Zach Stadler | Travel and Underwater Photographer

We recently caught up with Zach Stadler, a Travel and underwater photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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What is a typical day like for you?

Depends! I spend a reasonable amount of the year traveling and a good amount at home in Minnesota as well. When traveling, I usually wake up on a beach, a friends couch, in my rental car or a cheap hostel and spend as much time in the water as possible. I enjoy spending a full day cruising around looking for prime shooting conditions. At home in Minnesota a typical day is spent hanging with my dogs, playing drums and probably going to work at a coffee shop.

What are the fondest memories from your upbringing that you feel impacted your life choices and lifestyle today?

I got to travel a bit with my family when I was a kid and a few of our trips were to the Caribbean. I remember being so blown away by the Bahamas. The colour of the water there was unlike anything I could ever imagine. I enjoyed the free feeling I got from vacationing as a kid, I thing that definitely carried over into my adult life and inspired a lot of my choices that led to what I do now.

What/who currently inspires you?

The first photographer I ever got into was Morgan Maassen. His water stuff really revealed the fine detail of the oceans beauty and he is still probably my biggest inspiration as far as artists. As far as places, I am really inspired by deserts right now actually. I enjoy the vast spaces and natural compositions found in sand dunes. I have recently been doing a lot of research about Namibia and Morocco specifically.

What path did you choose after leaving school?

I played a lot of music growing up. I was an avid drummer as well as guitar player. I played in a few bands after school and toured the US a couple times. I never felt like I was in a band where I could express myself artistically so eventually travel and photography started to grow on me more and more.

What have been the biggest challenges you've had to overcome?

Hate to say it, but making a living off doing what I love has been challenging. Work can be inconsistent and travel to remote places can be very expensive. All worth it in the end, though!

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What would you most like to change in the world/environment today?

I’d like to see countries move on to renewable energy and potentially ban single use plastics. I also just want humanity as a whole to understand and respect nature more. I think we are pretty disconnected. We take so much from mother nature and give nothing back.


What do you value most in life?

Freedom, nature and music.


Are there any books/documentaries that have guided your thinking?

Honestly nothing comes to mind. I think friends, places and personal experiences throughout the years have guided my thinking more than anything.


What brings you the most joy?

Playing drums and shooting big waves (even though i’m not that good at it) haha.

What legacy do you hope to leave?

I’ve always thought it’d be cool to pick my favourite 100 photos throughout my life travels and create a little book with short stories about each photo.. Something that tells a story and has a underlining environmental message as well.

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