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Exploring Life & Business with Zach Swinnen of Legendary Shutter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zach Swinnen. 

Hi Zach, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I first started my photography journey as a hobby. I actually got a camera when I first moved to St. Louis 5 years ago as something for me to use to get out of the house when I wasn’t working since I didn’t know anyone in St. Louis yet. I’ve always had an artistic side, but I had no idea how much I would love photography or how much people would like the photos I took. I started to post some of my photos that I took of friends on Instagram and it wasn’t too long after my initial posts that I was asked to be a second shooter for a wedding. 

That’s when I really fell in love with the art of photography. I didn’t even notice, but it started to become a part of most everything I thought about. I was then a part of another wedding for one of my friends, and that’s when I decided I wanted to make photography more than just a hobby. 

I tried to promote myself on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat even, but marketing myself was a lot harder than I thought. I didn’t get any new gigs and I started to think that maybe photography will only be a hobby. I got to a point where I didn’t have any new photos to promote myself with and there were two big events coming up in St. Louis that I knew I could get some great candid photos at. those two events were 12 Bars of Charity and Mardi Gras! 

I was a bit skeptical at first taking my camera to crowded places of people, especially intoxicated people, but I took the risk and it paid off. From there on out, I was starting to get recognized more and taken more seriously as a photographer rather than just a guy that has a nice camera. 

I then made my logo, website, and came up with a name for the business I wanted to make. Covid hit and it really gave me the time I needed to dedicate to making the hobby into a business, so in a way, I’m thankful for covid. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It most definitely has not been a smooth road. I had a huge problem with exposure since I am not originally from St. Louis and I’m from a small town in Southern Illinois. Persistence is key when you are following your dreams, and if there is one thing that I’ve learned throughout this journey, is that if there is something you want to do with your life, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. thank them for their opinion and keep grinding! I was listening to a podcast by a guy named Case Kenny, and he said that if there is something you aspire to be, start introducing yourself as that. When I heard that, I stopped telling people that “I do photography on the side” and I started saying “I’m a photographer.” You have no idea how much of a positive impact that had on me. Not only are you taken more seriously, but it makes you feel good about owning that part of you as well. 

I still don’t have the exposure that I would like, but I’m sure that eventually you’ll see my name around! 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I don’t just do one style of photography and I am always open to try something new! So far, I’ve done weddings, events, maternity photos, boudoir, portraits, family photos, and I’ve done some creative photos as well. If I had to choose a preferred style, portrait photography would be at the top of the list. 

I think that my eagerness to grow not only myself but my brand and the experience that my models have while shooting is something that sets me apart from others. I never want someone to feel uncomfortable or nervous when shooting with me. I always try to do something that hasn’t been done before so that each shoot I do is unique in its own way. I don’t want to be a photographer that uses the same poses, locations, and editing for every shoot. To me, that takes away the emotion that lies within each picture. 

I’m most proud of taking this hobby that started out as a way to get out of the house and turning into something I love and also my business! I never once thought that I would be my own business owner, but never say “never” right? 

My pricing for shoots is as follows: 


$140-One Hour Shoot 

$280-Two Hour Shoot 

$650-Full Day Shoot 

$150-Pet Portraits 


Packages start at $1,500 

I also have a store on my website of all kinds of merchandise with my logo on it as well! 

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
If you are interested in working with me or have any questions about me or my services you can contact me by my website, DM me on Instagram, or send me an email! 

My website is 

Instagram: @thezswin or @legendaryshutter 


Contact Info:

Image Credits

Allie Swinnen
Taylor Brumley
Tyree Trimble
Tyler Schmidt
Julia Huffman

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1 Comment

  1. Jane

    September 13, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Wonderful portraits!

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