Hey everyone! Thank you so very much for all of your kind words in the comments and on social media from the first video in this series. Thank you. Really. Really really.

Lots of questions and discussion items have been brought up and I’ll be incorporating those in upcoming videos!


Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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  1. Damon

    Glad to hear you’re taking your health seriously. Now just get more serious-er and give up the death sticks.

    Namaste or whatever.

  2. Edward

    Those GU packs really don’t taste all that great but man they really help bring up a low blood sugar!

    Always stoked to see new content! Love your work.

  3. Daniel Pittard

    Hi Zack!

    The thing that intimidates me the most is progressing my photographic “career”. My profession is in IT, and it is a really well paying job with great benefits and incredible job security. Those things are SO VERY important to me and my family (wife and 4 year old daughter). But I’m getting tired of sitting behind a desk and telling people to restart their computers. I’m intimidated by the risk that’s involved, because I’m not living and working for just myself. And along that same line, I’m intimidated by shooting for paying clients, and the pressure of delivering a product that not only I’m proud of, but the clients are happy with as well.

    But as I type this, the thought strikes my mind that I need to bust my ass, work my regular job (for now), and spend every inkling of free time advancing my photographic “career” until the time is right to drop either one job or the other. And accept that there will be failures, and the only true failure is not picking myself up and getting back at it.

    I’m abundantly thankful for how much you put your true self out there. You hide nothing, and I really like that. From a fellow Georgian (I’m in Athens), thank you!



    • Dave S.

      I am in virtually the same boat (though I’m a software dev, my line is less “have you tried turning it off and back on” so much as “well it worked on my machine”). I love the stability I have in my life and I couldn’t imagine giving it up to chase a full-time career in photography – it helps that I don’t really mind my regular job, at least I have that much – so it’s in what should be my downtime that I need to push myself hard to do what I really want to do.

      I’m also an introvert, so it’s difficult for me to find the energy to interact with people in said downtime, even though it’s people that I really want to spend more time with on the other side of my lens.

      I’m still working on how to find that balance of needing time to energize myself, and using that energy strategically to shoot what I want to shoot.

  4. Mervyn

    Entertaining video, I enjoyed watching this! My wife and my two year old daughter are doing yoga as well.

    What intimidates me is doing street photography; I find it scary to point my lens in the direction of people that haven’t given me their consent to take their picture.

  5. Frank Grygier


    I have a photo shoot on the 19th that intimidates me. I have to put up a 10ft paper background for the first time. Does the paper roll off the back or off the front?
    Just got a GX8. Still shooting M34 exclusively. Bidding on a Oly OM-2 35mm film camera w/lenses on Ebay. Cant wait to shoot some TRI-X.

    I may look into Yoga. If you can do it anyone can.:-)


    • Frank Grygier

      M43. Did I tell you I dyslexic.

      • Frank Grygier

        I am old and dyslexic.

    • Tommy

      Hey Frank – paper rolls out the back, so that the paper will follow it’s natural curve when it hits the ground and form a curved wall. If you aren’t trying to create a full-length shot with the curved corner, then you can go either way.

      Extra tip: start with the background stands in the lowered position, roll out the paper as much as you need into a second loose roll at the floor. Clip the paper roll to the top bar so it doesn’t keep rolling out. Then with a friend raise the background stands on each side, the roll at the bottom will gently unfurl as you lift up. The key word is gently. If you are doing this on your own take it really slow as paper can tear or fold badly if you raise it wonky! And the paper is surprisingly heavy – if you don’t clip at the top the weight will pull it all out to the cardboard inner tube and can tear off.

      • Frank Grygier

        Thank Tommy

        Your help is much appreciated.


  6. Jim Robertson

    Yoga, eh? There’s hope for you yet, Arias!

    My wife, the shrink, teaches mindfulness meditation. That’s your next step I think. I know a wise old man in Decatur not far from where you live who is a treasure in that area. Fire me an email if you want his name. He worked with MLK back in the day.

  7. Fritz

    Go Zack go! Remember there are thousands of folks in the world who’ve got your back because you have already done so much to help us become better.

