Brooklyn-based Zach Dilgard (Media Studies Still-Based, 2002) is a photo director, producer, and editor with 15 years’ experience shooting and producing photo shoots, primarily in the entertainment and TV industry. He’s worked with media networks and brands such as A+E, History, Lifetime, National Geographic, Sony, Vice Media, Warner Bros. Television, and others in a career that has taken him from the swamps of Louisiana to the wilds of Panama.
We recently asked Dilgard to share three of his own works that have particular resonance to him, and tell us why they stand out. Find his selections below, and find more work from him here.
This is a portrait of Shelby Stanga for History's “The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man.” We'd found a cool shack in the Louisiana swamps that had these great buoys stringed up. I'd told Shelby I wanted a portrait of him near them with his gun but emphasized he couldn't shoot his gun while we photographed him. He'd nearly shot me earlier in the day and he said he was sorry but he was a bit of a loose canon, pun intended.
Tommy Chauvin and Joe LaFont from History's “Swamp People,” season one. This is from the first TV assignment I ever had in my career. I was spending five days traveling from Baton Rouge to New Orleans and stopping to meet with the cast from “Swamp People” — everyone lived in different areas. I had little time with Tommy and Joe and a storm was coming in quickly. We pulled to the side of the road with one battery powered Profoto light and shot this in about five minutes before the skies opened up and we had to get back in our cars for cover.
Glen and Mitchell Guist from History's “Swamp People,” season two. I love this photo for a few reasons. One, the Guist brothers were absolute characters, so intriguing to look at and talk to, they were childlike in their demeanor, and they were a breath of fresh air in general. Two, I'd shot this with a 14mm lens, which isn't something you typically shoot portraiture with, as things can tend to look a bit goofy in areas of the frame. I thought it worked pretty successfully here though and reminded me that it's OK to try new things and not follow the guidelines always.