Zen C. Lane

My Photography journey began back in 2008. When I started my road to discovery, I pointed my camera at everything that moved, that stood still, that blinded me or amazed me. I was fascinated but wasn’t fully satisfied, so I decided to do the one thing I never thought I would do…go to Photography school.

I grew up in a very conservative family so making this decision was extremely out of the norm. Even so, I decided to take a leap of faith. After researching multiple colleges, I chose the Seattle Central Creative Academy. It was strictly open for only 32 students, so I tried hard to keep my name on the top of the list. Instead, I was deferred for another 2 years.

As I waited, I worked in retail and took on extra projects to keep my Photography active. 2011 approached and I received a phone call that my name was selected to enroll, I was so excited for my new journey! I completed all my paperwork and financial aid but realized that buying new equipment would be impossible. I started to doubt everything. To my surprise, a close family friend, Al, told me that if I was truly serious about this, that his church, the "Antioch Bible Church," can raise money for my camera. The day I received my Canon 5D II, I knew there was no turning back.

SCCA was the worst and best years of my life, but I don't regret a second of it. I underwent extensive technical training and business branding with the best mentors I could ask for, Robbie and Tomas. I remember so many struggles, especially with finance where I had to sell off some of my equipment to pay rent. I spent the next year and a half borrowing equipment from other students, renting equipment and staying late at the studio until I got my shots in. I was also working retail about 4 days out of the week just to keep up with bills. At one point, I was breaking down and it started to show in my work. I was getting very crucial criticism during presentations and thought this was the end. Unexpectedly, my friends refused to let me quit school and encouraged me to stay. They told me that they would pay my bills if they had to. I was overwhelmed but went to bed that night and thought of only one thing, hope.

Our SCCA class graduated with a total of 28 students in 2013. I graduated with a proud AAS Degree in Commercial Photography specializing in Fashion & People Photography. For the first time, I felt satisfied, accomplished and refined. I wanted to prove those who doubted me wrong but in its place, I proved to myself that anything is possible.

Back at home, I still felt constantly doubted…especially by my parents. All I wanted them to see was my determination and growth. That dreams can be achieved when you put your heart and soul into it. But coming from a low income family, I understand now that there was only so much they can give. And deep down I know they will always be there to support me in other ways. That was good enough for me, and understanding the continuation to drive my own success, not by the opinion of others.

All of these defeat come to show that nothing can truly stand in the way, only fear. What we think we are, people think we are. We have the power to change that – to change how we see the world, not the other way around. And through these experiences, I’ve learned to be brave and take risks. Most importantly, to be proud.

The honest truth is, I didn't do this alone. I was very fortunate to have the best supporting cast throughout my Photography journey. I would not have come this far if it weren't for them. Robbie, Tomas, Kim, Kris, Alicia, Al, Miss Dawn, and to my one & only, Phil.

As an aspiring Artist, I believe in putting forth determination and creativity every day that I pick up my camera. My work focuses on merely interpreting a story through the subjects’ eyes, and perceiving their reflection in the mirror onto a beautiful still image.

I strive to keep my photos as natural as possible, for it captures the reminiscence of that moment. 50 years from now, I can look back and still appreciate the natural beauty of photography. Simplicity is beautiful.

What is your story? I look forward to working with you and bringing your vision to life.


Seattle Central Creative Academy

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