Zach Sanders is a Photographer

Zach Sanders’ work kept coming across my eyeballs on social media at the beginning of this year. I eventually followed along and was served up a constant array of amazing images, captured fresh off the ocean. Zach captures a unique perspective of his part of the world, also known as Norfolk Island. In our correspondence he has struck me as a really creative, caring and chilled out dude. A committed family man, he is dad to young Charlie and is living his own version of the dream life on his island farm.
Meet Zach
— Lach
"If you feel inspired from looking at one of my images, then I have done a good job." Zach Sanders

"If you feel inspired from looking at one of my images, then I have done a good job." Zach Sanders

Your first reaction when you found out you were going to be a Father?

It was actually a bit of disbelief, excitement, then “oh what have we done!” but in a good way.

What Fatherhood has taught you?

I guess fatherhood has taught me the value of life and how precious these little people are. I would also have to say it teaches you that life is not all about you. You have a family that comes first whereas when you don’t have kids, everything seems to be about you.

What is the most challenging part of being a Father?

Time management is what I find the most challenging. I work a full time job and try to do my photos on the side, as well as my partner having her own business on a dairy goat farm making cheese, so time is the most challenging thing. Especially because we are such a close little family and do everything together!

What is the most rewarding part?

Everything! Seeing them smile, laugh, learn - it really is the most rewarding part. When I hear my little man laugh is just melts my heart.

What is the best thing you have achieved as a Father?

Well Charlie is only two so I don’t think I have achieved too much yet… that might be a good question in about 10 years.

What does having kids make you think differently about?

Everything! I think as soon as Charlie was born I kind of grew up (if that’s such a thing). Everything revolves around what you are going to be doing as a family, not as a single person. You have a huge responsibility now so you have to be thinking about the best for them.

What do you miss about the time before you were a Father?

I can honestly say nothing at all. To tell you the truth I can’t really remember what it was like without Charlie and I don’t think I ever want to.


Tell us about a time when you felt you had no idea what you were doing as a Father? Where you scared?

The moment Charlie was born haha!  Em and I hadn’t really had anything to do with kids before Charlie, so when he was born it was like “Oh now what, how do we do this?” So yeah, you could say I was pretty scared.

Tell us about your how you came be a Photographer?

I always loved photography but as I was always chasing surf, I never had any money as I always worked any job just so I could get in the water. This eventually made me move back home to Norfolk Island having no money. I managed to save for some camera equipment when I was diagnosed with quite bad depression and getting out and shooting in the water took my mind off everything. So from there on it just became my passion and what I loved doing.

What do you try to capture with each photo?

Just the natural beauty of whatever I am shooting. If you feel inspired from looking at one of my images, then I have done a good job.


Dream project you’d love to work on?

We are actually working really hard on our dream at the moment which is to be living on the farm and having fresh goats’ cheese and a café and a gallery for my photos. It has been a lot of hard work but I think anything worth much is always hard work at the beginning.

How do you find living and working in such a remote place like Norfolk Island?

It is my home and where I was born so its not hard at all. I have lived probably over half my life in Oz and I think the more you are away from Norfolk, the more you appreciate it. I moved back home about 8 years ago and at first found it a little hard and had to get away at least twice a year but now that everything we are working for is at home, there really is no need to get away other than to travel which me and my partner love. Norfolk is a really special place and blows me away every day, so it is a pleasure to live here.

What's a typical day look like for you...

Get up between 5.30-6am in the morning and look after Charlie until I go to work at the airport. Work at the airport from 8-4 then come home to my little family. If the waves are really good I’ll go shoot from the water or if its in summer every now and then get out in the boat and shoot some spearfishing or just the ocean.

Tell us about the type of life you want to create for your family?

Just a happy healthy lifestyle. We live on a small island, so just to work on our land, surf together, swim together, eat fresh produce off our land - that sounds good to me. We also want to travel with him a lot and let him see other places and cultures. I think that’s really important to open their perspectives up.

Where do you find inspiration?

I have thought about this one a lot and I can honestly say I’m not to sure…Every day life I guess.

What are your strongest memories of your Dad from when you were a kid?

My parents split up when I was about one years old. My dad had always been a heavy drinker so I don’t have too many…

Do you think he did a good job?

I think he could have done a lot better! But you know for me, this has made me even more driven to be the best dad I can. I really want my kids to look up to me and enjoy their dad and remember all the great things we have done together.

As a Father, what do you see your biggest challenge ahead?

Teaching Charlie how to be handy because I’m the least handy person in the world.

How do you want your kids to remember you?

Loving, fun, supportive and probably most of all - someone they can look up to.

Why do you think the role of Fathers is so important in today’s world?

I’m not to sure as I think single parents can do just as good a job, like my Mum did for me though being a male it would have been awesome to have that father figure there to look up to and want to be just like them.