that this is the best education investment that I have ever made! I know I have a lot to learn about lighting… but you have made it very informative and fun!

    Oh and thanks for all the extra goodies!

  • Tony said on August 16, 2008

    Looking forward to picking up your DVD when it’s released. I’m just a little tight on cash for the pre-order sales. Sounds like it’s a hit! Congrats!

  • D_2 said on August 16, 2008

    Listening to one of the goodies that came with the set while I type this……The package to me is more than just an educational experience it’s like a spiritual package. The information was so interesting that I was able to look at both disc in one sitting. It’s like you give us everything you know to allow us to go and create art…but then you pose the question at the end…”Why are you still looking at this disc? Go out and shoot”

    I have made a substantial investment traveling to one of your workshops and got a lot out of it, but the disc seemed to make everything come to the light….and then the montage of your images during a two year span question at the end.

    If I’m still stuck in the same rut a year from now, I guess I’ll have to look in the mirror and ask why.

    Thanks Zack

  • Seshu said on August 16, 2008

    Zack, the DVDs arrived and I haven’t been able to “put them down” (kinda like a very good book). The presentation is lucid and the information is golden. This is bar none the best DVD out there about lighting delivered to us in a very honest way and down-to-earth way. Having taken your workshop, I expected nothing else of course. I look forward to devouring the lessons and going out and practicing. Actually, I photographed my 10-month old today with a Sunpak 120j and a 20 degree grid spot plopped right behind him. The mere fact that my family photographs are going to be so different than the run of the mill point-n-shoot stuff that moms and dads succumb to, tells me the DVDs and your instruction have elevated my game. Taking that a step farther and being able to do this for my clients and I can see where it can propel me.

    Part of me wishes my competition never gets a hold of this DVD! [grin] Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for an early Christmas present, brother. I do hope our paths cross again.

  • Kees Snyders said on August 16, 2008

    Ohh, the anticipation is KILLING ME! I ordered mine, got the shipping confirmation, and now I hear that it is twice as good as I thought it was! (And I have high expectations) I’ve never read such glowing reviews… I can’t wait till they arrive. Thank you Zack!

  • Geof Stone said on August 16, 2008


    The DVD is really great! I used some of the ideas you presented today and it worked out great!

    Thanks a bunch and keep it going!

  • Heather said on August 16, 2008

    *looking up at last note*

    I haven’t received a shipping confirmation, should I have? (I’m in Canada…).

  • Ali said on August 16, 2008

    Zack, the DVD is awesome! I have already watched it and going to watch it again! I am finally getting a grasp on the technical aspect of this stuff. Before I was just guessing and now I understand it. I’m going to watch it again tonight!

    Thank you so much for explaining it very easily and like the previous poster says I hope my competition never gets ahold of this too!

    I have a few questions but not sure where to ask them!

  • zack said on August 16, 2008

    If you haven’t gotten a confirmation for shipping please email Erik in the shipping department. Erik @ usedfilm.com.

    Also, I will open a DVD specific area on the OneLight Forum for questions.


  • Tom K. said on August 16, 2008

    Got it…..Watched it….Loved it…..Learned from it. Now I’m gonna Grab it…..Watch it again….Love it again…..Learn from it again. Repeat that scenario until I learn it all cold.

    It’s a brilliantly presented style of teaching that makes learning a seemingly difficult subject easy. I am profoundly grateful that you made this DVD Zack.

    All the Best,
    Tom K.

  • Janine said on August 17, 2008

    ohhhh still sweating for mine…I am in Australia…the anticipation is KILLING me!

  • zack said on August 17, 2008

    I have now opened a forum for specific OneLight DVD questions.



  • Lea said on August 17, 2008

    Spent much of my last two days watching the dvds, sucking up info and trying new things. I was able to borrow a set of Pocket Wizards from a friend, threw my Canon 580EX on a spare light stand, slid in a shoot-through umbrella and last evening did some really fun portraits of a friend and I GOT IT IT. The bells and whistles and flashing lights were going off in my head like crazy.

    Zack, your methods are fabulous and your teaching style is just so practical and logical that I don’t think anyone could watch the dvds and not ‘get it.’ You’ve taken a huge mystery out of photography for me and I can not wait to work with you at the Kansas City workshop.

