interview travel

Live Your Best Life : A Chat With Zack Kalter

10/23/2017Jake Ryan

So if you’ve ever discovered the Instagram account of Zack Kalter, you’ll likely be hooked by the incredible photos of Zack travelling the world and capturing it all in the most amazing way. 

It always seems Zack is somewhere new, and it’s always somewhere incredible. From LA or New York to Mykonos, Zack spends his time in the most amazing places and living an enviable lifestyle. 

We recently got chance to speak to Zack and ask him a few questions about his life and his travels. 

Hey Zack, tell us a little about yourself. 
What’s up! Well there’s a lot to me but I’d have to say I’m just a guy trying to inspire people to live their best life. I like to keep it simple and enjoy each and every day as it comes. I’m just pumped to be alive!

Your photos are absolutely incredible, what equipment do you shoot with?
I appreciate that! Honestly, I use whatever gets the job done. I mostly shoot with my Sony A7Sii, but in all reality it’s the edit that will make or break your photo. I try and shoot everything in RAW so I have the most information to work with in Lightroom or whatever editing app I choose. I use the Zeiss 24-70mm f4 and the 55mm f1.8 for portrait type shots. But again, editing is the key. I get asked so much about my gear… if I can give any advice I would say invest in learning Lightroom/photoshop and buy the Adobe photography plan instead of expensive gear. 

How much time goes into planning out your photos?
I’ve gotten a lot better over the past couple years.  Composition is a huge deal and I’ve been more into trying to tell a story with the photos I shoot. If the story isn’t there then I try to create an emotional response with the viewer.  At the end of the day the connection between the photo and the viewer is all that matters. But, I’m a perfectionist and some photos will take me hours of tweaking to get to the point where I really love it. 

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to take photos like yours? 
This goes back to the equipment question. I would fire up YouTube immediately and watch Lightroom tutorials and practice along with them. There are so many free resources out there that will give you a starting point.  After you get the gist down you can start tweaking and creating your own style. 

Anyone who finds themselves on your Instagram page will find it hard to not be overcome with jealousy. It seems like you’re always somewhere new, how often are you currently travelling?
I NEVER want to make anyone jealous. I travel because I have always wanted to and I finally started thinking bigger and learned that anything is achievable if you want it. I go through phases where I am on the road for months at a time and then I’ll be home in LA for a few weeks. I’d say I travel about half of the year. 

What’s been the best travel experience you’ve had?
This one’s tough. Every experience is a unique experience and I think that’s one of the things I like most about traveling. But I’d have to say our trip to Japan was one of my favorites. We got to spend a week in Tokyo (which is an awesome city) and then got to snowboard in Niseko for a week in some of the best snow I have ever seen. What made the trip extra special was serendipitously running into the GoPro and SkiWeek teams who happened to be in Niseko at the same time. I ended up getting to hang with my buddy Rory (Kramer) and met a bunch of cool creators.  Maldives was also pretty epic. 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Most of my “crazy” things are considered more on the spontaneous side. Helen and I booked a one way trip to Thailand and ended up staying out there for a month with zero planning.  We had nothing but the first 7 days covered so it was quite the experience. 

I’m sure you get asked this on Instagram daily so I apologise, but how do you manage to travel so often?
Traveling can be done on a budget of any size. It really depends on what you want your experience to be. The first thing you have to do is create an income stream or job where you can work from anywhere in the world. I made this a goal of mine from an early age and have made most of my business decisions around the concept of working remotely.  

Do you believe Instagram has influenced your style in any way?
I think it has. I attempt to define my own style on a daily basis but I love seeing what other creators are up to. There are so many guys and girls killing it in the social media space and it’s inspiring to see their successes and growth. 

Is there anything you don’t like about social media? 
I love social media, don’t get me wrong, but I do know that it can consume your life if you’re not careful. It’s easier for me to justify social media use because I earn an income from it. I do think it’s important to shut it off from time to time to refocus on priorities and actual real life relationships. 

I think it’s safe to say you’re living the dream of thousands of people. But what are your dreams/hopes?
Yea I live a very blessed life, but anything in life takes work and we put a lot of work into the content we create. That being said, I wouldn’t change it for the wold. I have many dreams, some small and some big. I’d like to start helping others on some level, maybe starting a charity or something along those lines where we can actually make an impact on humanity. At the end of the day we’re all going to die so helping others in some capacity would be a dream of mine. 

What else makes you happy?
Following up on that last answer, I think we all grow and change as we get older. With each year that passes, I start to realize what’s really important in life. As basic as it sounds, being healthy and having strong relationships with friends and family matter most and make me the most happy. 

Who/What inspires you?
I find inspiration in a lot of different things. I find it in my parents and the way they raised me, I find it in content creators, I find it in other travelers, and I find it in much bigger things like my relationship with God.  I think you can extract inspiration from so many different places if you open your eyes to finding it. 

And finally, what do you have planned for the rest of the year? 
Man, lots of big plans! Traveling a ton of course and some bigger personal business projects that I am excited to start working on. More on that later but I’ll start to chat about it in the new year. You’ll have to keep up with my journey on Instagram ;)

Make sure you follow Zack on Instagram HERE
And on Facebook Here

Thanks Zack for taking the time to chat with TravelFoodFilm

All photos in this post belong to Zack Kalter.

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  1. "Never want to make anyone jealous"


  2. Nice article, thank you for the sharing

  3. I would love to visit some of these!!
    Reference: living in washington state

  4. While there are no formal obstacles to wearing something eccentric, even if it's a photo for your passport, you need to be careful with your dress code. take a good id photo


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