Tap into Mobile Photography: Take a ride with Zak Shelhamer
Erin Lodi | Published: Oct 18, 2012 at 14:54 UTC1
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.
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.
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.
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 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.