Thank you for your interest in having me share my love of photography at your event. I've set up this page to give you an idea of different topics I have taught over the years and can bring to your event. I have given platform talks as short as 15 minutes and as long as four hours. Typically anything over four hours should be considered a workshop at that point because there's only so much one can do on stage for that length of time. I prefer platform talks in the 90 minute to two hour range. Here's a list of presentations and workshops that I can bring to your event.
Feel free to edit any of these descriptions for your needs. At the bottom of the page you will find a dropbox link to my bio, headshots, and images from my portfolio that you can use for your event's marketing material.
OneLight In One Hour :: (1 - 2 hour presentation plus live demo) :: Flashes and strobes can be one of the most intimidating technical aspects to photography. Everything happens in a fraction of a second and it can be difficult to anticipate. Zack is going to walk you through the process of using off camera lighting in a simple and straightforward way so that you will no longer be intimidated by flashes and strobes. He will walk you through all the gear, accessories, and modifiers and how to create consistent results every time.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Long tethering cable. One 9' white seamless on stands with crossbar and A clamps. 2 C-stands with arms. 2 sandbags. One subject to photograph (no preference, just someone comfortable in front of a camera and audience). I typically travel with all of my lights and modifiers but there are times I may need gear available to me. We can discuss this when booking the event.
You Are The Director :: (1 - 4 hour presentation plus live demo) :: A director is usually thought of as someone who sits in a chair on a movie set and barks orders out to the actors and crew involved in making the director's vision of the movie at hand. For the crew you have people in charge of the camera. People in charge of the light. People in charge of the sets and costumes. Etc. Etc. Everyone is working together to create the Director's vision. You also have the actors on set. They are the ones in front of the camera delivering the lines and emotions needed to fulfil all of this. Dozens of talented people and millions of dollars are all coming together to create 24 still images per second.
On a photo shoot you are the director. You are also the camera operator. You are in charge of the light. You select the wardrobe. Everything is on you to make one image of the subject in front of your lens. When your subject is in front of your camera your number one job at this point is director. You bring everything together to create the image you want. In this class Zack is going to walk you through the process of being a director, a camera operator, and a lighting technician to create the image you need. You'll learn about lights, lenses, exposure, moods, posing, directing, and seeing this process worked out from start to finish.
You'll walk away from this class thinking less like a photographer and more like a director.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Long tethering cable. One 9' white seamless on stands with crossbar and A clamps. 3 C-stands with arms. 3 sandbags. One subject to photograph (no preference, just someone comfortable in front of a camera and audience). I typically travel with all of my lights and modifiers but there are times I may need gear available to me. We can discuss this when booking the event.
The Mood Of Light :: (1 - 2 hour presentation plus live demo) :: Light can be bright and beautiful; it can be youthful; it can also be dark, moody, or sinister. Join world-renowned photographer Zack Arias as he walks you through various lighting scenarios to show how you can quickly modify light to create different moods.
This session will include a discussion about exposure, directing subjects, and picking the right light modifier for the job at hand.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Long tethering cable. One 9' white seamless on stands with crossbar and A clamps. 3 C-stands with arms. 2 sandbags. One subject to photograph (no preference, just someone comfortable in front of a camera and audience). I typically travel with all of my lights and modifiers but there are times I may need gear available to me. We can discuss this when booking the event.
The Many Uses Of White Seamless :: (1 - 1.5 hour presentation plus live demo) :: There are many times as a photographer that you will need to adapt a small area into a studio environment. Zack Arias will show you how to use simple backgrounds and lighting techniques to accomplish as many different scenarios as possible. He will walk you through lighting schemes using small hotshoe flashes as well as larger studio strobes.
Zack will show students how to properly light a white seamless background to achieve looks from pure white to pure black and any shade in between. Topics that will be covered will include choosing the proper lighting equipment, modifiers, and camera gear. Exposure for one light set ups as well and multiple light scenarios. This will be a resourceful session for all kinds of photographers, you will learn how to get the most of a simple background.
After a live shooting demo, Zack will walk you through simple steps in post-production to further enhance images shot on a roll of white seamless.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Long tethering cable. One 9' white seamless on stands with crossbar and A clamps. 3 C-stands with arms. 2 sandbags. One subject to photograph (no preference, just someone comfortable in front of a camera and audience). I will need one 4x8 sheet of tile board that is typically found at large home improvement retailers. It's about 1/8" thick and glossy white on one side (see image below). I typically travel with all of my lights and modifiers but there are times I may need gear available to me. We can discuss this when booking the event.
Street Photography :: (1 - 1.5 hour presentation. No demo.) :: Zack Arias is a commercial and editorial photographer. His world is one where he is in control of everything most of the time. When this bores him to tears and he cannot take it any longer, he grabs a camera, a lens, and hits the streets of whatever town he finds himself in and works on what he calls his hobby of street photography.
