Zachary Scott; Inviting Interpretation and Creating Strong Visual Narratives With Animals
Zachary Scott is known for his ability to tell captivating stories through his photography. He seamlessly merges the quirks of culture, marvels of nature, and clever observations to create stand-out narratives.
Over the course of his career, Zachary has taken portraits of celebrities from all industries, yet the images that can get the most attention are the ones with animals and he believes there is something intriguing about incorporating animals into storytelling. They are automatically fascinating subjects that effortlessly enhance the visual appeal of any picture It is an avenue that disarms traditional narratives and infuses a sense of humanity into the subjects. By utilizing animals as conceptual or narrative vehicles, he is able to evoke emotions that engage the audience.
With a robust animal portfolio, we thought we’d share some of his and our favorite projects involving animals. Nature always serves as crucial ingredient in his creative process and these animals intertwine the humor, art and narratives of each project. Proving that animals are more than just subjects, Zachary’s animal portfolio showcases them as conduits for extraordinary tales.
This shoot for the New York Times Magazine prompts the question, "Where do chimps go to retire?" This was shot earlier in Zachary's career, so certain laws have been enacted to protect chimpanzees and it's likely this shoot wouldn't be possible today.
“How do these creatures layer into my world of image-making? I utilize them to trigger the narrative vehicle in a fun and unexpected way. It’s more than just portraiture, together we communicate a story in the visuals and often suggest something of a plot twist” - Zachary Scott
Shot for SLO Life magazine, Zach takes local pets and animals and creates portraiture to feature in the magazine. Zachary aims to make these stylized portraits as anthropomorphic as possible by photographing them against wallpaper backgrounds and editing for human-like expressions. Can you guess which of these three is Zach's personal pet?
This cover story was shot for the New York Times Magazine and is one of Zachary's favorites of his career. While the couch did indeed get ruined for this shoot, no pets were harmed in the creation of this shoot.
Of all the animals (and humans) that Zachary has worked with, the porcupine has been, by far, the stinkiest. Another upholstery casualty on-set.
Sometimes, live animals are not an option, especially when you want them to give a thumbs up and wear a walkman. For his project with Old Spice, Zachary worked with a designer to create this animatronic beaver. He spent months researching beaver behavior to make sure its movements were as accurate as possible. Coming in at one of the most expensive props he's worked with, Zachary says it was a true feat to create the image and capture as much in camera as possible by creating the entire foreground as a practical set in studio.
What better way to accompany comedian Tig Notaro than with one of the more ridiculous animals that he's photographed? Meet Phyllis the opossum.
Cover shoot for Texas Monthly, featuring famed bird watcher Tiffany Kersten. Zachary worked with many real birds in this shoot including a falcon and Oscar the owl.
This image of Harris the hawk, shot for Texas Monthly Magazine, was selected for American Photography AP39. Learn more about that here and look for it in the AP39 book.
Zach's recent shoot was at Texas A&M, shooting a professor who works at a wild animal rescue near College Station. Since the animals were so large and certainly couldn't be still in one frame together, Zachary shot her with the individual animals and then composited them all together. You might notice the reference to the classic children's book series and iconic Eddie Murphy film, Dr. Doolittle.