Meet Zach, landscape photographer from British Columbia, Canada. At 21, he's one of the youngest photographers contributing to our gallery, though from his experience, you would never guess it. With an impressive social media following and his characteristic photography style, his photographs are ones you don't forget.
Dramatic mountain ranges, vast horizon sunsets, hidden forest paths, starry night skies... his creations make one feel -- above all -- humbled. His journey with photography began at 15, as a young teenager navigating difficult years. Photography became an outlet of expression, something he quickly grew passionate about. The photograph he has donated to us in the name of nature conservation and preservation, "Amongst Giants," is one of many displaying his talents. Here he shares with us his passions, thoughts, and personal journey with photography.
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is very colorful and dynamic. When I started really taking my photography seriously back in 2017, I knew that I needed to focus on one vital aspect of my work in order to make it special and unique. A lot of the photography I was seeing at the time was very faded and desaturated. So I decided to do the opposite and create a style that was very colorful and moody.
This style has changed quite a lot over the years, right? Do you think you can relate these changes in style to changes in yourself?
It’s always maintained that colorful look, but it has definitely transformed over the years both naturally and on purpose. I’m always trying my best to improve my art and make new photographs that capture people’s attention. So as I get more practice and shoot more locations, I definitely feel that my style grows and matures from there.
But of course, everyone’s style typically changes in some form or another every year, and it might be influenced by my inspirations, my mood, experiences I’m going through in life, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever pinpointed it to one thing in particular. But I could definitely see how my mindset can alter how I express myself through my art.
Photography is not your only creative passion -- you’re also quite the writer! Are your writings also inspired by nature, or do you venture to other topics?
Thank you! Yes I do really enjoy writing. I haven’t done as much recently, but last year I wrote a bunch of different stories on Vocal that dived further into my adventures and creative process. Typically I like to write about nature, the outdoors, adventure, and of course; photography.
You mention that photography has helped you overcome some difficult experiences growing up. How did it help you? Do you mind sharing with us what you were going through?
I won’t get into too much detail regarding my experiences when I was younger, but as many young people can likely agree, it’s not always easy growing up. As you grow and mature physically, the same happens for you mentally; and it can definitely be an emotional rollercoaster at times.
I suffered from depression for a little while due to putting my trust and emotions with people that I really shouldn’t have trusted. And while it was a really difficult time of my life, I found photography was something that helped distract me. Instead of focusing all of my attention on those negative thoughts, I was able to instead focus on this passion of mine that I found to be so enjoyable. I was able to create art and enjoy the outdoors in a way I had never experienced before. And because of what I had been going through and the fact photography was so addicting to me, it just fueled my passion for it even more. Were it not for that dark time in my life, I may have never devoted as much time to photography as I did. And had I not done that, I may not be doing photography for a living now. So there was definitely a silver lining to that dark cloud when I was a teenager.
Has being a photographer given you a personal perspective on the importance of protecting the environment?
Absolutely. I’ve seen some of my favorite local nature spots be destroyed by vandalism and littering… It’s painful to see, but it’s helped me to appreciate how important it is to care for the outdoors that surround us. And to do our best to protect this planet we get to call home. I try my very best to maintain Leave No Trace principles when I’m out adventuring and capturing new photos. And I try to encourage my audience to do the same.
What does being part of Photography for Future mean to you?
I think it’s really cool that Photography for Future is using profits from outdoor photography in order to help the outdoors. I think it’s a really good idea and something that is a win/win for everyone since they can help to protect the environment while also getting some cool art to go along with it!
Do you have any plans or hopes for the future? (Whether it is tomorrow, or five years down the line.)
As far as my photography is concerned, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and be able to build up a consistent income so that I don’t have to worry about ever returning to a 9-5 again. Photography can be a bit of an income rollercoaster at times. But it’s so much fun and I love how it gives me more opportunities not only to photograph nature but just to experience it in so many different ways. I wouldn’t trade it for any other job!
Thanks for reading this article and thanks to Zach for his generous contribution to our project. Zach's photograph "Amongst Giants" above is available for purchase in our gallery, and every penny of the profit goes directly towards reforestation projects.
You can find more of Zach's works on Instagram @calibreus or on his website: www.calibreus.com, where he also offers an in-depth Masterclass in his specific style of photography, with guaranteed results!