Occasionally, I offer to collaborate with people for a mutually beneficial experience. Often this involves testing new equipment or trying new ways of shooting. Sometimes when I’m traveling, I offer to collaborate with locals as a way to fill up my schedule with something I enjoy doing. When I offer to collaborate with someone, the shoot is free.

Last updated: March 5, 2020


 At no point will you be charged for anything before, during, or after our collaboration.  However, if you wish to tip me at the end because you feel I provided you with a valuable service & experience, you are welcome to. But this is up to you. It’s not something I expect or ask for.

I am committed to providing the same degree of professionalism and standards to my collaborations that I do with my paid shoots.

If we proceed with working together, I will provide another link which has more details such as how to prepare for our collaboration and what to expect afterwards. This is the same link I send to paying clients. But for the sake of expectations:

  1. *I will provide you will all the photos (proofs) from our collaboration (with no watermarks).
  2. *I aim to provide you online access to your proofs within 3 days of our shoot.
  3. I will retouch 1 out of every 200 photos we take.
  4. *I aim to provide you with your retouched photos within 3 days of you picking them.

*Subject to change if I am traveling (estimate would be up to 7 days).

Preparing for our collaboration

Option 1 (simple):

We schedule a simple “show up and shoot”. This is a simple non-themed photo shoot where we basically meet, I explain how I work and what to expect from working together, and then we shoot with whatever wardrobe options you bring. This allows us to get familiar with working together before planning something more elaborate.

Option 2 (true collaboration):

We move directly towards collaborating on a shoot. This means working towards a common goal of getting a specific range of images we both want from a shoot.

True Collaboration (details)

One of the things I like to do before collaborating with people is have them send me some samples of the types of shoot-related images they find interesting or inspiring. Basically, the sorts of photos they would like to be a part of if they had the opportunity. It is through this process that I can get a feel for what you like and a general idea of how you would like to be photographed.

Once I have a few of these types of images from you, we can use them as a catalyst for ideas and inspiration moving forward.

I want you to be a part of the creative process as much (or as little) as you like.

One of the big benefits of these images is that they can help us plan hair styling, wardrobe, lighting, locations, props, poses, and more.

If it’s too much trouble, the photos aren’t an absolute necessity, but I find they tend to help narrow down the scope of a shoot as well as help push us to get interesting images.

So if you have the time, it would be great if you can find and send me at least 5 photos of the types of shots you would like to be in (10 or more would be great).

And no, they don’t actually have to conform 100% to the casting theme, but it generally helps if they do.

Ultimately, what I want to do is capture great images — with you in them — regardless of whatever theme we are working with.

Casting(s) information and details:

This is an example of one of multiple castings that I currently have open.

Click on the link(s) to expand:

[show_more more=”SHOW: Health and Fitness-Oriented Photoshoots details” less=”HIDE: Health and Fitness-oriented Photoshoots details” size=120 list=”»”]

Health and Fitness-oriented Photoshoots

My goal is to capture health & fitness-related portraits of people, but for each person it will be different based on how they want to be captured.

In some cases, I might capture someone working out, stretching, doing yoga, or meditating on the beach. In other cases, it might just be a “normal” portrait of a person that simply shows off their physique in a flattering way.

Basically, these are photos with a “healthy lifestyle” theme versus photos that have to show someone being active. That said, these portraits can also involve you being active — let’s just make sure to discuss beforehand so I can consider the best ways to capture you doing what you do.

Reference Photos

The following shared albums will give you an idea of what I’m thinking with regard to this casting. Keep in mind, these are not shared with the intention of being amazing photos (although some of them may be), they are simply intended as a catalyst for ideas (poses, wardrobe, etc), to provide a general look & feel, and to make sure that when I say “fitness shoot” you are not thinking every shot will be of you doing bodybuilding poses or sprinting on the beach.


Because this is a health & fitness oriented shoot, outfits will likely involve activity-related apparel and accessories (headphones, towel, yoga mat, water bottle, earbuds, and any other related “gear”) that you supply (sorry, we don’t have a sponsor!).

