May 2015 Featured Member, Zach Miller

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Earlier this month, APA|DC member Yacouba Tanou sat down with one of the chapter’s up and coming shooters, contributor level member Zach Miller to talk about music, inspiration, and what it takes to make it in today’s photographic landscape.

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Interview and images by Yacouba Tanou

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Who is Zach Miller?
I was born in Olney, MD and raised in Gaithersburg, MD. My favorite color is blue. Seafood is my favorite food. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and Meridian Hill park is one of my favorite places in D.C.

 
That’s awesome Zach. How long have been shooting professionally?
I have been a professional photographer for 4 years now.
 
Why photography?
I was always a shy person and this type of art gave me an outer body type experience. Photography broke me out of my comfort zone and forced me to go meet people. Photographs are moments in time, capturing life. A picture is forever caught, showing our amazing world. This craft allows us to slow down time to gather and collect beauty.
 
 
 
Can you recommend any book that helped you along your journey?
I am not really a book person, but I do believe that you are only as big as whom you surround yourself with. The internet is an open book for us to see who is around and see what’s trending. I love portraits and fashion, so my quest was to find who the best photographers in the area were at the time when I started. I wanted to learn what they were doing and to find a mentor to model myself after.
 
 
What inspired you to become a Photographer?
I studied Business Management at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2008, I moved back home to Maryland in pursuit of a music career. In my spare time, I was always traveling and taking pictures.  
 
 
Wow, that’s pretty impressive. Are you still performing music? What’s your Musician name?
Yes, I am in a band called G2O. We’re a funk, soul, and rock band. A while back, one of the band members said that I should take a couple of photography classes. Little did I know that those couple of classes would turn into a year of photography classes at the Art Institute of Washington. 
 
Who and what inspires your photography?
I find myself shooting a lot of landscape and street photography in my downtime. My inspiration comes from Ansel Adam whose work I find very uplifting.
 
 
Will you share with us how you have penetrated the market and what advice you have for the photography community?
I had a day time job for a while, and realized how hard it would be to become a professional photographer if I did not take the leap of faith and follow my passion. So, I had to get my name out there, and I did so using social media. Get out and shoot as much as you can, and you will get into a flow of growth.
 
 
 
That’s beautiful Zach. How would you describe your photographic style? And where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
We are starting to view D.C. as a colorful city with a sense of style. Our city is becoming a place to be, and the rest of the nation is starting to see that. To be honest, I am still trying to find my niche, but in 5 years time, I would like to travel and tell stories that will inspire people.
 
 
 
What’s your happiest memory as a Photographer?
Well, this is a little personal. My Father always wanted to take a road trip, traveling across country on Route 50, so last October on his 60th birthday we crossed that off the bucket list. For 16 days we drove across the country, witnessing stunning views and open county. Utah was by far my favorite part of trip because before leaving the state, we ventured off to the Arches National Park. It was a photographer’s paradise. There is so much beauty in the American landscape, from California to Colorado. Plenty of “wow” factor going on out there. It was on that trip, I decided to be a travel and portrait photographer.
 
 

You can find more of Zach’s work at www.zmillerphotography.com