  8. Donna Luker

    I shit you not, I’ve been thinking about trying yoga. I’m finally rid of a condition that kept me mostly sedentary & need something to help me transition back into physical & mental fitness. Going to chat tomorrow with a friend who’s a fitness guru. Believe me, the thought of walking my fat, old ass into a yoga class makes me nauseous. I am so glad it is working for you! It Was nice to see in your face how much a benefit it is.

    Namastay in bed.

  9. Todd

    Zack glad you are giving yoga a shot! it’s great stuff. I had a pacemaker put in about 6 years ago and my doctors all recommended I take up yoga to stay healthy. Being a 26 year old male it was hard for me to go the first time. Now looking back it’s the one thing I can always count on to make me feel better.

    Enjoy it.

  10. Outis

    One of my friends is a circus arts instructor and she’s teaching me to do headstands. It’s really given me a new perspective on the world, heh heh.

  11. Owain

    Hello again,

    About to chime in with some not-that-thoroughly sorted thoughts on intimidation and exercise …

    I was quite intimidated by the idea of getting therapy. I guess I always thought it was something people with really serious problems did. I’ve had my ups and downs over the years, but we all have, right? Then I went into my latest down phase and it went down to an extent that I wasn’t really comfortable with it going … even if I didn’t think it would stay/end there. I’m now seeing a therapist twice a week. It seems to be helping.

    I’m a bit intimidated when I think about the future … how I have a job but still not really a career path. I’m living in a foreign country, living month to month. It’s fine on a month to month basis but thinking about the future is a bit intimidating. Will I be renting rooms in shared flats forever? Will I always need to take the underground and then a bus to get to work? (I’m not saying I want to own a car and join the traffic jam my bus gets stuck in … I’d like to be able to cycle to work.)

    On the yoga front … some kind of exercise always helps. For me it’s cycling, very therapeutic watching little more than your front wheel or the scenery, or your legs move in circles. And I feel better in body and mind the day after especially – similar to your delayed effect with the yoga. Whatever makes you feel good!

    All the best,


  12. Richard Wintle

    Caleb’s face when he’s eating those gel pack things… priceless! I think laughing at that in itself dropped my blood pressure 10 points. 😀

    So… obvious question… why the Panasonic? I can’t remember if you talked about it in a previous video or blog post or not (and clearly I am being far too lazy to search). Size? Video capabilities? Lens choice?

  13. Rob Timko

    Tell Caleb that GU’s are for athletes to refuel DURING racing/running, not for lazy people who don’t want to cook breakfast…. 😉

    • juice

      What Rob said, totally.

      Also, stop smoking. Seriously. I’m glad yoga is cute, and the camera is amazing, but stopping smoking will allow you to do/use those things better and longer.


  14. Spyros

    I guess the thing that’s always intimidated me is success, like somehow I’m not worthy of it.

  15. Nikki

    That’s great to hear that you tried yoga and are enjoying it. My husband does meditation and swears by it helping to calm and relax him.

    I had to laugh about your mop though … my husband just bought the same one after spending hours online researching it, haha! He thinks it’s fantastic too.

  16. Donna Luker

    PS…also looking into meditation to tame the mess in my mind & help me fall asleep. I think it would help you. Lots of stuff via iTunesU.

  17. jason flynn

    Z … photoshop. photoshop intimidates the hell out of me. but I hack away at it minute by minute and maybe I’ll make my images better instead of worse.

    extremely happy you’re posting again. depression hit me hard several years ago and I know what kind of beast it can be. hang in there.

  18. Laurie

    Hi Zack!

    So, so glad you are back!! Sorry for the struggles you have been facing but it’s nice to see you are coming out of it. I enjoy seeing the real and personal stuff as much as your creative and photography content and that Caleb is getting into the creative work along with you.. Me, I am afraid of failure and success (kind of a tough place to be, eh?). So I learn as much as I can and…do nothing with it. I am determined to change that this coming year! Maybe yoga will help me, too :). All the best to you in the coming year!

  19. Jon

    I just started yoga a few weeks ago as well, never would have figured it could be so helpful. Good to see you’re back.

  20. Robin M

    Impressed that you are taking Yoga classes! You are looking much better in this vlog so it must be helping! Keep at it! Much better to start at 43 than 53!

