Guestagrammer of the Week: Allison Zaucha
Momenta welcomes this week’s guestagrammer, Allison Zaucha!
Tell us about your journey as an image-maker and how you got to where you are today.
When I was going to college at East Carolina University I had planned on being an art major as I had been creating art my whole life. Upon arriving at orientation the art advisor said that “75% of art students don’t graduate in four years.” This was due to an overly packed curriculum and I knew I wanted to finish my degree in four years so I went to the business school. I obtained a Business Management degree with an Art Minor, through which I took two photo classes, and worked at the school newspaper, The East Carolinian, for three years as photojournalist and photo editor.
Looking back this was a really helpful trajectory for me as a freelance photographer. My junior year my photo class was encouraged to submit to a national juried exhibition—I was accepted into the show with a 30″ x 40″ diptych print and later found out that I won the show. I was elated and it was that moment that I describe as the “kick in the pants” that I needed to push past my fears and become a full-time photographer. When I graduated I began second shooting for a wedding photographer and building up my own photography brand and I’ve been doing that ever since.
What stories or issues are you most passionate about covering?
Women’s issues, social justice, education, immigration, and human rights stories.
Where do you look for inspiration for your work: books, movies, authors, photographers, art, certain people?
I love studying films and television as I watch them — really dissecting the arc of the story, plot line, character development, and how they carry the viewer through emotionally. Some films and shows I find inspiring for a variety of reasons are the 13th, Abstract, The Defiant Ones, Shawshank Redemption, I Am Not Your Negro, and Waste Land to name a few. I also find a lot of balance and perspective in comedy such as Hasaan Minaj, Dave Chappelle, Aziz Ansari. Some people who inspire me are James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pramila Jayapal, my mom, Cathy Hughes, Michelle Obama. There are so many inspiring photographers, but these are just some of whom I admire: Mary Ellen Mark, Dan Winters, Zun Lee, Sophia Nahli Allison, Ruddy Roye, Zoe Strauss, Daniella Zalcman, Laura Pohl, Jessica Rinaldi, Gordon Parks. Books that fill me up are The Tao of Pooh and The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.
What social media or news feeds do you follow regularly?
I regularly tune into The Daily by NYT, WAPO, Time. I usually check Instagram and Facebook for social media,
What can we expect to see this week from your guestagramming on our Momenta Instagram account?
The stories I followed during my Project Los Angeles workshop — two children, Brett and Francisca, who live with chronic illness and find a lot of joy from going to Coach Art activities, an organization that provides arts and sports programming for families living with chronic illnesses.
#Seizethemomenta, and follow @momentaworkshops on Instagram to see this photography feature!
About the author…
Cosima Reichenbach is a research and development team member and content developer at Momenta Workshops. Her expertise is in visual communications and social media.