Zach Arias: Transformation & Interview by Chase Jarvis

A photographer I’ve been really digging lately is Zach Arias. This is because I can tell this guy really speaks from the heart and has a very inspiring story on how he became a professional photographer.

Growing as a person and an artist is something which is very important to me. Just ask my fiance as I watch video after video and read blog after blog like Johnny 5 in “Short Circuit” “Need more input!” Below is a video Zach did for Scott Kelby as a guest blogger. It really touched me because after watching it I felt even more focused on the task at hand of being a better photographer and why I do what I do in life. I hope it does something for you too.

Chase Jarvis had Zach on his live show, it’s long but good if you have the time.

“The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.” – Edward Weston‘s quote Zach Arias uses at his workshops.

It Gets Better Project

Below is from the Put This On blog – I didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel, but wanted to help spread the word.

“One of my favorite public figures, Dan Savage, recently launched a video project called It Gets Better.  The premise is simple: GLBT grownups sharing encouraging words for GLBT teens and kids. Their message is simple: it gets better.  He and his husband Terry recorded a video of their own, and encouraged folks like my friend Dave Holmes (above) to do the same.

Every adolescent faces enormously high stakes as they try to find a place for themselves in the world.  Those stakes even higher for GLBT kids, or those questioning their sexual or gender identities.  The next time someone gives you the “sticks and stones” argument, just remind the arguer of the relative suicide rates among straight and gay teens.”

For the rest of his post please visit his website –

Dan Savage and Terry from the “It Gets Better” project:


From Dan’s column about Billy Lucas:

“Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body…. I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren’t allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don’t bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don’t have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.”

Read Dan’s entire column here:

RIP Andrew Koenig

I’ve been a fan of “Growing Pains” and the podcast “Never Not Funny” since they started airing. I was sad to find out that Andrew Koenig (a video producer on “Never Not Funny” and he played “Boner” on “Growing Pains”) took his own life.

From USA Today: (Andrews father Walter Koenig) – “Our son took his own life,” Koenig said, struggling to maintain his composure. “He was obviously in a lot of pain.”

If you learn anything from this,” Koenig said, directing his comments to those who also suffer from depression, “there are people out there who care.”

Here’s a link to the full story.

Rest in peace Andrew, suicide is never the answer people!

Tribute to Andrew Koenig on his Father’s website :

Zen Parable

I’ve seen a variety of connotations of the story below, but every time I think of it I feel comforted. It helps me stay in the present moment where we are most productive. Check it out below:

There was once a man who was being chased by a ferocious tiger across a field. At the edge of the field there was a cliff. In order to escape the jaws of the tiger, the man caught hold of a vine and swung himself over the edge of the cliff. Dangling down, he saw, to his dismay, there were more tigers on the ground below him. And, furthermore, two little mice were gnawing on the vine to which he clung. He knew that at any moment he would fall to certain death. That’s when he noticed a wild strawberry growing on the cliff wall. Clutching the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other and put it in his mouth.

He never before realized how sweet a strawberry could taste.

So when I’m thinking about “what if” or “what could have been” I try to think of that strawberry and it usually helps. I hope it helps you too.