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Tap into Mobile Photography: Take a ride with Zak Shelhamer

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 Zak Shelhamer, @zakshelhamer, wants to inspire you.

Zak Shelhamer’s Instagram feed makes you want to get out and do something. Surf. Snowboard. Try standup paddleboarding. Frolic on the beach. Go for a motorcycle ride.

“I’d say my style is natural beauty,” he explained. “It’s just all pictures I snap along the way.”

He shares warm California beach scenes juxtaposed with shots of snowy mountain peak adventures, from palm trees to snowscapes, under @zakshelhamer.

 Zak Shelhamer pairs images with words for his Instagram posts. For the image above he wrote:  .awake o sunrise for the night has been long and dark. If ever there was a time for beauty it would be now. Awake o sunrise for your time is short but your days are long. 

Snowboarding images were what accelerated his career as a photographer. When injuries left him sitting on the sidelines, Shelhamer picked up his camera to remain part of the action.

“The more I got hurt snowboarding, the more I started taking pictures of my friends snowboarding,” he said.

The serendipitous injuries landed him gigs shooting for clients like Vail Resorts, Quicksilver, Vans and more.

Today, he maintains a lifestyle photography business, but his role as a filmmaker for GoPro means he’s primarily shooting video.

His iPhone 4 has become his camera of choice when he’s off the clock, and Instagram his outlet for sharing his images. Shelhamer shoots using Camera+, and edits in Snapseed. 

“When I first started my Instagram a year a half ago, I didn’t expect much from it,” Shelhamer said.

But the power to connect instantly with an audience grabbed him.

“I can post a photo and see why people like it within minutes,” he said.

Shelhamer works to add inspirational quotes to his images, preferring what he hopes is an uplifting message over a hashtag term. 

“Maybe that’ll make someone’s day better,” he said.

For this image, photographer Zak Shelhamer shared this caption on Instagram:  .she said meet me at the garden when the dew is on the ground, I lifted my head and saw beauty all around, I hear her voice whisper in my ear ... "This is your garden, Welcome home." 

Shelhamer says 97 percent of the images on his Instagram feed were shot with his very scratched iPhone 4 – action sports will do that to a lens, he recently upgraded to the iPhone 5 though – and he hopes to also provide inspiration by showcasing what a smartphone can do.

“You can have an iPhone and took all the same pictures I took,” he said. “I just want people to keep pushing each other, open their minds to what is possible with an iPhone. I think that’s really important to the future of photography.”

Tap into Mobile Photography: Zak Shelhamer
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Tap into Mobile Photography is our regular spotlight feature about mobile photographers with unique perspectives. To suggest a mobile photographer we should highlight, email us at mobile-contributors [at] dpreview.com and be sure to include a descriptive subject line to avoid our spam filters.

 

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