An open letter to Zack Arias

It’s a strange world we live in where you can have a mentor that you’ve never met in person, but followed from thousands of kilometres (or miles for our American viewers) away via the internet. But that’s how I feel about Zack Arias. I’ve never met him, but his videos and website have had a more profound effect on my photography than anything else. So Zack I’m genuinely bummed to know that you’ve had a less than ideal 2015. Especially as, under your proxy mentorship, I have had one of my best years.

Your Onelight video cajoled me to try shooting with a flash…and your John Keatley video dared me to take the plunge and approach a stranger and ask to shoot their portrait.

Of all the photos, I think this one carries the most weight.

Your ‘Inspiration Interpretation’ blog made me rethink the way I use exercise as a way to inspire my photography…and I got so carried away I wrote a blog about it and tried (admittedly unsuccessfully) to get it published on your site.

Your ‘Art of editorial’ and ‘Shoot Rabbit’ videos gave me some amazing pointers on getting people comfortable and getting them to pose, that I tried out on my Dad.

Dad Portrait-33

But most, most, most importantly, I watched your Fuji guides and read your descriptions of the cameras and lenses so much that I think I wore down that part of the internet. The net result being that when I turn 40 in three days time, I’m putting all of the money I earned on a recent job, into purchasing a Fuji kit. And I am so excited about this, it’s concerning.

So I’m genuinely sad that you’ve had a rough 2015. But if I could have produced even 10% of what you did this year, then I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. But more than that, you’ve put so much back into the world. So thank you. If ‘what goes around, comes around’, then you are going to have one hell of a 2016!

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