A couple of years ago Zack Arias set out on a mission to answer 1000 questions about photography on a Tumblr blog he created specifically for this purpose. He ended up answering more than a 1000 questions, some of the most commonly asked ones form the basis of this book.
To me Zack Arias is a hero in photography. He’s a regular guy who has made it his mission in life to be a great photographer, but not only has he become a great photographer, he has also become a superb photography teacher, one of the best you’re ever likely to encounter. If you’ve ever followed any of his blogs or bought his One Light DVD series you’ll know that he’s not the kind of guy to hide behind technical linguistics or any other manner of diversionary BS that some photography teachers throw out there just to bolster their own superiority in understanding concepts.
No, Zack is straight to the point and he speaks in a language most of us can understand. If it wasn’t for his original blog posts on lighting a white seamless background I would probably never have gotten this aspect of my own service offering quite right. Well, OK, maybe I would have, but it would have taken me a long time to do it. Zack gave the world that knowledge for free.
Ok, so what about this book? Is it any good? What can you expect to find in it?
Let me just say from the outset that if you have plans or designs on making photography your career, this book should be one of your sacred reference texts. There is enough wisdom and advice in this book to float a 2 year college course in photography. And it costs less than $20. Seriously, this is one hell of a shot in the arm for any aspiring photographer who is trying to figure out stuff on their own. From things like what to do on your bad days as a photographer to dealing with the “pity parties” you may like to throw yourself from time to time, to learning how to price yourself in a competitive market, to dealing with the anxiety of a shoot, to finding your own signature style, to packing your gear for a shoot you’re travelling to… Zack covers things that have never appeared in any other photography book I have ever heard of. This stuff is priceless.
I have the paperback version which is OK, but there is also a Kindle version for those of you who prefer an e-reader. The Paperback is not printed on the best grade paper I have ever seen for a photography book, but the bulk of the content of this book revolves around the answers to questions that were asked on the Q&A blog. You will find some of Zack’s own work interspersed with the writing and the prints look OK, but don’t expect coffee table book type print quality.
I can honestly say that this is one of the best books on photography I have ever read. I need to read it again because I feel a pity party coming on in my own business as a photographer.