Zack Arias is a photographer I’ve been watching for about 4, maybe 5 years. I think I first came across him in the forums on OpenSourcePhoto.net in the days when I was there nightly, asking questions and gathering up ideas and tips like Hansel & Gretel in the forest. His Onelight Workshop was my top choice for what I wanted to do for self-improvement. Of course, that was years ago when photography was a part of my job description.
But even now I follow him. For the learning, and for the connection. He doesn’t offer much pretense; just himself.
I’ve moved past wanting to host a workshop for him. I let go of scribbling ideas to help brand him. We’ve conversed, but only just. He’s busy and I’m a fan from afar. It’s totally cool.
And while in the past I’ve connected with his photography, what I’ve identified with is his person. It comes thru in one’s art if you know how and where to look. People I’m close with (and trust that they’re not just yanking my chain) say there’s something definable in my photos. Yep, that’s a Josh photo—you can definitely see it. I don’t even know what that means, or what they refer to. But it encourages me to think there is something there to define me. That I come thru in my art.
Much of that voice of mine contains struggle, contrast, moodiness. I wrestle with the artist in me. Fangs bang against claws, sometimes.
Into this foray steps Zack again. It’s encouraging to hear he shares some of these struggles. It’s interesting to hear his voice in words, overlayed to moving photos. I’ve followed him (via his blog) through some tough times, especially this year. I can’t even appreciate how difficult it’s been for him—but he brings it all into the discussion. He doesn’t hide it, like so many other artists I know who feel a need to project a continuously sterile smile. They’ve adopted the plastic surgery philosophy for life, but they’ve lost their elasticity. Following them on Twitter and blog leaves me feeling like they’ve really convinced themselves everything is always okay; every tweet and micro blog ends in four exclamations points and begins with “I met <insert famous name>” or “Just ate at <insert famous restaurant> with <insert famous name>” or “My new blog entry Roxxors <or insert your own newer, better adjective>”.
I grow tired of reading what feels like falseness to me. If this is something you identify with, then you’ll love Zack’s recent video. Watch it here.