For what it’s worth, your wardrobe doesn’t have to be fancy. If you’re a guy and you wear a loose t-shirt and shorts to shoot hoops, we can capture you authentically. So what you wear can be whatever you might wear when you’re involved in your activity-of-choice (running, working out, yoga, basketball…).

Having said that, if you want commercial-oriented shots, then obviously wearing the sorts of things that could easily show up in a sports apparel ad would be a good thing.

Beyond activity-related apparel, shots will likely involve anything that helps show off your physique. But how you want to show off your physique — or whether you want to show off your abs or not — is up to you.

Whatever you decide, my role as your photographer (and director) will be to help guide you in a way that helps up get the most flattering and eye-catching photos possible.

Accessories (to consider)

  • barbells, jump rope…
  • yoga/workout mat
  • towel, water bottle…
  • workout gloves, sparring gloves, boxing gloves…
  • balls (football, soccer ball, volleyball…)
  • skateboard, rollerblades…
  • headphones, earbuds
  • gym bag

My goal with this casting

Besides capturing eye-catching images, my main goal with this casting is to shoot more lifestyle images that show more than just a person’s upper torso (which seems to be the majority of my work). So I will be focusing on capturing at least 3/4 or a person’s body in these shots — and their whole body if we can make the shot work.

What happens next…

*If you can’t or don’t want to do step 1 below, then we’ll simply need to discuss things more directly and then skip to scheduling a shoot.

1. *Email me some images that you find interesting or inspiring

Do these have to be amazing images? Amazing images are great, but sometimes it’s just an idea in the image we care about (pose, lighting, location, style…). So no, you don’t have to send an array of awesome images. I’m just looking for images that demonstrate something you like or find interesting or inspiring.

2. We will then discuss those images and I may share some ideas of my own with you via a shared album on google (like the one I mentioned above for male-oriented fitness and this one for women).

Once we’ve discussed some ideas — and feel like we are on the same page — we will figure out what we need to capture the ideas we came up with. This includes wardrobe & accessories: Do you have what you want to wear & any accessories you want to be photographed with? We will also want to discuss the best location(s) for us to get the kinds of photos we want.

3. Once we know what we need and where we want to shoot, we can go ahead and schedule a shoot.

If we are efficient with this process, it need only take a few hours — not a week. So how quickly or slowly we get to scheduling is often dependent on how eager people are to get shooting.

 *An important note about special resources 

Everybody knows somebody that has something that could be useful in a shoot — and  they either don’t realize it or they simply fail to think of it.

So this is just a reminder to think about possible resources that you have access to that might help us get interesting and eye-catching images.

Things that make photo shoots more interesting and unique:


Scenic property, barns, cabins, pools, etc.


Boats, cars, old cars, things to use as props (old luggage, etc), even animals (dogs, horses, goats…)

Special access:

Access to beach resorts, rooftops, etc. and permission to shoot in places that might otherwise be off-limits.

A note about time of day…

Keep in mind that I am a natural light photographer. This means I use whatever light is available to capture my images. For the style of photos I am known for, this means using a combination of bright sunlight and spots of shade.

Lighting-wise, afternoons are often the best time to shoot (with the light getting better later in the day). Early mornings can also be good. Other times of day — and lighting conditions (overcast) — can also work, but will obviously change the look, style, and mood of any photos we capture.

Q: What is the best way to reach me?

Generally, texting is best unless it involves a ton of text (in which case, WhatsApp is better — but email works). I prefer using Whatsapp because it has extra features and you can send media (images and video) easily that way, too.

Please know: I am usually very prompt about replying to texts (commonly less than 5 minutes, often within 30 minutes, almost always within an hour). If you don’t get a response from me within 8 hours (which would be crazy), please be sure to try again or call or email me.

And yes, you can actually call me. We can talk. I don’t mind.

(2244-HI-ZERO) or Two 2’s, Four 4’s, ZERO.

Ok, that’s all I can think of for now. Please note that I will be updating this page as necessary with new information as I think of it — so it won’t hurt if you check back now and again. I will also be creating other pages to aid in the collaborating & shooting process. (I’m also doing this because I need to cut down on the amount of time I spend sending the same type of information to people). ~ Zero Dean