Apr 242017

Zibbz editorial for Blick magazine - Pink Flamingo

Tear sheet - Zibbz

I got to spend some time last month with Swiss brother and sister rock duo Zibbz at their Los Angeles bungalow for a profile just published in Blick Magazine. The magazine wanted to show their home lifestyle, in what it referred to as their “hippie flat,” for an article that would coincide with the release of their new single, “Run,” which just came out on March 10th. They were great to work with, allowing me to shoot wherever I wanted, even climbing up on the roof with me despite the fact that it was in the middle of an unusually hot day. Unfortunately those photos didn’t work out, but I appreciated their effort! If you read German you can learn more about them here. If not, you can at least check out their new music video.


Zibbz editorial for Blick magazine - musicians, available light

Zibbz editorial for Blick magazine

Zibbz musicians editorial for Blick magazine

Zibbz editorial for Blick magazine


Aug 032016

Contestants take part in the AARP/ESA Social Connection GameJam finale at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles, Calif., on Thursday, June 16, 2016.

Los Angeles Portrait Photographer - GameJam

In June, I had a fun time shooting production stills and behind the scenes images of the AARP/ESA Social Connection GameJam finale, which took place during the 2016 E3 Expo in downtown Los Angeles. Taking a cue from Shark Tank, the show pitted the top three groups of contestant teams against one another as they took turns pitching the video games they’d invented to a panel of  judges. Most of the judges held some standing in the world of gaming, such as Robin Hunicke, Sid Meier and Freddie Wong, which I’m sure was very exciting for these young developers. Not a gamer myself, I was more excited that the celebrity judge was the none other than John Ratzenberger, the creator of everyone’s favorite bar know-it-all, Cliff Claven, and who also happens to have voiced a character in every single Pixar film to date. I realize, unfortunately,  that despite being a spry 37-year-old, being excited about this puts me in the category of people AARP was trying to appeal to by adding him to the panel. I doubt most of the contestants, who are current college students, knew who he was, as they were — if even born yet — probably crying in their cribs on the Thursday nights I was watching Cheers with the family. I’m sure they recognized his voice at least. Anyway, I didn’t let that thought bother me and enjoyed watching the students sweat it out in front of the cameras before the winners, Trainwreck Games from UC Santa Cruz, were presented with their $10k prize. Click Continue Reading to check out more images from the shoot.

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Oct 222014

Senior Surfers Jericho Poppler


Jericho Poppler Senior Surfers Portraits


I recently had my first encounter with a surfboard tree. What’s a surfboard tree, you ask? Well, for those of you who don’t know, which I can only imagine is most of you, it’s a part-wood, part-polyurethane, fiberglass and epoxy plant with a few leaves on top that grows about 20-30 feet in height and is exclusively found in the Capistrano Beach backyard of legendary surfer and board shaper Mickey Muñoz. I came across this arboreal aberration while photographing Mickey for my ongoing project on senior surfers. He was one of several new people I have had the great fortune to include in my project since my last posting and one of the most avid all-around watermen I’ve ever met. I first met him and Jericho Poppler, pictured above, at the Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest in early August. It turned out that the two were surfing partners and agreed to meet me at Doheny State Beach a few weeks later to shoot some portraits and action. Both are extremely accomplished surfers. Nicknamed “The Mongoose,” Mickey, 77, excelled in big- and small-wave competitions in the 1960s and was also known for creating inventive moves such as the “Quasimoto.” He later went on to be known as a board shaper and sailor and recently chronicled his life on the water in his 2011 book “No Bad Waves.” Jericho, 62, made her name as one of the first full-time female professional big-wave surfers in the ’60s and ’70s, winning numerous championships including the title of IPS World Champion in 1976, and later won the first women’s World Longboard Championship. All while being the proud mother of five. While photographing the pair at Doheny, I also noticed Mickey’s truck, a pickup with a camper installed on the bed. He told me that he and his wife regularly slept in the back on surf outings, including regular trips to second home in Baja, Mexico. I knew I had to photograph him against it in order to show his lifestyle. We were having too much fun in the water, though, and after several hours, I had to get back for an appointment. Fortunately he was kind enough to allow me to meet him at his home at a later date, where I encountered the surfboard tree. Mickey’s home is organized chaos, an incredible museum of memorabilia and cluttered work areas indicative of a life of nonstop board shaping and tinkering on sailboat parts. I probably could have photographed him in any space there and made an interesting picture, but couldn’t help but be drawn to the tree, a combination resting and storage place for numerous boards. It was great getting to know both of them, and I’m thankful they were so generous with their time.

