Episode 7: Media Production with Zach Lakes

Zach Lakes, founder of Zach Lakes Productions, joins the podcast to share his inspiring journey from a hobbyist photographer to a successful full-time entrepreneur. He discusses the challenges and rewards of running his own business, providing valuable insights for aspiring creatives.

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Early Beginnings and Self-Education

Zach’s passion for photography ignited during his first year at St. Thomas University. What began as a hobby quickly grew into a serious pursuit. Entirely self-taught, Zach relied heavily on YouTube tutorials to hone his skills over six to seven years. He started by taking photos of friends and family, gradually gaining confidence and taking on small paid gigs. Despite pursuing a degree in education and working as a teacher for five years, his love for photography persisted, compelling him to find a balance between his teaching job and his growing side hustle.

Transition to Full-Time Entrepreneurship

As Zach Lake’s photography business expanded, balancing it with his teaching career became increasingly challenging. The birth of his first child served as a pivotal moment, prompting him to reevaluate his professional life. Realizing he could no longer juggle both careers, Zach made the courageous decision to leave teaching and commit to photography full-time. This leap of faith led to the establishment of Zach Lakes Productions, marking the beginning of his journey as a full-time entrepreneur.

Overcoming Challenges and Continuous Learning

Zach emphasizes the critical role of continuous learning in his success. He regularly watched YouTube videos to stay updated on new techniques and trends. Self-doubt was a significant challenge, but Zach overcame it by recognizing the value of his work and setting fair prices for his services. He advises aspiring photographers to appreciate their work and to charge accordingly. Additionally, he addresses the practical challenges of managing a business, such as handling taxes, insurance, and other logistical aspects.

Building a Business and Expanding Services

Zach discusses his approach to growing his business, highlighting the importance of diversification. Initially focused on photography, he expanded his services to include videography, recognizing the growing demand for high-quality video content. Zach also acknowledges the difficulty of delegating tasks but understands the necessity of doing so to maintain a healthy work-life balance, especially with a growing family. He aspires to create a sustainable business model that allows him to step back occasionally and rely on a trusted team.

The Importance of Passion and Future Goals

Passion is the cornerstone of Zach’s journey. He believes that pursuing what you love is essential for sustained success and satisfaction. Zach’s future goals include creating a collaborative space for photographers and videographers. This envisioned studio would serve as a hub for learning and creativity, complete with editing stations and workshops led by industry experts. This initiative reflects his background in teaching and his desire to support and nurture emerging talents in the field.

Zach Lakes’s story is one of passion, perseverance, and continuous learning. From balancing dual careers to overcoming self-doubt and practical business challenges, his journey offers valuable insights for anyone looking to turn their passion into a full-time career. He encourages listeners to pursue what they love, continuously improve, and never underestimate the value of their work.

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