Professional Photographer Zack Arias completes the “Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge” in the streets of a foreign country where he meets language barrier challenges and defeats them head on. This challenge has been issued to numerous pro photographers, each with a different basic camera. For Zack, he is given the challenge of being handed a single flash box and a cheap, minimal function Kodak camera. Zack is well known for his portrait photography and we learn he is a “flash man”. The challenge is very fitting for him, and the results he is able to produce with this basic camera are in large part attributed to his charisma with people:
Zack Arias is an Editorial and Commercial Photographer from Atlanta. He is well known for his portrait photography and has perfected his signature “one flash method”. In this challenge, he is given a simple Kodak Easyshare camera: no aperture settings, no ISO settings, just a few basic flash settings and an inability to sync properly with the hotshoe flash he was granted. In order to get the flash to work at all, he has to use the camera where there is low light.
Add that to the fact that Zack does not speak Cantonese and the challenge is on! He must not only get people to let him take their picture, he also must make sure it is in areas where the flash will work. The challenge is for flash photography, so the flash must be used.
The narrator and the issuer of the “Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge” says,
“Zack knows that a photographer’s job description is ‘problem solver’, and he definitely has to work hard to figure out some way to get this to work.”
It is not much of a challenge for Zack. He has an extremely charismatic and welcoming personality. At first the people deny him and being unable to speak properly to them leaves him at a bit of a loss. It does not take long before Zack makes it to a market where his luck changes. His personality shines and blossoms as the first few people let him take their pictures, and it isn’t long before he is able to bring his visions to life. People allow him to move them into lower light situations so that he can meet the challenge of using flash photography, and he is even forced into sitting in for a couple of photographs himself by the local people.
Despite the camera batteries dying before he even takes his first shot, plus the language barrier between him and the local people he was using as subjects, and if that’s not enough, also using a cheap camera that has only the very basic of settings – Zack creates vivid, striking images that are a true testament to his talent.
“There is a language barrier, but he knows what he wants and how to get that shot.”
Personality and charisma is a very vital part of working with people. His ability to communicate despite not knowing the language and his open and welcoming personality combined to allow him to capture absolutely stunning shots. Sure, it was probably a little bit of talent, too, but even with a basic camera, these photos look professional.
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