Mickey Munoz Senior Surfer Portraits

Mickey Munoz Senior Surfer

Mickey Munoz Senior Surfers

Mickey Munoz Senior Surfers


On to Surf City! I also found some connections in Santa Cruz with the help of the Santa Cruz Longboard Union and found some time in August to head up for a few days. There I met up with local surf legend Howard “Boots” McGhee and John Doty. Boots, 66, has been a lifelong fixture of the northern California surfing scene, learning to surf in Berkeley in 1963 before moving to Santa Cruz. He is a founding member of the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum and an environmental advocate who helped establish the Santa Cruz chapter of the Surfrider Association in 1990. Similar to John Moore from my previous post, he too continues to surf after undergoing a full knee replacement 13 years ago. We met at Pleasure Point, one of many breaks in the area and a fantastic spot for longboards. We had a great time talking on the shore while taking some portraits and then jumped into the frigid Northern California water to shoot some action. The waves were small that day, but Boots caught a few and the afternoon light was nice, so I emerged shivering, but happy with what I had shot. Finally there is John Doty, a lifelong surfer with the nickname of “Turtle,” who has recently been sidelined due to a stroke he suffered around three years ago. My original intent for this project was, and remains, to show active surfers who are still paddling out on a regular basis. I wasn’t aware that Doty wasn’t doing so until the day before I was to meet him, when I learned of his setback. I wasn’t sure how photographing a nonactive surfer would fit into this project, but decided to go ahead and pay him a visit anyway. I’m glad I did. In a group of super friendly subjects that I’ve met through this project, Doty could well be the friendliest. We spent about three hours talking at his house, about his and his family’s long history in the sport. In fact, I personally delivered a family heirloom trophy from 1916 that his uncle won when he defeated the legendary Duke Kahanamoku — the man largely credited for bringing surfing to the continental U.S. from Hawaii — to Boots McGhee for inclusion in the surfing museum. While we talked I took several portraits of him, most of which show his bubbly character. But a couple moments also indicated his sadness for not being able to take part in something he has done since the age of 5. Although he’s been out of the water for three years now, I have hope that he’ll soon return. His obstacle at the moment is his balance and the negative effects not riding for three years has had on his confidence. This I can relate to. I begin to doubt my abilities after I’m out of the water for a week. But his mind is sharp and he’s regularly out there riding bicycles, so I’m sure he’ll find himself popping up on a board sometime soon.



Boots McGhee Senior Surfer

Boots McGhee Senior Surfer Santa Cruz

John Doty Senior Surfers

John Doty Senior Surfers


That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll find some new subjects this year before the water temperature drops. Otherwise, I’ll be sure to continue working on this in the spring.

Oct 222010

Show Your Face – Images by David Zentz

Last month I did a series of portraits on the front patio at Hotel Erwin during the Venice Art Crawl. The idea was to create a participatory art piece that people could be a part of making and then come back and see displayed the following month. I’m a big fan of close-up portraits, such as those done by Martin Schoeller, that focus only on the subjects’ faces, particularly the eyes. You can tell so much about someone’s character by studying their face up close and I wanted to do my own take on the concept. The Art Crawl seemed like the perfect forum, as I knew there would be a large number of people passing through and surely some of them would be willing to sit for me. I had more than 100 participants over the course of the night! In order to keep the images spontaneous and also handle the volume of people, I shot only three or four frames per person and gave very little instruction other than ‘do whatever you want.’ I thought it would be interesting to see how people reacted. The results were great, showing a wide variety of expressions, including silly, straightforward, engaged and distant. Over the next month I narrowed the edit down to 1 per person and spent a fair number of hours individually toning and sharpening the images so they’d each be uniform and pop off the paper or screen.

Last night I displayed the results back in the same space where I shot them and was happy to see a number of the participants return to check out the results. All of the images were projected on a screen in a continually looping slideshow and 33 were printed and hung on a curved chain curtain that’s proven to be a great space for hanging art. Thanks to everyone who participated! If you’re interested in purchasing a reprint of your photo you can click on the slideshow above. If you know you were one of the images I included in the print show you can contact me at dz@davidzentz.com to purchase your print. Below is a photo of the exhibit, in case you missed it.

