Last week in Orlando was Zack Arias’s first appearance as a Photoshop World instructor. I knew a little about Zack: he lives here in Atlanta; I’d watched his guest post video on Scott Kelby’s blog and related to the winter photography funk; a few months ago my husband printed his white background studio setup to hopefully create for me one day in our unfinished basement.

What I didn’t know was the impact he would have on me at Photoshop World.

You know that feeling you get when someone is speaking and it really moves you? That heavy, misty feeling in your head that says you just might start crying if any more of your inner wires get tripped, your fears and insecurities laid bare? It didn’t take long for that sensation to hit me; not a particularly comfortable feeling in a room full of people, sitting there between a couple of my NAPP buddies.

Here was this wildly successful photographer who seemed to be a lot like me on the inside.

I walked out of that room a serious Zack Arias fan. Not just me: he was the hit of Photoshop World Orlando.

He’s real. He’s honest. He’s encouraging. He’s a battery charger. I was trying to explain it to my husband, and he said, “He made you feel like you could do it.” Exactly.

One of my favorite quotes (and this isn’t word for word) was this: It’s not about being a rock star photographer. It’s about serving people. (Obviously this has nothing to do with shooting rock stars, which technically does make you a rock star photographer. It’s about the “photographer as rock star” mentality.)

There’s a lot of buzz in the photography world about fees, and how underpricing your work is detrimental to photographers as a whole. Zack told the audience that if you’re just trying to feed your family, do what you need to do and let everyone else take care of themselves. Don’t worry about taking down the industry.

I had the chance to speak with Zack a couple of times. He’s very down to earth and likable, like someone that would be fun to hang out with. If you can hear him speak, don’t miss it.

Zack Links:

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This post brought to you by my Photoshop World sponsors, Red River Paper and Artistic Photo Canvas.

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