Clicky

 

PICK YOUR PHOTO OP


Who isn't beaten by the road trip bug once in a while? Who didn't wish to sport a professional kickass shot of themselves in a spectacular setting? Who didn't buy a semi-pro DSLR for that, later realizing that it's not the camera that kicks ass? Who didn't "befriend" a creative photographer and kept saying "If only they lived closer..." or "The next time I come to their town..." Who didn't travel and wish to have money to bring their photographer along?

Zorz Studios will be there for you. We are going on a month-long USA road trip around the entire country visiting all major cities and wonders of nature. Whether you live there or were waiting for a reason to visit the Antelope Canyon, Niagara Fall, New Orleans, desert, Rocky Mountains, Hollywood, this is the chance for us to finally work together!

Not only will you save on the studio travel fees, but also score a 25% discounted photo tour rate!

If you are not able to make it to the trip, there are still ways to benefit or get involved! During the project fundraising campaign, you can buy a studio credit at 15-20% discount good for future shoots or events. Or, you can support the project by donating a small amount—we'll still have something to give back to you! And, you can witness all the fun and challenges of RV traveling, boondocking, and photography because we will be trip-logging, vlogging, and streaming all along! Read on.

And of course, we can simply meet at a campfire dinner if we pass your neck of the woods!
 
11800

Estimated miles to drive

31

Number of US states to visit

10000

Estimated costs of the journey

6

Max number of people traveling

 

HOW WE ARE ROLLING IT


The original idea was to take a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation. However, it occurred to us: in his 10+ years of photography career and travels, Ed connected with so many good people around the world and the US that it would be a shame not to meet them in person or give a hug again. As Francis Bacon quoted in 1625, "If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain". The next thought was: why not offer a photo shoot for those interested? And finally, he realized that with past clients covering his travel expenses for destination shoots, wouldn't others be interested in doing the same without paying for extra airfare and hotels? The idea of ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour was born.

We are far from new to the long road trips and camping but with teen girls on such an extensive journey, our small SUV or even a rented van would be a challenge. An RV it is, then, despite us never driving anything larger than a 15' U-Haul truck! We could have gone with a 6-person 24' RV but found a sweet rental deal for a 31' 2015 Jayco Redhawk through an Airbnb of RVing, Outdoorsy. Besides, somewhere midway in California, we'll be joined by a couple flying in from Poland, our niece and her BF, for the return leg to NYC. We'll also invite our ASPCA rescue cat. See, we need room.

RV-ing turns out to be some beast to tame. Class C Motorhome, dump stations, campground, Walmart, KOA, RV parks, Bureau of Land Management, bubble, boondocking, blue boy, black water, gray water, portable water, fresh water, generator, dry camping, liquid propane (LP) gas, camper battery, generator, 12-volt DC power, 120-volt AC power, inverter, converter, hookups, shore power... the head is spinning when you start digesting the forums and tutorials. Unlike some user manuals, this isn't something you can "figure out" so we are spending hours reading and watching YouTube videos. Later, it will be our turn to share the tips and experience! See "Follow the Trail" below.

So, how do you even plan out such thing? How do you know where and when you'll be in your 22nd day of the journey, how to weight in your driving abilities and preferences, how to plan refueling while optimizing stops, where to camp, how much to plan on spending, what to see, and how to put it all together? We researched many tools and services and entrusted our itinerary to the online RVTripWizard, a modestly priced subscription service that allows you to address such uncertainties and save hours by easily planning your adventures online, all neatly presented.
 

Length

31

feet


Sleeps

8

people


Speed

58

mph


Efficiency

9

MPG


 

TOUR STOPS AND DATES


Dates may adjust slightly, please reference the latest schedule here or double-check with us prior to booking. Note that some dates indicate a late evening arrival so the following mornings are open for shoots. Get in touch, we'll discuss!

