Meet the New York-based photographer who’s becoming a legend.
Zach Boisjoly is showing what it means elevate your game with the talent you are given. Read more as we discover who iAMZJB really is, and where his inspiration comes from.
Tell us a little bit about you.
My name is Zach J. Boisjoly. I shoot and work under the moniker iAMZJB. I was born in Miami but raised in Nashville. Photography started as just a hobby for me and, with time, it transformed into a passion.
Where is home?
New York is where I currently reside, but no matter where I end up Nashville will always be my home.
If you could live anywhere on the planet where would you build your dream home?
Easy. New York City. I feel as though NYC is the ultimate life challenge regardless of what you do with your life. I truly believe in the cliché perception of the city. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. In addition, the city supplies a constant source of inspiration.
How long have you been a photographer and what got you started?
I’ve been taking photos as far back as I could remember but I began taking it seriously about two years ago. When I was very young I used to play with Kodak disposable cameras whenever I had the chance and it just had a snowball effect from there. I got my first serious DSLR about a year ago and it has been stuck in my hand ever since.
Did you go to school to study photography?
I haven’t attended any formal education for photography. I am completely self-taught. When I originally got into photography, my plan, at the time, was to attend business school and graduate with an MBA. I found that art and photography kept pulling at me as I continued through my first few semesters of college so I decided to make a course correction. I applied to a few art schools and, to my surprise, I was accepted quickly by a couple of notable Design schools. So, starting in early 2017, I will be an art student.
You’ve shot with Young Dolph, Jeezy, Lil Uzi Vert, and others. Can you describe those experiences and what opportunities lead to shooting with them?
I had played with the idea of shooting music artists about a year ago. I reached out to some venues and shot a few shows. The people I met at the shows who were in the music industry were by far the most important part of my success. I formed relationships with the people I met and was given the opportunity to shoot bigger and bigger shows. I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the biggest DJs in Tennessee, such as DJ Coop, who has given me the opportunities to get where I am now.
How would you describe your photography style?
I would describe my style as eclectic. I am heavily influenced by different styles, vibes, and types of photography. I’m always inspired by modern shooters like 13thWitness and Trashand as well as classic artists such as Bill Cunningham.
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?
I believe inspiration is everywhere if you are willing to take the time to look. Situations, where inspiration appears to be lacking, is when you can create the best things because you are pushed to think outside the box. Van Styles is someone I look up to a lot for inspiration. His photos are timeless. His attitude and message to people seeking success in photography are unparalleled and that is why he will always be held in a high regard.
Lately, I have found myself drawing a lot of inspiration from photographers such as Diane Arbus, Danny Clinch, and Jesse Marlow. I was fortunate enough to attend a show at a gallery in NYC of Arbus’s recently discovered work and it was nothing short of incredible. I believe it’s important to expand your exposure to photographers and artists outside of Instagram and other social media platforms to truly be a well-rounded creator.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
In high school, I won an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television. I directed a video called “Inch by Inch”, a short video created for our football team at the start of the season.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
I would have to go with the Canon 24mm 1.4. I enjoy a wide perspective on photos because I feel as though it pulls the viewer into the moment captured much more effectively. 24mm is also for me, a very well balanced perspective– not too far but not too close.
What’s the best part of being a photographer?
For me, it’s the people you meet. Whether it’s the short conversation with a stranger or the connections and friendships you build and keep for the rest of your life. Photography brings people together.
What’s your best advice for aspiring photographers?
Don’t let the camera leave your reach. Shoot as much as possible and always strive to improve your craft. Along with that, always remember the best camera you have is the one you have on you. People sometimes are too worried about what the picture is taken with rather than the content and, I think, a lot of the hype surrounding equipment takes away from that value.
Check out Zach Boisjoly’s feature in The Fox Magazine Photography Issue.
Follow his journey!
Also published on Medium.