The beauty and challenge of street photography is the lack of control of the environment, the subjects and, most importantly, the light.
Zack will teach about gear choices, camera settings, handling yourself on the street, approaching strangers, and dealing with constantly changing variables. He has walked and photographed countless miles through the streets of cities all around the world including Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris, Havana, Dubai. His street work has been showcased on CNN and in Complex Magazine.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector.
The Importance Of Personal Projects (or) Inspiration Is For Amateurs :: (1 - 1.5 hour presentation. No demo.) :: Zack Arias has been pursuing photography for twenty years and has been in and out of creative ruts more times than he can count. In the last few years, he found his deepest rut yet and was ready to walk away from photography for good, even though his career had been growing.
Faced with growing stress and depression, he just kept his head down and kept working but he hated his photography.
He came across a Chuck Close quote that he had read and talked about many times and for the first time it really struck him personally: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just get to work.”
Zack stopped moaning and complaining and “got to work” and began shooting some of his best work to date. In this session Zack will talk about what led up to this rut and the steps he took to get out of it, as well as share the technical information about the images he’s now making.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector.
Simple and Consistent Workflow :: (1 - 2 hour presentation. No demo) :: Photography does not end when you push the shutter button and capture an image. In some ways that is where it begins. In this day and age of digital photography it is paramount that you find a consistent way to deal with the thousands upon thousands of images you will take in your life time.
In this presentation Zack will walk you through his entire process of organizing, editing, retouching, and archiving his huge library of images. You'll see how he works with programs like Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, Capture One, and Photoshop. He will discuss how he deals with his memory cards on a shoot all the way through archiving images on drives and in the cloud.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Internet connection.
Live Critique :: (1 - 2 hour presentation) :: Thicken up your skin and be prepared to not take yourself too seriously. Welcome to the thunder dome! Zack will be selecting audience member's work for a live critique of their work. Zack will speak truthfully about your work and help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. The importance of getting truthful feedback on your work can not be understated.
Note - Working alone or on a panel I have conducted many live critiques of audience member's work. This can run a few different ways. People can submit work on thumb drives, upload them to your event's website, send dropbox links, etc. Another way to handle it is to have a solid internet connection at the venue and have people submit their website, 500px, or Flickr gallery. I prefer not to critique from Facebook galleries as we've run into issues with people not having the proper sharing settings set up and you either have to be logged in to view the images or be a friend of their's etc.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Internet connection.
Live Q&A :: (1 - 2 hour presentation plus live demo) :: Join Zack Arias for a live Q&A session about photography, business, social media, and personal life accomplishments and struggles. Bring your questions about cameras, lenses, lighting, marketing, web sites, kids, cooking, and housecleaning! As a photographer with twenty years of experience shooting, having found love and lost it, and raising three boys in the process you will find he is an open book and will share whatever he can to help you along on your own journey through photography and life.
Note - I can also do this as part of a panel discussion as well.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Internet connection.
The OneLight Workshop :: (One day workshop. Max 16 students.) :: This workshop breaks down the complex world of lighting into essential elements we can understand and employ in practical, day-to-day shooting.
This workshop is not a 9am to 5pm presentation of pretty pictures telling you what f-stop and shutter speed were used to make them. You will not be instructed to follow your heart. We will not “feel” the light. We most definitely will not talk about the transcendental properties of light and shadow and make metaphors between the physical and metaphysical worlds.
Allow the intimidation of flash photography melt away. You will walk away from this workshop with the confidence and knowledge necessary to take control of your shoots. Imagine walking into any environment with a simple lighting rig, confident that you will make great portraits you are proud to deliver because you understand light and how to use it.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. One 9' white seamless on stands with crossbar and A clamps. 2 - 3 subjects to be photographed by myself and the students. Each subject needs to be comfortable in front of the camera and bring a few outfit selections that I can choose from. The first three hours of this workshop is lecture and the remaining scheduled time is demoing and shooting. 30 minute minimum scheduled lunch break. I need this to take place where we can shoot indoors and outdoors.
Making Portraits Personal :: (1-2 day workshop. Max 8 Students.) :: When you have learned all the rules of lighting and posing for portraiture, it is time to start breaking those rules.
Zack Arias has spent years working on the technical side of the craft and now he is breaking out of his comfort zone. He's begun making portraits that matter to him far more than whatever technique was used to capture them. Working with ordinary subjects in ordinary locations, he is striving to make unordinary portraits.
This class is for the intermediate to advanced photographer who has a foundational understanding of exposure and lighting techniques. Zack will be working with you to break you out of your ordinary way of shooting portraits to create something more personal for you as a photographer. These aren’t photos for the subjects. These are photographs for you.
