ZEAL IMAGES is the name of Zak Shelby-Szyszko‘s chameleon-like photography, creative consultancy and project management entity focused primarily on the music industry – from venues and festivals, to record labels and tech start-up promotions, to being a booking agent and social media manager for artists.
Shortly after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in film theory from Wayne State University in Detroit, Zak created Zeal Images and went on to write, shoot, direct, edit and collaborate on short films at The Detroit Film Center and The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan while working as manager of the esteemed art house, Detroit Film Theatre (located within the Detroit Institute of Arts). Influenced by the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman, Zak developed an understanding of how to use a subject’s placement in an environment to tell a story through both moving and still images.
As a professional still photographer – with credits in such notable periodicals as The New York Times, The Detroit News, The Wall Street Journal and La Vanguardia-Barcelona – Zak has spent years documenting a wide variety of musical concerts and performers, weddings, commercials, and theatrical works ranging from those of the internationally acclaimed Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit to productions at La MaMa E.T.C. and Girl Be Heard! (formerly Project Girl Performance Collective) in New York City.
As BOOKING AGENT for the eclectic, cult, gonzo soul legend SWAMP DOGG, Zak was responsible for revitalizing his presence on the NYC scene with engagements at the BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech, City Winery, Southpaw, and the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series.
(Fun factoid: despite Zak’s hardcore status as a jazz & blues snob, he’s worked closely with 2 of the preeminent hip-hop icons of all time in his long and winding career – with a P.A. credit in Eminem’s low-brow film 8 Mile and production manager credits on several RZA-produced albums!)