We get stuck, we fall into these positions where we call ourselves photographers and think that's all we'll ever be. That's not a bad thing, but the truth is there are so many different outlets we can flow into being photographers. For some of us, that means using our knowledge and abilities to help others. Thats exactly what Jose Rosado did with his new company, Zēro.
A couple months ago I was on my twitter feed and I got a random shout by a twitter account called Press-Zero with fellow writers Zach Sutton and John Schell. Being a writer for Fstoppers, we get people who go through the writers page and contact us all the time, but this was different. The three of us writers are completely different photographers (in terms of style), but know each other very well. I did some digging and later gave up as I couldn't find anything on the subject.
Fast forward a couple months and my friend Jose announces a launch of "Zēro, a Creative agency representing photographers & cinematographers from around the country." My first thought was, finally I know what the hell this random Twitter handle is! My second after perusing the website was, holy crap, this is fantastic! Basically Jose came up with a way to help people who are talented and under-represented. We all know the big names in the industry who are sponsored by Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Profoto, etc. What about those photographers who stay under the radar, those who work their asses off but are doing it because they love it and never dreamed up the intentions of going after the so called real big fish?
Thats where Jose comes in. He's picked out people like John Schell, Jeff Roberts, and 17 year old Justin Amoafo and represented them. There's multiple agencies out there, but something is always lacking. Jose brings to the table the want for others to succeed. He's spent his life going with the grain of social norms that say you need a bachelors, and a masters and work a 9-5 job. He decided to leave it all behind and do what he truly loved by pursuing photography full time. While shooting fashion and editorial, he also established automotive clients such as AJ Foyt Racing, RallyCross, Tanner Foust, USF2000, IndyCar, Grand Am Series, ALMS and NASCAR. After awhile he realized that he was referring out work to other people in the industry if he thought they could do it better than him. He knew his limits in certain genres and landed other people gigs upwards of $25,000. Once he realized he was helping more people, he turned it into an outlet where people could find them. Thus the idea of Zēro was born.
He's taken everything he knows and transferred it in a way to help others. He decided to take something that usually has a negative connotation, like 'zero' and turned it into something else. Jose defines the basis of the company as this
"The word zero - we have a strange relationship with this word in our society. We think of zero in terms of nothing; no money, no time, no value, etc. Much like art as a whole, in reality it’s worthless yet at the same time priceless depending on the viewer.
Yet, for a lot of the world there’s a different meaning:
- Zero in a rifle scope: make accurate
- Zero'ing in on your position: getting closer to where you are
- Pressing zero on an automated machine: you simply want to speak to a real person for help
Simply put - we’re the ones you call for help. We ensure that we’ll help figure out your needs and wants, get on target with your brand and positioning, and most importantly make sure that the shot we take will be as accurate as possible in what you’re looking for."
He's turned his dreams into a way to help others realize their potential, and find them a way to get noticed. In the few weeks since the launch, he's already talked with many outlets such as Phase One, getting everyone working with the site a chance to deal with the company and test out products as well as a non-profit working with the roster on a documentary. The site may not be for everyone, but it gives us a chance to realize we can step out of the box with what we do.