Me and my dad

Welcome to DEDPXL. This is where I was going to tell you about this new venture I am starting and describe the different features and content that I have in plan for you. Then I found this picture of me and my dad…

My dad was an amateur photographer. He loved reading reviews of new equipment and he swore by Vivitar Series 1 lenses like some dads’ swore by Buick or Pontiac. My dad gave me my very first camera when I was in fifth grade. It was a Vivitar tele 603 110. I loved the clicks and clacks that little camera made when you switched from normal to telephoto, and the noise it made when it advanced the film.


For The Record... My Dad Was A Canon Man.
No Wise Cracks You Nikon Shooters.


When I was fifteen my dad gave me his old Canon AE1 slr with a 50mm 1.8 lens. While I no longer have the Vivitar 110, that old Canon is now in the hands of my talented niece. She’s using it for her high school photography classes. That’s where I really got started with photography myself. In a very strange turn of events showing how damn small this world is — my niece’s first art teacher when she entered high school was my high school art teacher.

Look at that photograph above. How many things are going wrong with that photograph? Let me count the ways:  On camera flash. Ugh. Not the most flattering angle in the world. Dead centered “sniper” composition. There’s that little thing reflecting light at the top of my dad’s head. That’s bugging me. And… how about the dirty bottoms of those shoes my dad is wearing? Totally distracting. It’s a horrible photograph isn’t it?

You know how much I care about that? None. I cherish this photograph.

Aside from all the sentimental emotions I have attached to this photograph it reminds me of something very important that many of us photographers absolutely lose sight of. My dad had fun with photography. If I am going to be really honest, he wasn’t a very good photographer. Now, he knew his exposure triangle; he could talk all day with the guys down at the camera store about contrast, color, chromatic aberrations, features of this new camera vs. that other new camera. Technically my dad was a good photographer but his photographs were… meh. He enjoyed it though. He wasn’t trying to set the photography world on fire. He wasn’t hoping to be the next Avedon.

I lose sight of the joy and fun of photography. With every photo I take I’m trying to advance my art, my career, and my legacy. I’ll pass on photographic opportunities at times because I deem them unworthy of my portfolio. Photography is my job and sometimes all of it is work. Here at DEDPXL I hope to revive some of that love and joy of the craft. I’m hoping to capture a little bit of pure stupid fun again. I’m also hoping to be a resource to you good folks out there who are pursuing this craft for fun or for work. Let’s have fun with this — but let’s watch that composition. And get that flash off the camera. And watch out for those dirty shoes in the shot. And see that bright shiny thing above your subject’s head? Let’s get that out of there. It’s distracting. Maybe a higher shooting angle would be helpful as well.

We still have some dust settling around here at DEDPXL. We may run into a technical snag from time to time. You’ll see some formatting things get changed and tweaked as we start filling this place with content. Sign up for the newsletter. Stick this in your RSS feed. Please share this site with your friends. Please support the sponsors who are helping bring all of this to you.

Thanks for my cameras dad. I sure do miss you.


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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