Location: Seattle, WA
A three-time finalist in the Digital Photo Pro Emerging Pro Competition, Dean Zulich has been on our radar screen for several years. The Bosnia-Herzegovina native resides in the Pacific Northwest and his career took off after he was the runner up on the VH1 show, The Shot. Zulich has photographed celebrities, music stars and a range of other famous faces, and his high-concept photography makes a dramatic impact.
I graduated with honors and the Best Portfolio of Show from the Art Institute of Seattle’s Photography Program in March 2007.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned either from a teacher or mentor?
One of my teachers, Mr. Michael Ramey, once said, “If you see something you have already seen when you look through a viewfinder, don’t even bother pushing the shutter.” That has been pretty much my philosophy ever since.
What was your first job?
I got an awesome campaign for a social networking website; it included several models, a private jet and high-end sports cars. It pretty much happened the week after my graduation. I thought, this is it; now I’ll be getting jobs like this every week. So I went and spent all the money I earned—luckily on photo gear—a Canon lens and some lighting gear. Well, what I didn’t know is that it would take a few months for the next job of those proportions, so I made sure next time around to be more careful about the finances.
What advice would you give to a photographer who is still in school?
Take as many pictures as possible, and create personal projects often as well. You get to be your own client, and your creativity isn’t limited with restrictions of a commercial photography world.
What inspires you about photography?
The ability to express myself visually, as well as an ongoing opportunity to collaborate with other creative individuals in the industry in order to create unique and outstanding images.
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
I use the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a variety of Canon L-Series lenses: the EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L II USM, EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L USM, EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM, EF 50mm ƒ/1.2L USM and EF 85mm ƒ/1.2L II USM. For color-managed workflow, I use a Datacolor Spyder3Studio SR kit.
What’s your favorite piece of Canon gear?
The EF 85mm ƒ/1.2L II USM lens. It works exceptionally well for fashion, portraiture and low-light situations.
To see more of Dean Zulich’s work, go to www.deanzulich.com.