NIAGARA FALLS

August 6

CHICAGO, IL

August 7 (partially booked)

OMAHA, NE

August 8

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK

August 9 (partially booked)

MOUNT RUSHMORE / DEVILS TOWER

August 10

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

August 11

OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER / GRAND PRISMATIC SPRING

August 12

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

August 13

OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST

August 14

ONEONTA GORGE / MT. HOOD NATIONAL FOREST / THOR'S WELL

August 15 (partially booked)

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

August 16

REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK / SAN FRANCISCO, CA

August 17 (partially booked)

BIG SUR / LAKE TAHOE

August 18 (partially booked)

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

August 19

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK / LOS ANGELES, CA

August 20

DISNEYLAND

August 21 (partially booked)

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

August 22

LAS VEGAS, NV

August 23 (partially booked)

GRAND CANYON

August 24 (partially booked)

HORSESHOE BEND / ANTELOPE CANYON / ZION NATIONAL PARK

August 25 (sold out)

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK / ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

August 26

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

August 27 (partially booked)

BOULDER, CO / GREAT SAND DUNES / TAOS PUEBLO, NM

August 28

SANTA FE, NM / WHITE SANDS / CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK

August 29

HAMILTON POOL

August 30

AUSTIN, TX / HOUSTON, TX

August 31

NEW ORLEANS, LA

September 1 (sold out)

SAVANNAH, GA / CHARLESTON, SC / WILLIAMSBURG, VA

September 2 (sold out)

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA / WASHINGTON, DC

September 3 (sold out)

PHILADELPHIA, PA

September 4 (partially booked)

THE TOOLS


 
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (19)

Cameras and Portable Studio Lights

Natural light can be magical but it is the portable speedlights that turn an artist into a geeky virtuoso. Full-scale studio lights are obviously too bulky for a road trip but when you look at our on-location portfolio, realize that all those dramatic effects were achieved not in Photoshop but on the spot using the little magic tools that went around the world and will come to you this time...
 
 
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (20)

Drone, GoPro, 360° Camera

We'll have a little arsenal for an adventurous video footage of our trip and will gladly lend the equipment for some crazy action shots! Imagine a bird-eye view of your high-fashion shoot on a mountain ridge! Or seeing those Pacific Ocean waves engulfing a hot couple on a beach from above. Or an extreme sports footage of you going wild on a Yamaha or Dodge Tomahawk in a desert...
 
 
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (18)

Underwater Equipment and Lights

Having a decade of underwater photography experience, we've built skills and the pro-level Ikelite rig, including DS160 and DS51 strobes, to offer a wide range of underwater sessions, from fine art to engagement to maternity to kids and youth. As we only do freediving, you just need a pool! However, we have some hope for natural wanders like Lake Tahoe. ;)
 
With such set of cool tools and a whole lot of locations to choose from, here are the types of shoots for you to consider (click for samples). Remember, you can travel across the country to a magnificent background of your choice, or we can do a photo session in your backyard, as long as it is along our route!

TOUR SPECIALS AND SUPPORT


Any way you look at this, it's a venture, an artistic project that needs funding and we set everything up on KickStarter. Luckily for you and us, fundraising is as rewarding as it gets! We are happy to slash our regular prices to help even more people jump on board. So, whether you want to meet us in the Death Valley or New Orleans, or save big on our future services that you have in mind, anyway, this is the best time to act! Planning a first birthday, mitzvah, or Sweet 16? Perhaps even a wedding? When else can you get 15-25% off?? You save big, we get the funds for this journey.

IMPORTANT: The local (NY tri-state) discounts are only valid while the Kickstarter fundraising lasts. You can postpone the booking until closer to the tour but no discount will be offered, unfortunately. Also, booking is subject to availability as only 1-2 sessions can be handled per location. Do not regret missing out.
 
The next five clients to book a half-day or longer photo session via a pledge on Kickstarter will receive a free 20-page 10x10 photo album filled with striking images from the photoshoot, courtesy of our tour print sponsor PhotoKrafft. Both "Catch Me If You Can" and "I'll Be Back" sessions qualify! 05/04/18 UPDATE: Sorry, this offer is fully claimed. Check back for new ones!
PhotoKrafft_claimed
NEW! The next three clients to book a half-day or longer photo session will receive a free makeup service by Diana Margulies of Babydoll Beauty Boutique to make the most out of the creative experience. Limited to the "I'll Be Back" sessions in NY/NJ area; only makeup artist's transportation fee will be due.
BBB
 

FOLLOW THE TRAIL


ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (12)
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (11)
Such journeys are bound to be full of adventures, troubles, surprises, discoveries, mishaps, achievements, mischief, and fun. We will be reporting it all to our close friends but welcome anyone interested to follow us! We'll do our best to entertain, educate, and unearth all we do and learn. It will be fun to see your reactions and support there!

