Photography Q&a: Real Questions. Real Answers.

Paperback | June 4, 2013

byZack Arias

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For years, editorial and commercial photographer Zack Arias has been a respected and trusted voice in the photography industry. Known for his photography, his teaching, and his ability to connect with photographers, Zack has long had an “open door” approach to discussing his career–the ups and the downs–and in so doing has provided a straightforward and candid look inside the industry. By consistently showing great work and offering helpful advice, he has built a large, loyal readership that looks to him for guidance in navigating the currents of a difficult and dynamic industry. Now, Zack finds yet another way to cut through the noise and offer truly valuable information to those struggling to make their way through the twists and turns of an ever-changing landscape.

In Photography Q&A, Zack answers over 100 questions that he fielded directly from the public. These are questions that range across all aspects of the photo industry: gear, marketing, street photography, vision, pricing, branding, light, models, work/life balance, technical advice, and much more. From how to “put yourself out there” and start to get jobs, to how to get paid for those jobs when the client is slow to cut the check–and everything in between– Photography Q&A answers many of the pressing questions that photographers are asking, but until now have not been addressed. The book also includes intermittent “Visual Intermission” sections–where Zack discusses  individual images that were milestones in his development as a photographer–as well as worksheets on topics such as pricing and costs that help photographers to “know their numbers.”

With all this material, and with insightful, honest answers that come straight from Zack’s experience as a photographer who has seen it all (or at least a lot of it), Photography Q&A is an essential resource for any photographer looking for the real answers to the real questions in the industry today.

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From the Publisher

For years, editorial and commercial photographer Zack Arias has been a respected and trusted voice in the photography industry. Known for his photography, his teaching, and his ability to connect with photographers, Zack has long had an “open door” approach to discussing his career–the ups and the downs–and in so doing has provided a s...

Zack Arias is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is widely known and well respected for his photography— portrait, music, editorial—as well as his highly trafficked blog ( and popular workshops. Find him at
Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9.09 × 8.03 × 0.65 inPublished:June 4, 2013Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0321929500

ISBN - 13:9780321929501


Extra Content

Table of Contents



1.     Zack is a cynical bastard.

2.     Feeling like a farce and a phony.

3.     Exposure drills.

4.     Which softbox—28” or 50”?

5.     Quality of light between two lights and one box.

6.     Who’s got the nicest glASS?

7.     Rebels need not apply.

8.     Finding portrait subjects.

9.     Good days and bad days.

10.   Difference between the genres.

11.   Is there always a photo to be made?

12.   Seamless in a small room.

13.   Film camera for sports.

14.   Save and buy once.

15.   Till dust do us part.

16.   Best place for critique.

17.   Best piece of gear under $100.

18.   Photography competitions.

19.   Not enough hours in the day.

20.   How important is post-processing?

21.   Full frame vs. crop factor.

22.   Taking photos is 10%.

23.   Talk to strangers, kids!

24.   Previsualization and directing subjects.

25.   Lightroom vs. Aperture.

26.   Lord help him. He’s working at Goodwill.

27.   UV filters are trash.

28.   Asking about a street photo.

29.   Style over substance.

30.   Shootin nekkid girls.

31.   Cheap ebay lights.

32.   OneLight for life.

33.   All lenses are not created equal.

34.   Trade shows.

35.   Resumes for photographers.

36.   Things I’ve learned while learning others.

37.   Gear lust.

38.   My shit ain’t sharp.

39.   Low light blues.

40.   Blowin’ up some photos!

41.   Asking strangers for photos.

42.   Stock or purge?

43.   Nudes, Bar Mitzvahs, and WTF.

44.   How do I sell stuff that people don’t buy?

45.   Don’t build a following.

46.   Going to school for photography.

47.   Assisting and 2nd shooting.

48.   Comparing yourself to others.

49.   Noise reduction. Not elimination.

50.   Drinking with friends.

51.   Small town fashionista.

52.   Follow footballers foodchain.

53.   The goal of personal projects.

54.   Feeling confident enough to start selling.

55.   How do you charge a band?

56.   Gettin’ paid in Cincinnati.

57.   Salon owner seeks slavery.

58.   Setting prices. The primer.

59.   Why grid a softbox?

60.   Artist’s statements and the innocence of trees.

61.   Comparing PCB strobes.

62.   Ain’t no money in live music.

63.   Kidnapped & Dumped. How to start.

64.   Band, label, or manager directing the shoot?

65.   Waves of anxiety.

66.   The Catch 22. Job or jump?

67.   How photography can kill your relationships.

68.   Underpriced and working.

69.   Posting pricing on your web site.

70.   Finding your style.

71.   Packing gear.

72.   Lenses and LEDs.

73.   A company by any other name.

74.   Mixing work on web sites or splitting them.

75.   Marketing and self-promotion.

76.   Logos. To pay or not to pay.

77.   What is a successful photographer?

78.   Rare times I use Aperture Priority.

79.   Cropping & Blurring.

80.   Beyond the bridal booth.

81.   Giving the files away.

82.   Giving the RAW files away.

83.   Questions to ask when making a bid.

84.   Which of your children do you love more? Portfolios.

85.   Genre jumping.

86.   What an art buyer wants to see in your book.

87.   Great photographers you should know.

88.   Videos of girls putting makeup on.

89.   Great excuses for my crappy web galleries.

90.   Using a light meter. Know your shit.

91.   Delivering images you hate.

92.   Basic checklist for permanent studio space.

93.   Using a studio to your benefit.

94.   ‘merica!

95.   What keeps me alive on the streets.

96.   He shoots with Sony. Hahahahaha!

97.   Slow-paying clients.

98.   When to charge for licensing usage.

99.   Can’t get no credit.

100. Learning to sell. Hold this book.

101. Gear porn.

102. Cards & Battery system.

103. Do as I say. Not as I do.

104. Personal Personal Projects.

105. One day you’re great. The next, you’re a hack.

106. Putting the camera down forever.


Editorial Reviews

"I heartily recommend this book for the aspiring or the fledgling professional photographer . . ." "If you want to live the dream, get the book, read it and then get off your butt and do the work." –The Phoblographer "In an industry filled with hype and BS, Zack Arias rips down the velvet curtain and talks honesty about being a professional imagemaker in his outstanding Photography Q&A. If you hope to earn a paycheck with your camera, Photography Q&A is a must read." –Syl Arena, author of Speedliter’s Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites "While this book may help improve your photography, I think it’s greater goal will be improving your quality of life as a photographer—  or at least the quality of your head space.  If you’re anything like I am— still grappling with crises of confidence, fighting and clawing through creative and practical ruts, or still occasionally convinced that ‘my photography/business will skyrocket if I can just buy THAT,’ then this book is for you." –The Photo Brigade "The book is a delight, and should be mandatory reading for every photographer, new or old. If you’re new to the art, it is like getting a cup of coffee with someone who has been in the business twenty years and is willing to tell you the honest truth. If you’re part of the photography old guard, it’s like meeting a colleague for a beer to compare war wounds. Either way it is well worth the price of admission." –Totally Rad "There are educational opportunities that don't require you to ever touch your camera, it requires you to listen, to think, to learn from the experience of others, and if that interests you, you can't do any better than  Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers." —Weekly Photo Tips "In the end, Photography Q & A is about how to pursue your dreams without all of the sugar coating that comes from many of the so called experts within the industry. It is about real world insights one question at a time." "The book is very easy to read and totally full of such insight that it will be of benefit to both beginners as well as those who have been pursuing this career for decades. It is for that reason that it is the first book I have ever ranked as a must own." –