    Many thanks for your work.


  • matt miller said on August 17, 2008

    zack. these dvds are pure gold. thank you so much for the blood sweat and tears that went into this project and for sharing what youve learned in this business and helping so many others in learning their craft. just watching these for the first time , so much has made more sense to me now, and i think all of that is due to the way you have presented the information, keeping it relevant, funny, and interesting.

    also i love the ending of the 2nd disc, i was dying to go shoot, but i had to wait and see if there was any bonus footage of you falling over, a barfight, naked mud wrestling, but instead you gave to go ahead to get off my ass and take some photos, and thats just what i did.

    all in all this has been the BEST investment for furthering my understanding of lighting and such a great motivator in taking what im learning and applying it to my work. this dvd really brings back the feelings of when i was 13 and watching skate videos for the first time and getting so pumped up to go shred as soon as the video stopped. i thought that kind of feeling was gone since im 30 but i felt the same hunger to “go forth and conquer” as i felt i had seen so many new “tricks” that i needed to go outside and try them for myself.

    again. thanks so much to everyone involved in the making of this dvd set. for all the hard work, for all the nice extra goodies included in my bag, and for sharing what you have learned with all of us.


  • Rick French said on August 17, 2008


    For those that have ever bought educational DVDs and were dissappointed when they finished viewing them, this has been a tremendous change of pace. Your passion and love for what we do comes thorugh with each point. You speak in plain English and not technical jargon. I have already watched them twice and keep picking up something I missed the previous time. I like being able to go back to particular sections for another look. I will become a better photogrpaher as a result…Thanks again for teh dedication…

  • Tom Marriage said on August 17, 2008


    As usual you do not disappoint. Loved your workshop and now the DVD is just like attending but I can go over & over again. The technical stuff–mainly the Inverse Square Law–is explained very well and the visuals make all the difference. Especially like your explanation of covering a wedding reception related to how the Inverse Square Law works.

    Watching you work is also very helpful.

    Your DVD and David Hobby’s Strobist DVD’s are the two best investments I’ve made this year. The two of you must be brothers. You both have a knack for using very little to get outstanding results.

    Thanks for the DVD’s and also all the extras (Meghan’s CD is very nice).


  • Allison said on August 17, 2008

    I loved the OneLight Workshop and have been using the set up with good success. The DVD kicked it up another notch. The production quality on the video is the best of any educational product I have ever purchased—-plus, instead of pontificating about how great you are, etc. you just got down to it and showed how it’s done. It’s worth it, so buy it—NOW!!! (loved the stickers too—sooo true!!)

  • Tony of Washington, D.C. said on August 17, 2008

    Greetings Prof. Zack!

    This a great DVD package! One of the many things I learned is while you can’t control surroundings (Cops,vagrants,overcast..),manual camera and flash is the way to go. I’ll continue to read your blog and hopefully a One Light Workshop will stop thru the D.C. area. Congradulations!

  • Kurt Shoens said on August 17, 2008

    I watched both DVDs as soon as they arrived and enjoyed them very much. I agree with the comments above, to which I will add that the video looks great, is well-edited, and uses music well.

    I particularly appreciate that the explanations are thorough and clear and that they are presented outside a typical classroom environment.

    It can be hard to apply lighting theory in practice. The footage of on-location shooting where you show your thought process really helps there.

    The sample clips posted some time ago for the DVDs looked great and the DVDs themselves live up to the promise.


  • Jim said on August 17, 2008


    I went to Atlanta in April, and also just got the DVD. It’s like taking the seminar all over again, without the Newcastle.

    So good. I’ll be watching it again.

    Thanks again for a renewal of the Art of photography.


  • J. Meyer said on August 17, 2008

    Bought it, watched it and love it!!! I wish the t-shirt was a little bigger, but my fiance is loving it! : )

    Thanks Zack, your rock brother!

    Jim M.
    Carmel, IN

  • Man About Tao said on August 18, 2008

    Argh! I can’t wait! When will my dvds be arriving?!? I’m based in the UK, and itching to get my hands on the dvds!

  • Ty said on August 18, 2008

    I spent the weekend studying my DVD. Great information put in such a way that I feel anyone pursuing photography can grasp a hold of. This is a great learning tool and I will recommend any of my photog friends to purchase this. That’s right. Purchase! So Zack and the crew can keep feeding their families. Werd!