    I’m intimidated by the choice between having my knees cut out and replaced by metal or having 3/4’s of my stomach removed so I can lose the weight causing the problems with my knees. If I had paid more attention to my body earlier I wouldn’t have to make such an extreme choice so my hope for you is that you continue to listen to your body and never have to make such a decision!

  21. Simon

    I’m intimidated by the thought of giving up smoking….. Should we do it together and form our own little support group?

  22. kristie

    I’m just so happy your back and I’m loving the videos. I am fairly petrified of yoga as well…but if Zack Arias can do it, why can’t I?!

  23. Carlos Sandoval

    David Lynch transcendental meditation stuff should work to cool up. Maybe not the Lynch one, but, I have heard is all good shit, not far from yoga in that regard; the meditation and reach of consciousness and all that strange stuff. I´ll be turning 40 next month, and see what happens. Gonna give some of that a try. Cheers, love to the family and cheers, bro. Salud!

  24. Mark

    Intimidated? Yes.

    That ‘thing’, it’s called Life.

    I struggle with a lot of stuff everyday…Every.Damn.Day

  25. Andrew Feller

    Hahaha you were correct, I enjoyed that. I’ve been doing yoga once or twice a week this year and it really has helped me physically and mentally. The biggest thing that has helped is setting that time aside to go to the classes, it’s like a scheduled break from working that gives me a destination without an expectation.

    For your humor here is a shot of me attempting some yoga at sunrise while hungover:

    If you ever are in the Milwaukee area you should come to the studio I go to. They occasionally will teach classes with hip hop playing and there is something oddly calming about that…

  26. I.

    Things that are intimidating, or just blatantly scary? Adulthood. You know, when all of your “I’d like to”s turn into “I have to”s. When you are caught up in a circle of responsibilities, instead of possibilities. When you push everything you need back and focus on the things that other people need. Crap. What did I get myself into?

  27. Axel W.

    Dude, congrats for getting over the fear and setting foot in the yoga studio! Our perceptions of what things are “supposed to be like” are more often than not mistaken, with all the myths surrounding certain activities ingrained in our brain through pop culture and elitist jerks who totally forgot that they were also once beginners at their chosen field.

    Ignore the noise, create your own signal and jack into others who project a more positive signal, so to speak.

    Reminds me of a time when my guitar teacher told me that to get good at something, “all you need is one hour of practice in the morning after you wake up, and one hour of practice before you sleep, every day.”

    He then confided in me a couple of years later that he’s aware that he needs to take care of his health better, get some exercise or something…

    …and so I said to him: “well, someone once told me that all you need is an hour in the morning after you wake up and an hour before bed…” >=D

    Anyway, we’re talking about the mental clarity that arrives during or after doing a certain physical activity. My story was that my grandfather gifted me a set of golf clubs as a thinly-veiled attempt to get me to start playing golf. After a year of procrastinating, I got off my ass and decided to sort of take it seriously–going to the driving range to hit some balls, take lessons from pros once in a while.

    What I’ve discovered was how much of a “mental game” golf is. As I go through the 100-150 balls on the driving range, I realised that it’s made me think of things in my life–just absolutely random things like failures, I-shouldn’t-have-done-thats, plans, insecurities, broken promises, etcetera.

    It’s like, hey, all I need to do is hit this stupid little ball with a stick and make it fly–clear my mind goddamnit–aaaaand instead I end up thinking about stuff I really shouldn’t be thinking about.

    And I always come off it with a lighter burden–like it was some sort of self-therapy where all the bullshit in my head just gets organised or something. It’s probably the only way I could “meditate” successfully.

    I’m sure that other people have had this experience with other things–martial arts, meditation sessions, guitar playing, yoga–and we become enlightened with each and every step we do on that activity.

    Anyway, that’s my experience. Keep it up, and good to see you’re back with a vengeance!

  28. Bill

    Really glad to see you back at your site and emerging from the stuff you went through. Like many others have attested, you and your work are treasured. Your photography is great and there’s such generosity of spirit in your teaching. I got to take a class with you in 2014 that was a very helpful and fantastic experience. All the best to you in continuing to work through whatever got to you this year.

