In the growing age of technology and social media, everyone can be an Instagram photographer. However, it takes something special to stand out among the masses — screen arts sophomore Zach Ochinko works hard to bring his photography to life.
When Ochinko graduated from East Ascension High School in 2017, he received his first camera, a Pentax k1000, from his mom. She gave him the camera she got upon her college graduation, which kickstarted Ochinko’s photography career in a way different from most modern photographers. The Pentax k1000 was only manufactured from 1976 to 1997, so Ochinko began working in photography for a past generation.
Ochinko continues to develop his photography since he got his start roughly two years ago, and he spends most of his time practicing on his friends to create his perfect style of portraiture work. He said he’s done some requested mother-daughter shoots, but he focuses most of his energy on working with his friends.
“I would have an idea or find the perfect location to shoot, and my friends were kind enough to help me bring it to life,” Ochinko said.
Ochinko’s sense of color and preference for bright, vibrant photoshoots makes his images resemble more of a watercolor painting than everyday photography. His blending of light and color blurs his images in all the right places, making his work exempt from being put into any one artistic box.
“I guess you could say that I have a niche for a lot of different types of photography.” Ochinko said. “I am constantly thinking about ideas for my next shoot.”
As a screen arts major, Ochinko said he wants to learn as much about film as he can. He got a lot of training behind the camera while working at actress Ashton Leigh’s “The Broken Leg Acting Studio” during his first semester at the University. Though the studio is now closed since Leigh moved to Georgia, the lessons he learned while working for her will last a lifetime.
Ochinko started as a student in the studio, but Leigh saw his potential and asked him to assist her in training students. He helped film auditions as well as prepare the actors for their audition tapes. He hopes to work with her and her studio again in the future.
As far as photography is concerned, Ochinko is currently working on curating his portfolio to show to potential clients. He plans on gaining all the experience that he can while he is still in school.
“I have always loved how photography can change the reality of certain moments,” Ochinko said. “Your perception of reality is whatever you want it to be.”