Why I’ve Left Fstoppers for LensRentals & Resource Magazine

While I’ve kept this information generally quiet, I have gotten a lot of messages with what is going on with my departure from Fstoppers, and what my future plans are in the educational side of the photography industry. I figured, since it’s always put on blast when you get a new job, it’s rarely announced when you leave an old one, so I wanted to give an explanation of my change of focus. This isn’t your normal blog post showing off my new work and techniques, so bare with me on this one.

Why I Left Fstoppers

For years, I worked for a company called Fstoppers, developing content for photographers and about photographers. Through hundreds of articles and stories, I was able to build my work, highlight the work of others, and most importantly, guide other photographers. Fstoppers was where I found my passion in photography education, and where I really was able to help build a community of photographers I adore. However, the passion fell elsewhere, which is why I left to other companies.

Perhaps the biggest change was that Fstoppers is no longer a small community of photographers. When I started, we had a following, but were still growing the readership out. Through the hard work of myself and so many others, we were able to make Fstoppers one of the largest photography resources in the world; and that is when the passion left.

Through that growth, it felt like Fstoppers lost its personality. What was once a website that I checked damn near hourly for new articles from my favorite photographer, now became an oiled machine of posts following the trends of other news websites. To me, the personality of the website and business left, which hindered the ambitions to help it grow.

This could come from a lot of reasons, the writer turnover has always been extreme, which made it harder to develop your voice to the thousands of readers. The website structure also shifted, giving the community more opportunity to use Fstoppers as a medium to spam their own work, instead of helping others with theirs. And finally, the managerial shift seemed to focus on the paid tutorials, instead of free, quality education, which is what the website was built on.

The result, is after nearly three years on the staff, is that I left my position as Features Editor. My choice to leave was mine alone, and I harbor no hard feelings towards Fstoppers or any of the staff members. For me, my passion had gone and went, and decided it was best to leave and find something new.

So Where Am I Now?

Editor in Chief at LensRentals

For the last six months or so, I’ve been working with LensRentals to develop their content on their blog. LensRentals is a rental house in Memphis, that ships all over the United States. Also, they happen to be the coolest company in the industry. I’m not just saying this, thinking my boss will read it, cause he likely won’t. Through LensRentals, we’re able to develop gear reviews and content without the labor of sponsored posts or other sponsored content. We get to write what we want, without any entitlements or strings attached to anyone else.

Features Editor at Resource Magazine

Like many other members of the Fstoppers staff, I have taken a position at Resource Magazine to develop online content relating to photography and videography. Though Resource Magazine has been around for a while now in print format, they’re just now really developing their web presence, which makes them hungry to grow and educate others…which is my mission as well. Ultimately, my views and ambitions lined with them, which is why I made the switch. I’m hoping to grow the platform to one of the largest news websites for photography, with the help of a small staff of photographers.

Again, I wanted to make it clear that this post is not designed to slam my previous employers or anything of the sort. I’ve simply been asked a lot lately what has been going on with my educational articles, so I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know where they can find them. I’m telling you all this, because I’ve been with Fstoppers for nearly three years, and since my arrival at Fstoppers, only one writer has written more articles than me (who happens to now be my colleague at Resource now). Fstoppers was a very big part of my work and my development as a photographer, so it only seemed fair to explain my new focus.

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  • Court
    September 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm  - Reply

    Proud of you for making the decision to stick with you passion Zach! Congratulations on the 2 new positions and best wishes with them both. 🙂

  • Michele Anne
    September 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm  - Reply

    Good for you, Zach! If the passion isn’t there, move on. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

  • Leif Hurst
    September 12, 2015 at 10:46 am  - Reply

    I was wondering what was up but I’m here to support you no matter where you go.

    … as long as you don’t shave that epic beard of yours.

  • Anthony Tripoli
    September 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm  - Reply

    I wrote for Fstoppers, not sure if we were there at the same time or not, but it only lasted for about 6 months for me. Honestly it was hard to balance a blossoming full time career in photography as well as coming up with quality original posts twice a week. I often found myself reduced to regurgitating shit I found across the internet. Soon I found myself just trying to expose the work of different photographers, this was back when we were paid off of how many photos were in a post.

    I enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with people on such a large scale, but it was hard to deliver well thought-out and quality content on the schedules they wanted with the conflicting schedule of having no life at all when working full time in photography and balancing somewhat of a social life.

    Good luck on your next adventure.

  • Deirdre
    January 3, 2017 at 7:20 am  - Reply

    Hey Zach,
    Good for you! I understand and I have been following the process of all of the photo blogs and they are all doing the same thing. Except for The Phoblographer. Do what your instinct calls for. While I am forever a Jersey Girl and had to move back to NJ, I lived in L.A. for 10+ years, so have a Tito’s Taco and a #1 with grilled onions and a chocolate milkshake from In-N-Out for me please 🙂 Thanks!

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