The picture of photographer Stephanie Zakas — taken by Canadian Sherry Nelson of Fresh Air Photography — tells you a lot about this woman’s adventurous spirit. It’s shot in Iceland, where this Williamsburg-based professional spends two weeks a month.
Zakas is obviously a quick study — learning how to drum up business in a foreign culture or mastering professional photography equipment on the fly as a newcomer working at Disney World.
Growing up, Zakas’ dad had been an amateur photographer, but when she first got out of college in Florida, she worked professionally doing lighting for film shoots. When she figured out she’d rather be a photographer, she started at the bottom, doing the heavy lifting for a husband and wife team who shot weddings. Zakas parlayed that into a gig at what she called a “wedding photography factory.”
When she decided it was time to move on, she acted quickly. Three weeks after deciding to head to New York, she was in Brooklyn. Though weddings are her specialty, she’s also done couture shoots for magazines and at Fashion Week.
Now, in the spring and fall seasons, Zakas will do 30 to 35 weddings and engagements in New York. On top of that is her work in Iceland, a place she fell in love with for “the people, the culture,” and a landscape unlike any other.
Her clients suggest the work suits Zayas. Margot Atwell, whose wedding she shot last weekend, said, “She does amazing work, obviously, but she is also so kind and funny.” Elle Faraday, Atwell’s new wife, added, “She was so organized and thought of everything so it made the whole experience really smooth on a chaotic day.”