This is the 11th in my series of inspirational people or things that motivate and inspire me to pursue my photographic and artistic endeavors. Today’s post is about Atlanta based commercial photographer Zack Arias.
I first came across Zack Arias in much the same way I come across many photographers: through the blogosphere. In this case it was through his stint as guest blogger on Photoshop Guru Scott Kelby’s blog in February of 2009. Arias, since he was generously given the freedom to choose any platform or subject he liked, simply posted a black and white video.
But what a video. Rendered mostly in black and white and with his wife’s beautifully haunting music as the backdrop, Arias’ video takes the viewer through an intensely personal moving snapshot of one professional photographer’s life. It damn near went viral. It kinda did go viral in the photography world, especially since Arias was reminding people of photography’s proper place in the grand design.
And it is not only pure genius to my way of thinking, it is also pure Arias. He’s a straight shooter, it seems, calling things like he sees them and often bringing photographers back to earth. His blog is as wildly popular as it is full of opinion. Love him or hate him, he’s got something worth saying.
Oh, and he’s a pretty skilled photographer. He’s made a niche for himself in editorial music photography as well as teaching photographic techniques and workshops. His “white seamless” tutorials, available for free on his website, is renowned, as are his workshops. He is especially well known for his OneLight Workshops where he debunks the need for a constellation of strobe lights at photoshoots and shows workshop participants how to get stunning images with one light source.
He is honest, open, transparent and of immense benefit to the craft and art of photography and he repeatedly inspires me to create work, push myself, and (hopefully) create my vision.
The above image is a dyptic shot in 2008 at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco. I used a borrowed Nikon d80 and a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens. I just loved this cafe, mostly because it reminds me of the cafes in Paris with all the pastries, cafe au lait, and waiters who speak French. I think we went there three times in four days. I love the feeling of Parisian cafes, they seem to embrace and celebrate the simple and important aspects of being alive: good food and drink, community and camaraderie, and quiet time. I never feel more at home than when I am in an authentic French cafe where I can sit as long as I like without worry about taking up a table. This and other images I took while there are some of my favorites because I feel I was successful at portraying my feelings for the environment and my experience. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.