    Also, add me as one of the drones extolling you to quit smoking. When you’ve witnessed its toll on loved ones, it’s tough to watch anyone smoke.

    If there’s something that intimidates me, it’s setting up and maintaining a more professional site for my photography. Part of the challenge is deciding how to give it a focus when I’m pretty much a generalist. Another part is overcoming hesitancy about putting my stuff out there in such a serious way.

  29. T Whyte


    I do not believe in mid life crisis.. I believe in mid life reality!

    As a human, I suddenly realise that yesterday will never be again and that tomorrow comes to quick.

    I used to think in years and months but now I think in weeks and mostly days..

    The yoga has become my structured official “time out” in a world of chaos..


  30. Max

    Hi Zack,

    a christmassy hello from germany. I can totally understand you beeing intimidated by joining (yoga) class. Had the same thing when i wanted to purchase a guitar (playing that at home calms my shit). The salesman wanted me to test play some instruments, to see which one was for me, but i did’nt feel like doing this in front of people. However i somehow managed to do it. Anyway … Zack i’ve been quietly following your blog for a while now (found you via strobist) … you (and D.H.) actually convinced be to take the plunge and buy a fuji (x-pro1) since i did not really take my big 6D out a lot anymore. The Fuji really brought back all the fun about photography, and i litterally had it on me everytime i left the house. But i also discovered the down sides. I can not shoot sports anymore (i didn’t really pay attention to this as i was more into street and portrait at the time). Now i am thinking about going for an X-T1 but i don’t know if that camera is fully capable of shooting surfers or other fast moving sports. So i was thinking of moving back to an dslr rigg (nikon D610, Eos 7DII etc.) for that. Or should i maybe go for an X-t1 and hope for the next firmware update to improve things again … Most important for me is not neccessarily the fastest burstrate, but to have my subjects in focus when i need them to be. I’m kind of sitting between chairs here … stay with one system or the other, have em both?! don’t know what to do … Would be amazing to hear your thoughts on this.

    kind regards

  31. Gavin

    Tried yoga once. was very much a competitive man in a middle aged female class. If they can do these poses so can I….right? WRONG, I hurt like hell the next day! I didn’t stick at it, but those that I know that have stuck at it, tell me it brings great benefits. Hats off to you for trying something new

  32. Sid Ceaser

    Sara does a little yoga each morning after getting up. Keeps her limber. Helps her prepare for the day ahead. We just got some kittens, so now it’s fun watching her as they climb all over her back while she does them.

    I’ve been dealing with some weight issues and everything came to a head when I found out I’m dealing with some diabetic shit.

    I had to dump all sugars from my diet and change the way I eat.

    Since doing that, I’ve lost 32 pounds so far. For basically eliminating sugars, drinking Crystal Light and making sure I stick to wheat products.

    It’s nice to start to see a slimmer me in the mirror. I don’t see it yet, but others do.

    Sugars, man. Just cut them out. It’ll be a hard few weeks as you detox from them (I was a maniac during that time) but afterwards, it’s pretty crazy how the weight just slides right off.

    And the smoking – that shit ain’t healthy. I know people that have died from Cancer. That stuff ain’t good.

    My Dad used to smoke multiple packs a day, and then right before I was born the doctor said if he didn’t give up smoking he’d never seen his Son graduate school. It kinda hit him hard, and he gave up cold-turkey and hasn’t smoked a day in his life since. He’s 85. hopefully he’s around a little longer.


    • Sarah Micaela Snape

      Wow, Sid, good for you. Diabetes is scary stuff.

      Does cutting out sugars include the more natural sugars/sweeteners, such as honey, 100% maple syrup, nectars and the like? I’m looking to cut out sugar, as well…but I find it intimidating.

      • Sid Ceaser

        All natural sugar is gone, which is killing me ’cause I live for the sweets.

        I’ve been using something called Truvia, which is a sweetner made from tea leaves or some such thing. It looks like sugar and tastes a little like it (but in my heart I know it isn’t), and I’ve adjusted to it. I toss more than I should in my morning coffee, but since the weight is sliding off I’m not doing anything wrong.