As with the previous big trips, we'll continue using our favorite trip journaling platform, PolarSteps. We wrote an extensive review of the service as one of the top 5 travel journals. It beats our regular blog as it automatically logs your route and stops, you can add any cool stories, including photo and video, friends can comment, everything is designed into a gorgeous interactive presentation with stats, and then you can put it all together in a neat photo book with no design effort!

If you aren't into detailed and organized blogging, you can enjoy quick occasional peeks on social media. We'll be doing FB check-ins and posts, IG stories, live videos, YouTube vlogging, and of course SC streaks for the girls' friends.
 
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (4)
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (8)
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (9)
ZORPHOTOUR: Zorz Studios US Photo Tour 2018 (6)
 

THE CREW


Here's the core of the team, with two more peeps flying from overseas and jumping on board midway in California for the return leg.

Ed

Husband

Lead Photographer


Project founder and careless creative director

Lara

Wife

2nd Photographer


Crew's soul and voice of reason

Evelyn

Daughter

Video Editor


Final Cut anime editor tasked with vlogging

Lisa

Daughter

Entertainer


Life of the party and troublemaker

Yuko

Cat

Gentle Soul


A hallucinating tender little thing

FAQ (A MUST-READ)


Below are the tour-specific Frequently Asked Questions. Please familiarize yourself with them prior to contacting us, we'll direct you back here if you haven't yet. For general questions about studio policies that apply across the board, please also refer to this page.

General

1You lost me... Am I boarding your party bus to put up with you for 2 weeks and be photographed in Grand Canyon at a discount?
Nah... You either: 1. Check our tour schedule to coordinate your photo shoot at your favorite US spot and then fly/drive/run there to meet us. 2. Forget the tour and just buy some studio credit to score a discount for a photoshoot back in NY area that is often asked for but not so often given. 3. Just support with a donation.
2Is this tour real or just a wishful thinking?
We are serious and committed to it. As with any aspect of Zorz Studios business, we nurture our solid reputation and strive to deliver. As a telling sign of our long-term investment into it, we are turning down all local gigs for the tour duration, so we treat this destination project as the only way to maintain the cash flow that month. We have to do it. We also put the multi-thousand deposit for the RV rental. Finally, we already have people flying from Europe to California just for us.
3How safe and certain is it to book a session in _______ on a particular date so far in advance?
The tour route was meticulously planned out before being published to account for the many travel-related factors and allotted time for the potential shoots. So as for the timing, the schedule is fairly solid and safe to go by. Now, some stops will naturally attract more interest from the potential clients. We will be booking on the first-come-first-serve basis and may reach the shoot capacity there. We'll have to stick to the schedule to avoid the latency domino effect for the rest of the tour so we encourage acting fast to secure your spot at a popular location. We will NOT be accepting more bookings than we can fit.
4What if we book in _______ and something goes wrong?
As with any destination shoot, there are factors beyond one's control. There may be a hurricane, you may get sick, our RV may break for a few days, anything that might prevent us from shooting on the scheduled date and location. First, we'll look into the alternatives along the remaining route. If there are none, you get to keep the paid amount as studio credit, good for anything offered by the studio in the future. No contributed money is lost.
5Can you do a full-day "Catch Me If You Can" session?
This would be logistically difficult. We'll have a lot to plan wisely and a day-long stop cannot fit the packed schedule, unfortunately. Such sessions are available in the "I'll Be Back" variation for when we return to NYC.
6The tour isn't until end of summer and I'm interested in a local photo session now. Can I have it before the tour?
Absolutely! Everything will be the same as with "I'll Be Back" packages (we didn't bother creating duplicate "Are We There Yet?" packages.) Pledge now and we'll arrange for a shoot before August!
7Is there a deadline to use "I'll Be Back" session?
Not unless we go out of business. Your pledge will secure your reward for the time you are ready to shoot, dive underwater, do your boudoir session, get married, get pregnant, celebrate your child's first or 16th birthday... It's a smart investment into something you are going to spend (more) money on, anyway.
8What type of portraiture would you recommend for me, for where I live?
Some grand locations will be easier to create a powerful mood and theme but what if it's an average city or suburbs? We invite portrait clients to think of how they want to be "presented" to their friends and families, what makes them, what speaks of their character, their hobbies, interests, passion, beliefs. Since this is highly subjective, we wouldn't throw a standard approach on everyone. We can do a beautiful portrait session on a beach or in a park for a bubbling family with kids, an adventurous dramatic shoot for an engaged or married couple, or it would speak volumes if we instill some thoughts and meaning into your soul portrait. If that meaning is deep and complex, it certainly does not have to be all smiling. Do some homework and tell us about yourself. Depending on the depth of such portraiture, we'll decide on the session length (1, 2, or 4 hours) and you'll be able to proceed to the Kickstarter pledge.
9What is included into your tour packages other than noted time?
Every package secured during the limited time Kickstarter campaign will offer all images in high resolution processed on a basic level (color correction, exposure, contrast, etc.). We cannot give you the number of them, it will depend on the pace of the session and it will be all images taken except for the faulty or duplicate ones. On top of those, a set number of advanced-processed images -- called Master -- will be included as follows: 1 hr - 5, 2 hrs - 10, 4 hrs - 20, full day - 30. All images will be delivered electronically via downloading from your gallery. The turnaround time will be 2-8 weeks after the tour is over.
10Is there a deadline to sign up?
You can try signing up the day before we hit the road, you'll just be paying full price. If you are interested in saving money, there is a deadline. The fundraising campaign will only last until May 21,2018 after which no rewards and discounted service will be offered as advertised. All services will switch back to their normal pricing structure.
11How do I get started?
If you are simply helping with your donation, go with the first "Supporting Characters" options on Kickstarter. We will follow up to discuss your reward. If you are interested in doing a destination or tristate-area shoot, first contact us to check for availability and talk about what works best for you, then you will proceed with the pledge on Kickstarter (preset or custom). As the final step, we'll set you up in our studio's booking system reflecting your package and the amount you already pledged.