Show Your Face portrait exhibition at Hotel Erwin

'Show Your Face' portrait exhibition at Hotel Erwin

Show Your Face portrait exhibition at Hotel Erwin

'Show Your Face' portrait exhibition at Hotel Erwin

'Show Your Face' portrait exhibition at Hotel Erwin

'Show Your Face' portrait exhibition at Hotel Erwin

Jul 012010

Disgusting Dog Slobber

The slobberingest French Mastiff I've ever seen

Looks like I wrote a lot! Don’t forget to click “Continue Reading” to see more photos

In a week forecast to be plagued with day after day of thunderstorms, standing within arms length of this 175-lb French Mastiff  was about as close as I got to being rained on during my recent trip to Michigan. I spent the last week there, with a 24-hour jaunt to northern Ohio, in order to attend and shoot the wedding of Erinn’s sister and now brother-in-law, Heidi and Seth, who were married in Silver Lake, Mich., on the 26th. Since I was heading out, I decided to take advantage of the trip and spend a couple days visiting my beloved and too-seldom-visited sisters Tammy and Kim, and family, who all live in the area. First visit after flying into Detroit Rock City was with Tammy and Henry, who live on beautiful Lake Orion, an hour north of DTW. Although the forecast called for a day of thunderstorms, only one storm cloud rolled through in the late morning, making a quick exit after 30 minutes and leaving us with nothing but sunshine for the rest of the day. And take advantage of it we did, taking several spins in the lake to go waterskiing, tubing and jetskiing. In the afternoon some friends and extended family came over and joined us. We finished the day with grilled chicken and burgers and ample quantities of beer before I collapsed, exhausted, around midnight. I had taken the redeye in the night before and was running on empty after only 2 hours of sleep.

The next morning I arose at 6:30 and headed south to the home of my oldest sister Kim, who lives in the quaint town of Arlington, Ohio, which is outside of Findlay, which is outside of Toledo, with her husband Dave and 2 of her 3 children, Taylor and PJ. The eldest, Zac, is now living full-time at Bowling Green University and has recently moved off campus and into his first apartment. There I had a great time whooping up on the kids at Wii (at least that’s how I remember it) and catching up on all that’s been going on in their lives.

The last photos are from the end of the trip, skipping over the beautiful wedding that brought me there. There’s a lot to sort through, but I hope to post the photos within the next week or two.

That’s Erinn holding onto her new nephew Myles, who was born to her older sister six weeks ago and, other than the bride, was the center of the family’s attention during the week. I have much more endearing photos of him, of course, but like the humor in this one. The final image was from a visit to Muskegon, where Heidi and Seth live, the day after the wedding. It actually did rain quite a bit that day, but we were fortunate to get a break midday and took advantage by walking out to the beach, where we saw some lighthouses and enjoyed the post-rain humidity that so defines summer in the midwest.

The next morning we slowly made our way back to Detroit for an evening flight home. Along the way we stopped in the capitol city of Lansing and then took a quick drive through the Michigan State campus in East Lansing before stopping for lunch and a brew just east of there at the Michigan Brewing Company. Since we’ve been home brewing, anytime we’re out and about we try to find a local brew pub. It’s a great way to try a variety of great beers and there’s usually great food as well. From there we made it back to DTW and departed. Everything had gone pretty smoothly…

Until we got home. When we got there our friend came to pick us up and had the misfortune of breaking down in the LAX arrivals roundabout. It was just after 10 p.m., which is like rush hour there. So, not the best place to come to a halt. Lucky for him, he was still in the inner lanes at the time and was able to pull out of the way. AAA came to the rescue and after 2 hours we made it back to a garage about a mile away from our friend’s place. From there we walked back to his place and grabbed his roommate’s car and finally made it home. And then we couldn’t find our keys. After 5 minutes of looking Erinn finally found hers and we made it in the house. But not before I picked up my suitcase without having zipped it up, spilling my clothes all over the alley behind the apartment. “A perfect end to the night,” our friend said. You’d think so, but upon opening our apartment door we were greeted with the strong scent of natural gas. It was leaking from a hose on our water heater to the point that you could hear it hiss when you put your ear to it. No getting around this one, we opened the windows, called the gas company and waited an hour for a guy to come shut it off. Then, finally, at 2 a.m., 5 a.m. EST, we managed to end the night. This has me thinking about how there are no free rides, which is something I’ll perhaps elaborate on when I post the wedding photos.

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