Jaw dropping shots of Slightly Stoopid, Stick Figure
and Shawn Mendes.
Behind the Lens and In The Barrel,
with photographer Keith Zacharski.
I always had a passion for documenting moments in time. It all started in middle school, when I began recording live music with a couple mics and a DAT recorder. From my roots in audio recording, I became fascinated by photography and how a picture can be seen and interpreted in different ways to anyone who saw it.
Fast-forward a few years later, I have become known for my unique approach in capturing a moment, vibe, and feeling, and from it, creating a visual image. I thrive on being in rhythm with the subject I am capturing, whether its Mother Nature or a musician performing in front of me.
I am an avid explorer and nature enthusiast. A majority of my nature inspired photos depict a tale of an adventure throughout this beautiful planet and beyond. I try to portray the moment how it was seen through my lens and mind at the time it was captured.
My start as a professional photographer was in the commercial realm. I started doing 360-degree virtual tours of the inside of businesses for Google Street View and began building my business around the hospitality industry.
Music has always had a significant impact on my life in one way or another. Whether it was playing in a band, or working various roles within the music/festival industry. In 2015, I had been shooting nature and architectural photography for a handful of years and never had really shot humans. One of my closest friends from growing up, Stephen Schloss, was tour managing a freshly signed 16 year old Shawn Mendes and asked me if I would like to come take pictures at a show and I said “why not”?! Our friend Chris Scott at Silverback Artist Management saw my gallery from the night and asked me to come shoot a couple Slightly Stoopid shows. After shooting the southern California shows the next couple years, I was asked if I would come on tour with Stoopid in summer 2018. The lineup was all my friends and favorite bands and I knew it was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up.
This changed the course of my career in photography, opening many other doors and opportunities, and I will forever be thankful to Matt and Jon Phillips and the Stoopid guys for giving me the chance.
The first time I met Shawn was in the green room of his first tour in 2015, when he was opening for Taylor Swift. At the time, he was a 16 year old prodigy, discovered on social media, who had immense talent and drive. Back then, it was just him and his acoustic guitar warming up the massive Taylor Swift stage on a stadium tour for 20-30 minutes. The year after that he had assembled a full live band, ventured into playing the electric guitar, and was touring small sold-out amphitheaters. By the next touring season, Shawn was a full blown superstar. Sold-out mega arenas around the world! He puts so much energy into each of his shows and production is top notch. As a photographer, a Shawn Mendes show is a dream to shoot. This shot was taken on his most recent 2019 world tour stop in San Diego. It was in the last few songs of his set and the energy level was at a 10. Shawn was pouring every ounce of his soul into the performance and I feel this picture captures that intensity. To me, it seems like he is leaving it all on the stage and about to go extraterrestrial! Even though he became a massive force in the entertainment world, he has remained one of the most humble and down to earth musicians I know.
This picture was shot at the final show of the 2018 Schools Out for Summer tour in Chicago 8.12.2018 at the Huntington Bank Pavilion. At the end of the set, Stick Figure performed the Beatles cover “Hey Jude” and invited everyone from the tour onto the stage to party and sing along. Members from Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, and crew came out and the energy was through the roof! I don’t usually wander to center stage, but this was the time to do so with everyone out there. When Scott Woodruff went for the rail in front of the stage, I followed and was anticipating a moment to happen…this was THE moment! His Scott Walker guitar high in the sky and crowd raging, I get goosebumps thinking about all the energy on that stage, and in the venue at that point in time. It was an epic way to end one of the best summer reggae tours in recent history!
The last show on the epic Florida leg of the tour was sold out at Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL July 22, 2018. The crowd was fired up after the Pepper and Stick Figure sets when Stoopid took the stage. A couple songs into the set, a huge storm cell moved into the concert area quickly. A few songs later, lightning struck a nearby transformer cutting out all power. Soon after, strong winds, rain, and lightning prevailed and everyone was called to leave the concert area and wait in their cars.
About an hour later, the power was restored and the weather cleared. Of the over 6,000 that were jamming before the storm, only about 500-700 hardcore fans remained. They were treated to another hour set that was something special…incredible energy that blew the doors off curfew and gave them one to remember!!!
Kyle McDonald had picked up a Ron Jon soft top a few days before in Cocoa and surfed the crowd on it that night. This shot was taken in the second part of the set during “Come Around”. It was the only other night on the tour he pulled out the log to catch a human wave. The remaining fans knew they had just witnessed something pretty special!