        I’m totally avoiding honey, nectars, etc. Just Truvia. I’ve also discovered a line of sugar free cookies that I’m enjoying, and they *do* make sugar free Peppermint Patties, which is now the greatest thing in the world.

        But it’s all about adjusting the diet. I eat more cheeses than I should, drink more milk than I should, so I need to cut back, but obviously, judging by my scale, something is going right since there is less of me than there was this time last year. 🙂


    • Bill

      Giving up sugar would be really tough. Especially honey. Congrats.

  33. Ryan

    This a neat glimpse into you. Thanks dude.

  34. Grant S.

    You like geeky shit, right? Electronic stuff? Go to the store and buy a handful of nice flavoured electronic cigarettes, or even a vaping set-up. I smoked for decades, and tried vaping. Gave up the cigs. Enjoyed the geeky side of vaping, and got into it for a while..all the time lowering the nicotine. Same tension relief, but you don’t smell like shit, soak your lungs in tar and become a social pariah. Costs less too, painless transition.
    One month ago I stopped vaping, it had done it’s job, even if I still enjoyed it, and spent my money on a 35f2WR. Win win.
    Now I want to start yoga…:-)

    • Sid Ceaser (@sidceaser)

      Pick up a vaping system and you have an instant portable fog machine for added production value!

  35. Jim Donahue

    Did you just toss that 35 f2 on the floor! Yikes throw it my way.

  36. Jon Barnes


    Yep. In an attempt to get over my fear of photographing people, I jumped in last year with my blog project to photograph jazz musicians here in DC. Almost a year later, I am so glad I did it. It has changed my photography immensely and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

    Yoga: something I’ve always wanted to get into. Time, time, time. It’s all about time. I guess it’s worth it though huh?

    Keep it coming. Your take on things is very inspiring as an artist.

  37. steve mackie

    Ha! I expected a pair of Yoga Pants to come out of the box 🙂

    Interested to hear what you think of the anticipated X-Pro2 Zack.

    On a side-note, for me the thing that makes ALL your videos…from the 3-minute to the 3 hour absolutely watchable is your no-bullshit, honest frailty as a human being. Don’t ever hide that away-you’re an amazing artist and teacher.

    Happy holidays to you and your family.

  38. Anandananda

    Nice! Enjoy your LX100 and the 35/2..
    Yoga is great. And so are you.
    Hari om

  39. Eric Hodges

    Hey Zack,

    Cool post! I’m into yoga too. I sent you an email about it…I sent it to Carl since I don’t have your email…thought I would let you know.



  40. Mick

    I have a question for you Zack. Been following you for several years now, and have followed you on the Fuji path – I myself have got the T1, 100s and E2. Nice cameras, however – and this is my question – how do you feel about the import and rendering of the RAF files in lightroom and how do you manage to go through your workflow when in a rush? The proces is MUCH slower than the 5dmkII files.

    Regards from Mick in Denmark

  41. Chris

    Good to have you back, Zack.

  42. anngeedee

    The thing I’ve done that has made me the happiest in 2015 is shooting for the yoga studio near me in exchange for classes. The community, the instructors, the yoga practice and getting to do something that I love while building my portfolio has been amazing. I’m glad you’re in the OMFG YOGA phase, too.

  43. Rafael Morales

    Happy New Year Mr Z!

  44. Matthew LaVere

    Glad to hear you tried out yoga Zack. I always love your honesty in everything you do and how you share it with the rest of the world. Keep it up! Makes me want to pick up yoga and stick to it. Hope to see you & Meg in Atlanta this year. Catch up soon!

  45. Brian Dupuis

    2015 was … THAT year … for some of us.
    Now it’s done; and look, we got through it.
    I just saw your recent posts & it was like a beacon that pointed to a better year to come. Nice to hear from you again.
    ( PS: I”m not interested in yoga (not judging) & I don’t need a new camera,
    but hot coffee … cold beer … and a bit more Zack in 2016, on the other hand … bring it )

  46. Wes Taylor

    So… After viewing your OMFGYOGA video, youtube continues to suggest tons of yoga videos for me to watch! So… I am thinking you can now diversify dedpxl and add some more yoga advice to help all of us “out of shape’ and “out of mind” photogs…
    BTW – The Panasonic LUMIX LX100 you got in the mail inspired us to use it as our new overhead cam for a cooking show we produce at the college I teach at! Thanks man!