Note - I prefer to run this as a two day workshop with day one covering the philosophy of personal projects and the students following me on a shoot with one subject at one location. Day two is reserved for the students to shoot. I will need three to four subjects and one location for day two and the subjects should bring three to four different outfits to choose from. I prefer to shoot in homes that allow us access to indoor and outdoor areas.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector for the first part of day one. 4 C-stands with arms. 3 sand bags. Simple smoke machine with fluid is great if you can provide one.
Street Photography :: (1 day workshop. Max 16 students :: Can also run as a photo walk with a larger group but with less personal interaction) :: Zack Arias is a commercial and editorial photographer. His world is one where he is in control of everything most of the time. When this bores him to tears and he cannot take it any longer, he grabs a camera, a lens, and hits the streets of whatever town he finds himself in and works on what he calls his hobby of street photography.
The beauty of street photography is the lack of control of the environment, the subjects and, most importantly, the light. Work through the streets as you set out to shoot a travel piece about the place and the people of a city. Candid moments, details, and impromptu portraits are all elements of street photography.
Zack will teach about gear choices, handling yourself on the street, approaching strangers, and dealing with constantly changing variables. He has walked and photographed countless miles through the streets of cities all around the world including Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris, Havana, Dubai. His street work has been showcased on CNN and in Complex Magazine.
Note - I prefer to teach this workshop in a large urban area. I will give a presentation four about an hour at the beginning of the day and then hit the streets with the students. I will demonstrate some techniques and then send the students out on their own for an hour or so. We'll meet at a designated area, do a Q&A, move on to a new area and break up once again. We will do this throughout the day. Students will either lunch on their own or as a group depending on how the group wants to handle it. We will end our day at a pub or restaurant where we can talk about the day, share images, and have a drink.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector and a place to meet in the morning for about one hour. I have also done this first part of the presentation from an iPad at a coffee shop before we hit the streets. I prefer a meeting room or similar to start from if possible.
Studio Lighting & Directing :: (1 day workshop. Max 10 Students.) :: Soft boxes, strips, umbrellas, grids, beauty dishes, strobes, flashes, fills, high key, low key, simple, complex... On and on and on. And THEN you have to pose and direct your subjects? It can all be overwhelming. Join Zack Arias for a full day of shooting in studio as he walks you through a vast array of lighting modifiers and scenarios and how to get your light set and then concentrate on directing and posing your subject. Students should have a solid understanding of their camera and exposing for off camera lighting.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: As you can imagine, this type of workshop is very resource heavy. If you are interested in booking this workshop let's have a discussion before hand to make sure the right type of venue is booked and the needed gear and grip will be on hand.
Art Of The Editorial Shoot :: (1 - 2 day workshop. Max 10 Students.) :: Work fast. Work smart. Get in. Get out. Think on your feet. Light with what you have. Make something from nothing. These are the philosophies Zack Arias works with when he's on an editorial assignment. He often has little control of the subject, location, and time of day when shooting for magazines and other publications. Working under these fast and furious conditions has taught him how to make the most out of a little and know how to use what he can control. Perspective, light, and directing the subject.
Follow along with Zack in this workshop that will have you working with a variety of subjects in a variety of locations. Zack will be talking about understanding the needs of the client and/or subject and combining that with your own personal vision for the photography you want to create. Sometimes these two are at odds with each other and Zack will show you how to flow from one scenario to the next with simple camera gear and lighting equipment.
This class will include class discussion and shooting on location. Available light and strobes will be used. Focus will be placed on lighting, composition, perspective, and posing. The class will have a fictitious brief to work on for a variety of editorial assignments. Work with Zack as he deals with a location he has not shot in, with subjects he does not know, and unsure of the lighting conditions prior to arriving. In other words, welcome to all of his other jobs.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: This is set up as a typical magazine assignment. I will need one to two different locations and will split the time demoing shooting scenarios and having the students work with each other to set up their own scenarios. Contact me about specific location, subject, and gear needs I will have for this workshop.
Studio On Your Shoulder :: (1 day workshop. Max 10 Students.) :: It's great having all the lights, lenses, cameras, and modifiers to create images. It can also be a logistical nightmare having to transport, setup, tear down, and maintain all that gear. In a quest to find a minimal kit of gear to accomplish a lot, Zack Arias has put together a studio kit that can be taken anywhere. Working with a Fuji X100, a few conversion lenses, a few hotshoe flashes, and a few modifiers, walk and shoot with Zack in a variety of locations and lighting conditions. This workshop is all about minimal gear for maximum results.
Equipment & Resource Needs :: Projector. Two subjects with a few changes of clothes to choose from. This works best in an urban environment where we can freely walk the streets and shoot in a variety of locations.
Thank you for taking the time to go through all of these options! Please contact my studio manager, Lani Martz, and let us know what you feel best suits your event's needs or if you have any thoughts or ideas on how any of these presentations can be tweaked or customized.
My bio, headshots, and sample images can be found here.