We had the good fortune of connecting with Zach Doleac and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zach, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose to pursue a creative career for likely the same romanticized reason most of us do– I had a strong passion for a creative outlet, in my case photography, and thought if there was a way to make a living pursuing something I really enjoyed, why not try? Not to mention all of the other perceived benefits: owning my own time, getting to travel, escaping an office, etc. When I take a step back and look at the big picture, I am still amazed that I get paid to do what I do, but the job is not exactly what I had originally imagined.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a commercial photographer comes with its ups and downs. There are days when I’m immensely proud of the body of work I have created, and times when I want to throw it all in the trash and start over. I’m generally most proud of the work that gives light to a person or population that wouldn’t have a platform otherwise. But that type of work isn’t the majority of what I do. Same as in any space, there are things I photograph for a paycheck, and things I capture for the art of it or for fun or because it fuels my soul or gives me a taste of perceived purpose. It’s a balancing act and it’s the most difficult part of the job.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t live and have never lived in Colorado, BUT I have visited on a number of occasions. I would take my friend on a ski tour of the Rockies– Telluride, Crested Butte, and Apen.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to make a shoutout to all of the people in my life that have taken the time to help me along the way, it truly takes a village. From the other photographers and mentors who gave me advice, to the clients that have continued to hire me over the years, to the hard working folks on set who help elevate my imagery, to the people and talent in front of my lens that energize me and make it all worth it.
I feel like I owe a lot of the confidence and fire to become a photographer to the community at the Sante Fe Photographic Workshops from the summer of 2012. I was totally immersed in the medium and inspired by my talented peers and the professionals that came to share their wisdom. I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing with having spent that time in the desert.