Hello all, Donny Zavala here! It’s an honor to have the opportunity to take over PhotoVision’s Instagram for the next three days! I’m looking forward to sharing my film journey, my style, why I shoot film, how I got started and a bit about my upcoming workshop in Oregon! First off is this image from the Erich McVey Workshop last June in Elk, California. Prior to attending the workshop, I had been shooting film for about a year. When I first started shooting film, my eyes were drawn to Erich’s work. Long story short, he is why I shoot film. Attending his workshop was amazing and taught me a lot . . . yet, it was just the beginning of digging deep, chasing my film photography dreams and creating my own journey. Your journey is yours, but bring others along for the ride—collaborations lead to knowledge and inspiration. Be driven, be vulnerable, be available, be open, and lastly, don’t settle for less.
@lindseyreganthorne @misshayleypaige @rrosecreative @_emilyriggsbridal @froufrouchic @mimiandtaylor @ginnyau @natasarafinchan @beufe @erichmcvey @oncewed @kaelarawson @hello.tea @tesscomrie @option_models @nevealbums @fujifilm_northamerica @pixieset @cuffeyscoveranch @makeandstow #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #elk #california #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm #erichmcveyworkshop
I was recently asked, “How do you avoid posing your clients?” . . . Honestly, I think posing a client is inevitable, as most clients are not models. However, I don’t call it posing—I call it directing to create real moments. Even though I direct, I will not take a picture until I see that my subjects are engaged in a small vignette of honest interaction. I choose the right backdrop with the right lighting, then I ask the couple to engage in conversation. This is where the story is told slowly and carefully through my images. My clients will get high-fives when they share their real moments with me! We will cover how to do just this in my upcoming Oregon Coast Workshop this August.
@lavendersflowers @tonoandco @hikarimurakami @etablirshop @roseanddelilah @nikkiannespahn @ishaanreyna @byangeline #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #la #california #sunnygablescastle #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm #oregoncoastworkshop
Often times it’s easy for us to focus on the small details of a shoot, and we forget how important it is to showcase the environment in which the story is being told. When I first started, I was always shooting close-ups and the intimate tight shots. It took a while to slow down and notice the scenery surrounding my subject. Case in point—recently I met with a client in Portland, Oregon who was getting married at Smith Rock and she said, “I want to remember where I got married.” So, grab yourself a 45mm to capture the entire scene. Your client will be thankful you did.
Light is the single most important element in film photography. Light is vitally important for how I want my images to turn out. Thanks to my main man, Erich McVey, who showed me the way, I’ll chase the light all day long, for it can make or break an image (as it will make or break my final images and how I want my style to continue to evolve.) My quick tip: find out your local sunset time, grab some Fuji400, a light meter and start shooting about 45 minutes before sunset and 15 minutes after the sun dips below the horizon line. Come learn more at the Oregon Coast Workshop! (Interestingly, this image was taken at sunrise. Similar rules apply.)
@ponderosa_and_thyme @elderoak_and_thorn @alextical @elizabethdye@austieeckley @byangeline @bigwigdonuts @foragedfloral @erichmcvey #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #silverton #oregon #strandfarm #sunnygablescastle #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm #oregoncoastworkshop
What are “authentic moments,” outside of becoming an industry cliche? Authentic moments come from events that are real, fluid and occur naturally. In the midst of a shoot, I constantly ask myself: Are these moments truly happening? Or am I making them happen? The client, now more than ever, is seeking authentic moments—and we, as photographers, must deliver. We can do this by having input in the pre-wedding itinerary. Allowing time to capture real moments as they unfold is crucial to avoid re-creating moments later in the day. Establishing a pre-wedding itinerary with your clients at the forefront will make this task much easier and your clients will love you for it! Yes, some weddings will need redirecting . . . but you’re in control—make it happen!
