Read // Photography Q&A

Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers.
by: Zack Arias

Zack Arias, an Atlanta commercial and editorial photographer, created a question-and-answer Tumblr that was later compiled, crunched, and elaborated upon to create the Photography Q&A book. Despite a very broad array of topics, the book is well-organized. Each section includes ten questions and a Visual Intermission. The Visual Intermissions tell the story behind the featured image along with exposure information. I chose to read the book from start to end but you can pick and choose the questions that appeal to you. While the answers are complete and well thought out most are starting places for further research.

The questions cover everything from lighting and gear tips to business and marketing advice to thoughts on building confidence in a competitive creative field. Each question is labeled in the table of contents so it’s easy to go back and reference a specific question. This is especially useful for the more technical answers, like how to calibrate your camera, lens, monitors, etc.While some of the topics like dealing with bad days, low confidence, and difficult clients may have obvious answers, it’s helpful to hear them in Zack’s no-nonsense, tough love approach. He gives no bullshit answers drawing from his personal experiences. In a time overrun with well-meaning but ultimately empty Pinterest quotes, it’s nice to get a direct answer from someone who’s actually spent time in the trenches. Zack has the ability to provide actionable answers. Many professionals can give great advice; however, I’m often left scratching my head wondering what now? How can I apply this advice to my life and career?

For example, someone asked for advice on switching from wedding to editorial photography.

First step is to loosely […] identify your style. What is the genre of work you want to shoot? People? Travel? Food? Then what is your style within the genre you want to work? Natural? Composited? Black and white? Saturated color? Quiet? Loud? Subtle? Over the top?

{TL;DR} Great book for amateurs, aspiring professionals, and seasoned pros. You’ll learn something new and be refreshed on some things you already (think you) know. Grab a highlighter and dig in.

Rating: 4/5

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