  • Timothy Berg said on August 18, 2008

    Zack –

    I just finished the DVD last night and am really pleased with it. I’d been wanting to attend a workshop but couldn’t work out a good date and place for me, so this is a great next-best-thing. Just so you know if you do something like this again, what made me take the leap to purchase the DVD, or pushed me over the edge to do so, was your blog tutorial on going from white to black on seamless. The clarity of your explanation, with no unnecessary filler, came through really nicely, so it was clear you could teach. It was also critical that your photographs are really good. I didn’t want to learn how to make boring portraits! That same energy and clarity comes through on the DVD. Everything is explained very clearly, and I didn’t have to sit through a bunch of extra fill to get to the good stuff. I learned new things within the first few minutes and I was hooked. Beyond the technical information, I’ll watch this again and again if my spirits flag or I get discouraged (which happens to all of us from time to time) just to catch a bit of your up-beat spirit. Overall, I feel like I have a good foundation in the basics of lighting, not to make canned retail studio portraits, but I have the tools to go out and do creative work in new ways that build on what I already have and can do. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this and for sharing all that you are. — Tim Berg (Muncie, IN)

  • Andy said on August 18, 2008

    I watched this quickly while riding shotgun en route to a weekend gig. It was nice to know that my 60″ umbrella could be used for more things besides sailing to China.

    This was a very good release for the photo-community.

  • j mckay said on August 18, 2008

    wow! what a wealth of info! it’s spending the day with you all over again!

  • Jose from Tampa said on August 18, 2008

    Zack, the DVD is awesome! I have already watched this past weekend. Now I’m going to watch it again! I was totally motivated yesterday and you actually commented so some of y images today. I would like for you to know that this was a great IDEA for those whom have missed or are not able to attend the workshop. This DVD comes in very handy. I congratulate you and wish you the best and I Thank You for transferring your knowledge.

  • Larry said on August 18, 2008

    Zack, it was really cool to meet you in person at the Mixer in Portland. When are your DVDs on sale again?

  • Mike K. from Venice, CA said on August 19, 2008

    Zack, super job on the DVD. Packaging is great, the swag is great, the content is great! Watching you work, especially with people who aren’t models (i.e. the musicians) is invaluable. And the most important lesson… spend time with your family. Well done! Thanks!

  • Sandra Lemin said on August 19, 2008

    WOW! Zack you did a fantastic job on this DVD set. The best I have seen! This has been our best purchase this year by far.
    Sandra and Eric

  • Jimmy Douglas said on August 19, 2008

    Zack, I just couldn’t wait to get this DVD set. I must admit that part of me was a little leery, having tried other DVD’s I didn’t want to be let down again. I opened the box and saw the beautifully crafted case design, brochure and extra’s and knew this is going to be good. I was sad to read about the break up your family, sometimes no matter how hard we try we can’t seem to get the balance of work and family just right. Fortunately, God has blessed me and my wife, after 25 years she is still my best friend. Even with a 20 year old handicap child. But this story is for another time.
    I got so much out of your DVD’s, I am so analytical that sometimes it’s paralyzing so when you said the 1st step was to start somewhere….well that got me going. A local studio got me started this year shooting every shot in manual and it has done wonders for my creativity. I know how use studio lights with a light meter but struggled understanding how to use off camera flash outside.
    You did a stellar job explaining the difference between aperture and shutter speed in relation to flash and the possible variables. The light bulb has finally gone off and it makes perfect sense. THANK YOU so much, ohhh did I say thank you!!!
    I still have a few questions and look so forward to seeing your workshop in Kansas City next month.
    Also, thank you for the wonderful Meghan Coffee CD. The music and lyrics are awesome. She is truly talented.
    See you next month
    Jimmy Douglas – Lees Summit MO

  • zack said on August 19, 2008

    Wow. We’re all sitting around here at the studio feeling really humbled by all of yall’s words. I’m so elated that we could bring this together into something that is helping people and not just becoming another thing to collect dust on a shelf.

    Thanks to you all.


