Zak Collins Photography Zak Collins Photography


On August 28, 2010, both my daughter (Kate) and son (Jack) died during delivery. They were twins who were stillborn, and my only children at the time. In the months following their deaths, I began to teach myself photography. It was my means for coping with the losses--of not just the children, but my future with the children. I read book after book, focusing most of my attention on the elements of art design and the psychology of aesthetics, and then the technical aspects of photography. I took picture after picture: hundreds and hundreds of street photographs, hundreds and hundreds of portraits, and thousands and thousands of landscape photographs. I was disciplined. I was hyperfocused. I was motivated. But what made it all work was an inherent sense of creativity that had been dormant for a couple decades. Once I began to foster this instinct, is when the medium began to take shape. Eventually, I was able to regain a sense of balance in my life or, in my case, a workaround.

Over time, my photographic work progressed from field study to career choice. Since 2013, I have spent much of my energy pursuing the southern landscape as subject matter, concentrating on the coastal and wetland regions of South Carolina. Both regions are very diverse with their own distinctive aesthetic; an aesthetic that is distinct, mysterious, and complex, characteristics I attempt to convey in my photographs.

Compositionally, I maintain a reductionist approach. I prefer all the nonessential elements stripped from the composition for maximum effect. I also employ certain compositional techniques to divert the viewer’s attention to the “main” subject of the photograph, resulting in a strong composition that leaves the interpretation or meaning up to the viewer. In the field, I am not simply looking for an interesting subject, but looking for an interesting photograph. An image that will surpass the subject’s obviousness. Therein is where photography becomes art.

I don’t really talk about my story to people...the journey from Point A to Point B. Hell, it’s an awkward conversation piece. Nevertheless, I create my photographs in the memory of my first and second born.

I hope you enjoy my photographs,

Zak Collins
Charleston, South Carolina