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My Son the Photographer

Zach is second from left in the top row.

From the local newspaper. Zach is second from left in the top row.

Kids – can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em, half the time just want to smack ’em!

My oldest son Zach is now a high school senior. Somewhere along the way over the past few months he has gotten the crazy idea that he wants to be a photographer. You have no idea how disappointing this is to me! My children are supposed to be doctors and lawyers. After all, who will support me when I’m old. I think there should be a rule that there can only be one starving artist allowed per family!

Much to my dismay, Zach has actually been showing some promise as a photographer. He recently won 4 gold awards and two silvers in the 2009 Regional Scholastic Art Awards competition. One of the gold awards was for his portfolio, which enters him into the national competition for a much needed scholarship!

Most of Zach’s Scholastic competition images were made when he accompanied me on my first visit to Brazil last August. He participated in our very first PhotoExpedition in the Pantanal, and contributed several images to our Cowboys & Crocodiles slideshow.

More recently, Zach attended the Foundation Workshop as a student. I wanted Zach to go to Foundation and actually have some pressure on him to produce. Honestly I was hoping to discourage him a little bit by opening his eyes to the expectations that exist in capturing real moments as photojournalist or documentary photographer.

He was placed on a small team led by Foundation creator Huy Nguyen and he photographed a collaborative assignment on a local Golden Gloves boxing competition with two other professional photographers.

Zach with a young boxer at FW7

Zach with a young boxer he photographed at FW7

I’m a bit sorry to say that Zach held his own. My experiment at discouraging him completely backfired on me! He contributed nicely to the story and I am eternally greatful (or maybe not so much 🙂 ) to Huy, Ashley Langford, Aga and David Murray for welcoming Zach to their team and for all the encouragement and guidance he received from them. I am also especially grateful to my good friend Brooks Whittington who stayed up a little later each night to give Zach’s images another look after editing the five photographers already on his team. You guys gave him some great feedback and much needed confidence.

My wife laughed at me and said nice job discouraging him! “Take him to Brazil then take him to Dallas to photograph boxing. Really smart of you!”

Here are a few of his images. Not bad for an 18 year old.

Contributions to the college fund accepted!

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Move this text down one line.

This picture won first place in the August 2008 Washingtonian Magazine monthly photo contest. Many people criticized the image saying the shadow was Photoshopped in. It’s actually a real shadow created with off camera flash to the lower left of the camera.


From the boxing story he worked on at Foundation Workshop:
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From Brazil:

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  • March 8, 2009 - 11:04 am

    Nicole Wolf - That’s awesome!! He is a really talented guy! It’s funny, my husband Brad knows of Zach because Brad photographs the skate boarders and has seen him around!!

  • March 8, 2009 - 11:05 am

    Sergio - You are a good dad Greg and Zach is a great kid. It was great to meet him in Dallas. I have high expectations of Zach.


  • March 8, 2009 - 11:58 am

    Grant Oakes - Really solid work. It seems he’s becoming a proverbial chip off the old block! If he’s truly passionate about photography I’d encourage rather than discourage him. With your years in the business and experience you can guide him in ways that were’nt available to you.

  • March 12, 2009 - 1:29 am

    Charlotte Geary - Uh oh, you’re doomed. The kid is really good.

    I loved this post! How wonderful to see that he is taking after his father! You must be proud of his talent, hard work, and fantastic images.

  • March 12, 2009 - 9:42 pm

    Tyler Wirken - Man I am sorry to say you better just accept it. Your kid is one killer shooter. It was an absolute joy to meet him in Dallas. I enjoyed watching you two together. He is an extraordinary kid.
    Loved his images. Thanks for sharing again.

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