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Insights & Thoughts

Lighting To Lightroom: A Location Photoshoot | Zack Arias

By Kishore Sawh on August 12th 2014


For fear of sounding like an old tired cliche, or getting too Tony Robbins on you, I’ll say that as much as you can read about how to shoot, it won’t quite prepare you in comparison to actually shooting. Most of you know that, whether from our field or from any other. Seeing someone who is a professional at what they do go through the motions, is probably the biggest eye opener next to doing it all yourself, and frankly, may teach you more.

Where, doing things by yourself is trial by fire and that helps you learn from mistakes you will, in fact make, learning from someone else as a shadow or apprentice will teach you a load without the cost. Sure, you can learn from your mistakes, but hear me when I say, you don’t need to make every mistake in the book.


As photographers, we are obsessed with details, and not solely about the final image, but everything from materials and gear used to execute the shot and those used in post. Similarly, we have a yearning to learn the processes, and the ‘why’s’ of each decision. In the video featured here, notable photographer Zack Arias covers all of these bases in a relatively short, but informative video.

He begins, as would make sense, at the beginning; going through the gear he is taking, why he chose them, and what he packed them all in. He explains the project, and then executes the shoot, and carries you into his lab to do the post processing, and all the tools and workflow along the way.

[REWIND: How To Match Skin Tones In Photoshop]



Some of you will quickly jump to thinking that his listing of gear is name dropping for sponsorship’s sake. I don’t know, but I don’t think so. The fact that it may be, is actually irrelevant, as deep down we generally want to know these things. Using a spread of gear from more compact cameras to medium format, and a rather simple light set-up, Zack manages to take away impressive results from what looks to be a less than forgiving location.

It’s good for so many reasons and worth your time. Not only do you see the process and gear, but also may give you confidence in seeing that you don’t need to have a lot of gear to get great results, and you pick up little tips to help you make your results that much better.

Zack’s site and YouTube are resources rich in good info, and you can find out more about the shoot here, and more about the project it was shot for here.

Sources: YouTube, DedPxL

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Austin Swenson

    medium format magic at its best… I like how he really doesn’t take himself too seriously but he still gets the point across well. I’m going to try this soon for sure with my soft box and diffuser and a couple of speedlites to see if I can’t replicate it to one degree or another…

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  2. James Matthews

    I love seeing full BTS videos like this. Really helps to understand what you need or what you can do with what’s already in your kit.

    Zack is ALWAYS talking about gear gear gear. At first I used to think he was sponsorship heavy but I just think he’s a gear nerd and is trying to give viewers enough info to make watching the clip worthwhile. I hate seeing a clip where they don’t explain all of their gear and why they chose it etc.

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