@lavendersflowers @tonoandco @hikarimurakami @etablirshop @roseanddelilah @nikkiannespahn @ishaanreyna @byangeline #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #la #california #sunnygablescastle #photovisionprints #sp3000
How often have you second-guessed your talents? Have you ever felt like your work wasn’t good enough to work with a certain vendor? Don’t worry, if we’re honest, we’ve all been there. I’ve been there. I’ve asked and been turned down many times. What does that mean? Does it mean I wasn’t good enough? Did my style clash? Was it because I don’t shoot film well enough? Why? This is perhaps one of the most challenging areas for photographers, and will tear many of us apart in ways that are unhealthy, creating doubt. Let me tell you one thing—don’t quit. Pick your head up and look the other way. Look for other opportunities. Having a few styled shoots under your belt can greatly impact your chances of being published, and I will cover how to do just this at the Oregon Coast Workshop this summer. Your opportunity is waiting. Go get it!
@ponderosa_and_thyme @elderoak_and_thorn @alextical @elizabethdye@austieeckley @byangeline @bigwigdonuts @foragedfloral #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #silverton #oregon #strandfarm #sunnygablescastle #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm #oregoncoastworkshop
Going the extra mile for clients and vendors is a huge part of our job. This can be anything from a quick email to showing up early to scout the venue! Ultimately, word of mouth and how we interact with others will make or break a deal, I can’t stress this enough. Prior to working in photography, I spent 15 years in the customer service industry, where my day consisted of making people smile, making sure the door was held open for them and asking them how I could help. (If I could teach a class just on this, I would, but I think I’d need a whole workshop to cover this aspect of our jobs.) Self-employment is fun, but we still have to remember that we are working with other human beings who want to be well-liked, well-received and well taken care of. Come hear me speak about this at the Oregon Coast Workshop this August. We owe it not only to our clients, but to our career.
@fujifilm_northamerica #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #kailua #hawaii #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm#oregoncoastworkshop
Why do I shoot film? Seriously, shooting film is great—but it can be challenging, and at times, disappointing . . . bad light, out-of-focus images, incorrect settings and finicky cameras can make for an awful day. (You know what I’m talking about.) But I would not trade it for anything. Film has created an opportunity for me to work with amazing clients, vendors and other film photographers. I’m not biased toward all things film—digital photography is amazing, and there are lots of digital photographers who bring so much talent to the industry. So why is film for me? I have found that when I look at my film images, they evoke a feeling of satisfaction. I can remember the very moment I composed the image, hear the laughs from my clients and remember the second I released the shutter. It’s an art form that continues to challenge me. It allows me to be more consistent in my images and have control of my overall aesthetic. But don’t go at it alone. Ask other film photographers for advice, attend a film workshop, and most important, establish a relationship with the professionals at PhotoVision—they will care for you throughout your film journey!
@lavendersflowers @hikarimurakami @etablirshop @roseanddelilah @clairelafaye @nikkiannespahn @byangeline @laralamphotography @spostophoto @Seniman_calligraphy #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #la #california #sunnygablescastle #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm
It’s been an amazing journey thus far, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my story with you all during my PV Takeover! Now I want nothing more than to share my story with all photographers! Join me and @tylerrye_ on the beautiful Northern Oregon Coast for our workshop this August! The Oregon Coast Workshop is set to take place amongst some of the most desired shooting locations in the Pacific Northwest. We hope you can join us for what will be an exciting 4 days of learning and growing with inspirational shoots and educational sessions. Registration is open and can be found via my website www.donnyzavalaphotography.com. Speakers include PhotoVision’s own Stephen Wood, along with @jannabrowndesign and @jenny_sanders_.
@clairelafaye @trumpetandhorn @magnoliarouge @mastinlabs @redtreealbums @shootproof @melindarosedesign #donnysvision #pvtakeover #contax645 #fuji400 #oregoncoast #strandfarm #sunnygablescastle #photovisionprints #sp3000 #fujifilm #oregoncoastworkshop