  • Lawrence said on August 20, 2008

    Hi Zack, Still no sign of my DVD here in the UK. It feels like everyone seems to have their DVD apart from me. Tried tracking it but doesn’t give any additional info apart from leaving Atlanta on the 13th.

    Any peeps from outside the US who haven’t received theirs? Would like to know that i’m not the only person without one yet.

  • zack said on August 20, 2008

    Hi Lawrence,
    Priority shipping from the US takes 6 to 10 days. We are 7 days since shipping the last package. I know folks in Canada, the UK, and Middle East are waiting. Some are starting to hit middle Europe and South America.


  • Mart said on August 20, 2008

    Lawrence, still waiting for my copy in the UK also. Tracked it to Miami airport on Sunday, just waiting now.

  • chris said on August 20, 2008

    Rocking dvd! Gonna use some of the techniques this week.
    Anyway I can get an extra large shirt?

  • Brett Bouwer said on August 20, 2008

    All I can say is WOW. I am a college student majoring in photography at cu denver, all I can say is that this is the best training dvd’s I have ever watched, You have so much information to tech us, and did it in such a fantastic way, Im only on the second dvd but, i love love it,
    take care,
    you are such an inspiration to me, your work is beautiful
    and has such a vision

    Brett Bouwer

  • Michael Alan Bielat said on August 21, 2008

    Awesome. My comment made it to your faves!

    Zach, I did my first shoot using Manual and man was it awesome!

    The creativity was flowing and I came up with a boat load of new ideas and stepped outside my comfort zone.

    Check them out on my site here:

    Thanks again for such a great DVD.

  • Jeremy said on August 21, 2008

    Just received it last night. There was a point where I thought I really better get to bed (at about 2am!) but just had to keep watching. This is an EXCELLENT instructional video. By far the best thing I have ever bought. You explain things so clearly. It’s given me the confidence to get my flash off the camera.
    Thanks and God bless :)

  • Erik said on August 21, 2008

    Zack & Co. thank you for all of your work putting out such a well thought out product. It answered a ton of questions that I had and taught me so much more. It was a blast to watch as well, not the typical boring instruction videos I’m used to.
    The schwag was a great added bonus too, Meghans CD is not something I would have typically looked for when music shopping, but its in heavy rotation now. It was the first thing I took out of the box, and before I watched the DVD I had spent hours on my dusty piano figuring out the music. Give her my congratulations on some compelling music.

    If there is a workshop anywhere near the middle of CA, you can bet I’ll be there.

    Now, what am I doing sitting here, I’m gonna go shoot.


  • Sandra Henderson said on August 21, 2008


    I attended your One Light Workshop in Raleigh, NC and left there feeling like I owed you more money because of the knowledge I left there with and how hard you worked to make sure everyone understood what they were doing. Because of the way you broke everything down, it made understanding how to use my flash off camera so easy to understand. I forwarded the email notification to my referral group in hopes that they invest in the DVD set because your workshop was the best investment that I have made to date.

    You’re the Rock Star of One Light!


  • Ellen Miranda Frykstad said on August 23, 2008

    Awesome package….
    like many others I was half expecting it to be the same as all the other DVD’s i have bought, but it was far from it….
    In fact, I am a lighting spastic… and after watching your DVD it all clicked..
    sometimes you just need someone to explain things simple..
    You delivered with class…
    rock on, thanks for the dvd..
    Ellen | Melbourne | Australia

  • Bliss said on August 27, 2008

    I am still fighting with UPS to get my DVDs, as they decided to deliver them the only day I’ve been out of the office. I don’t understand why they can simply come back a day later when they read on the door “out of the ofice for one day”, instead of driving the client crazy as I am now!!! Argggg!!! I can’t wait to see the DVD,s :(

  • Okke Tijhuis said on September 30, 2008

    Hi Zack,

    You and your team did an amazing job. The dvd’s are terrific. A friend ordered them and I got to watch them as well. Now I want my own copies! I always struggled with off camera lighting. Read quite a few books but never “got it”. And most people suggest 3 lights as a minimum which made things even more daunting. I wanted to try manual shooting but never knew where to start. The way you explain things made us go like “it can’t be that easy can it?”. I always wanted to do great portraits, now I can and I’m having a blast with it. The list of items in the booklet made ordering some items a breeze as well. Bhphoto just got another customer because of you :)

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