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Check Out Zachary Egbert’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zachary Egbert.

Zachary, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I picked up my first camera in February of 2019 when I took a photography class at Dixie State University to fulfill an art credit needed for my Associate’s degree. But this class isn’t what first got me intrigued in perusing photography. What started my interest in this craft was actually something that happened a few months prior to starting that semester of school. It was when my sister got a job at a Honda & Mazda dealership doing their social media.

See, I’ve always been a big car lover. My dad had over 100 different cars in his lifetime and I’ve already had 10 of my own in the last 7 years. I always have loved going to car events and my dad and I would always love to go to car dealerships on Sundays and just talk about all the cars we wish we could buy and hope to own one day. As a kid, these cars always seemed so out of reach and something that I would never have thought I would have access to. Now fast forward to my sister working for Honda & Mazda. I saw that since she was managing their social media and also creating content for the dealership, she was given access to a lot of cool cars that I would love to be able to drive and experience. She asked me to help her out with some of her photoshoots and videos she was creating and I was so excited that not only do I get to drive the cars I want but I also was helping create something cool and that a lot of people would see and enjoy. This lit a spark in me that I never expected to grow into anything, until I had the chance to learn photography in college.

I took my photography class during my last semester of school at Dixie State. This class was a great environment for me to learn all the basics I needed to know on how to use a camera, while also being a very supportive environment to learn how to improve my photo-taking skills. One problem I had that most photographers can probably agree that they had too, is I had no idea what I should photograph. I tried a lot of different things like animals, landscapes, macro shots, but then it clicked! At the time I owned a lifted Jeep Wrangler, and I also lived in one of the most famous Jeeping places in the world (Southern Utah). Why don’t I just take pictures of my Jeep in the cool locations I take it to and then post them to Instagram? So I did just that!

The Instagram page grew actually really quickly. It didn’t take long for the page to reach over 1,000 followers and start gaining traction. It got big enough that companies would send me products to take pictures with my Jeep and then I got to keep the item in return. I was loving every bit of this journey, all while I was able to practice my photography. I ran this page for about 2 years but then it came to an abrupt stop. At this time (the beginning of 2021) I had a job that required me to drive about 100 miles a day to get to and from work. And while I love driving, getting only 11mpg in my big lifted Jeep was not the best option financially for me. So I had to sell the Jeep to get something a little more economically smart. I took a break from social media and did photography for a while. The main subject I had for the last two years was now gone and I didn’t know what to photograph. Then, one day I was in Scottsdale, Arizona visiting my brother, and I asked him if we could go to the Lamborghini dealership there to go look at some cars, and I just happen to bring my camera along with me too. Come to find out, the dealership was closed that day, but there were 3 Lamborghinis parked outside. I decided to take some pictures of the cars, and instantly I was hooked.

Seven months after making my last post on my Jeep Instagram, I decided it was time to rebrand and post new content of other cars. I changed my page name, designed a logo, and then posted the photo of the three Lamborghinis I took while in AZ. The first photo bombed, and maybe only got 10 likes. And so did the next photo, and the next. I wasn’t getting much engagement at all, but that didn’t stop me. Every day I would look at the content being put out by my favorite photographers and videographers and it would remind me that getting to where I want to be isn’t a sprint, but a marathon and I would be able to make art like them and also work with cars and brands like they do someday. This determination is what has fueled me since the start and still does to this day. And it also is what helps me overcome one of my biggest hurdles with photography, which is my introversion.

I am a pretty quiet and introverted person, and anyone who has known me growing up could back me on saying that. So now that I am perusing a passion where not only do I have to talk to people daily, but also cold-message and cold-call them a lot was not the easiest thing for me to do. And let me tell you, I nearly had a panic attack the first time I ever did a photoshoot with someone I didn’t know. But the more and more I did it, the easier it got for me. And I also started to realize something really important, and that is most of the time, if you have the courage to ask for it, you probably will get it. In my case, There were all these people who to me seemed so out of reach and I thought they would never want to work with me, especially since I was just starting out with automotive photography. But I decided to message them anyway, expecting to just be rejected or not even replied to. But to my surprise, a lot of them decided to give me a chance. Getting the opportunity to work with people that inspire me and I looked up to was the fuel I needed to work hard and really grow my brand. For the next year, I would try to do 5-10 photoshoots every single week, and also deliver all the completed photos that same week. And I was able to do just that. This constant pushing and hard work have been what’s opened the door for me to so many amazing opportunities that I never would have thought were possible when I started photography.

I started my journey of taking photos of cars in April of 2021, and since then, I have worked with brands like Maserati and Nissan, I’ve been published in international magazines twice, and my work has been seen by over 18 million people worldwide. I have also worked with clients from all over the world, in places like Spain and Hawaii. I know that this level of growth and opportunity in such a short time is not the norm whatsoever, and I am grateful for it every single day. But I am most grateful to the people who believed in me at the start. It’s because of them that I was able to have the motivation to keep pushing through the growing pains of starting a photography business and not be afraid of reaching out to people and getting to receive the opportunities I have. I am excited to see where photography will take me next!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The journey to get to where I have not been a smooth one for sure. I think the biggest struggle I had to overcome was when I experienced a really bad burnout about 5 months into doing photography. Like I stated in my last response, I would try and do 5-10 photoshoots a week when I started out. This is an insane amount of work to pack into a weekend, and I ended up doing this for almost 20 weeks straight. After doing this many photoshoots and editing thousands of pictures in such a short time, I got completely burnt out. The thought of taking a picture and editing it just seemed like such a daunting task. It got bad enough that I even contemplated on selling my camera equipment altogether, because I couldn’t see any reason to want to use it again. This burnout lasted about 3 months, and I am so happy I found the motivation to keep going. I would not have ever achieved any of the things I have achieved now, and I am much better at knowing my limits.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My main focus is automotive photography. This genre of photography can range from private owners wanting pictures to document their new car to commercial photoshoots for car manufacturing advertisements. Most of my work has been with private owners, but I would like to expand into more commercial work, which so far, I have worked with brands like Maserati and Nissan. However, I have recently expanded my work into portrait/model work as well. While this style of photography is not my main focus, I have found great success with it already. I have had my work published in two international magazine publications so far and hopefully in a third soon!

One thing that is setting me apart from other portrait photographers and car photographers is I’m now combining the two, and taking model’s photos with the cars I get access to. There are not many photographers in Utah that mix these two genres together, and I am proud of the photos I have created so far.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I think taking risks, especially when building a business and a brand, is essential. I like to live by the motto of my favorite YouTube group “Yes Theory”, which is “Seek Discomfort”. I’ve found that the best things in life have been found outside of my comfort zone, and the risks I’ve taken and the great payoff they’ve had is a prime example of that. I would not have been a two-time internationally published photographer now if I had never took the risk of changing up my brand identity to include model photography too. I knew when I made the switch that I would lose a bit of my following who is only following me for car content and nothing else. And when I made the switch, I did lose followers and even had some push-back from friends and family. But I kept true to myself, and made the art that I wanted to make, and it has paid off and continues to pay off.

I also think taking risks and trying things you’re not good at yet is essential as a creative. Not only has this helped me learn and grow as a photographer, but it also has helped me stand out, be more versatile, and learn what I really like to create. If I never got out of my comfort zone and never tried new things, I would not be where I am today, and I know that for a fact.

Pricing:

  • Car Photography – $200
  • Portrait Photography – $200

Contact Info:

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