  47. Kimberly

    I was intimidated to be a full time photographer, I thought there was no way I had what it took to do that as a career. I was so intimidated that even though I was currently working as a staff photographer for a small newspaper I still went to school to get my masters in an entirely different field. Something I thought would be more “bankable.” Then my husband got laid off from his job of fourteen years. To make things worse he couldn’t find another job in his field and small newspapers pretty much pay you in diet coke and press passes- not rent money. I had to do something. Fast forward three years and I’m a full time wedding and portrait photographer, supporting my husband while he finishes his PhD program, and I’m keeping the lights on and the roof over our heads. I’m damn proud of myself. Now to get past the intimidation factor and start writing again…

  48. Carrie

    Jazzercise. Yep – I’m intimidated to try a Jazzercise location even though I’m sure to be the youngest one there. Those ladies are no joke. (I’m really not kidding)

    PS – I love that you bend the bill of your cap (signs of being born in the 70s)

  49. Carlos J. Matos

    Downward Dog, dog.

    Seriously though, tried yoga on and off for about 2 years. Kinda liked it, kinda hated it, and never quite managed to put my finger on why I couldn’t commit 100%. Finally this year, about to turn 30, I decided to give it one more go in a different studio and realized that, holy shit, I love yoga. The difference was in the studio, the teacher, the people who attended class. I actually feel at ease when I go to class now, and I actively look forward to it every week. I don’t feel intimidated or put off by the typically far more advanced students next to me and I don’t feel like the instructor is trying too hard. Everyone is friendly and welcoming. Pretty amazing how big a difference finding the right studio can make.

    As for being intimidated by certain activities, cold calling new clients. How do you deal with the jitters?

  50. El Jeffe

    Looking forward to your experience with the LX100. The little camera that could.

  51. Dave

    and as quickly as her came, he was gone!

    What’s up, Zac? It’s been almost three months since the last update.

    • simon

      More interesting, the X-pro2 came out and Zack didn’t let out a peep…

      I remember him saying he was still waiting on an update to the X-pro1 when the X-T1 came out.

      Yet, nothing.

  52. Mike

    I’ve had my eye on that LX100 for a while too. Would be cool if you could incorporate some feedback on it into your next video =). Also, yoga is the bomb. I started yoga with P90x, which is a much more comfortable setting cause you can do it in your living room and you can rewind.

  53. Nick

    No posts in four months 🙁 Earth to Mr. Arias, please come in! Really interested to see what you’ve been up to with work, or travel, or Fuji, or whatever really…

  54. Cliff Etzel

    Just wait til you get to the point where you cannot start your day without your yoga practice first thing. For me, that’s been 6 days a week until 2 years ago when I made the egoic mistake of pushing a seated twist too far and injured my lower back. For over 2 years, I’ve had no yoga practice – and I’ve felt like hell. Yesterday was the first time I was able to do my practice at home and it was a breath of fresh air!!! Don’t give up Zack – we all have been where you’re at on learning to do yoga.

  55. Kenneth Knight

    I just started taking yoga this last year. I’ve been doing martial arts for ten years and it’s been super hard on my body. But really good on my mind. Yoga is amazing for both and I’ll never go back. Super excited that you’re getting involved with it, and even more excited that you’re ‘getting it’. So many people want yoga to be super-fitness-crossfit-marathon experience. It’s hard to be present when you’re exhausted and in pain. Glad you found a great instructor. Namaste!

  56. Alex

    Hey Zack! Funny video!
    I bought the same camera recently, it’s really a powerhouse…I call it my “exercise camera” because it’s so small that I can bring it with me and capture few seconds of video in virtually any situation.

    The video that bought me in this camera was this one: Pretty good indeed.

    If you wouldn’t mind…can I ask you if with the autocap mounted on the camera you can put some filter on the lens? Like a variable ND? Does it fit in the autocap?

    Thanks Zack!