Locations/Travel/Timing

1How far in advance will you know the dates for sure?
The dates are already set and we do not plan on changing them.
2What time of the day should we target?
While dates is something we have to adhere to, it is the time of the day that we are kindly requesting you to be flexible with. With all involved, unlike our local shoot we cannot guarantee a start exactly at 2:00 PM, for example. We can guesstimate whether it's first or second half of the day but as we get closer to it, we'll be able to narrow down the hours for you.
3I see you'll be in _______ on August __. Will you be there all day?
This will vary. First, we may arrive late night on that date, offering sessions the following morning only. Some stops are planned for a few hours only while others - 24 hours. Just let us know what your considered location is and we'll discuss the particulars with you, advising of the planned stay there.
4The photo op I have in mind is not listed on the tour schedule. Are you willing to shoot elsewhere?
Quite possibly! First, we only listed major stops and landmarks. There are probably many more right along the way, including yours. And, if you eyed a really-truly-madly unique backdrop or photo opportunity away from our path, we will consider a moderate rerouting as long as it does not have a domino effect on the remaining stops and planned shoots/activities. Tell us!
5I live just 2 hours out of your route, can you take a little detour to photograph me?
Some tour legs are more intense than the others and already max out our driving capabilities. If it's not the case for your location, we'll do it! In general, though, we kindly request you take a step towards us and coordinate your portrait session along our way.
6It would be cool to finally meet but I do not have an immediate need for a shoot.
By all means, we'd love to meet! There are so many good people we got to know throughout the 10+ photography career! Perhaps the best option from the logistical standpoint is to join us at campfire for an early dinner (we'll be typically heading off around 3-6 AM). In some cases when passing someone's town during the day, we can briefly stop to say "hi", too!

Financials

1It says 15-20% for an "I'll Be Back" package. What exactly will my discount be?
During the limited fundraising period, first-time clients automatically get 15% off their "I'll Be Back" packages. Returning clients who booked before will enjoy 20% off. For "Catch Me if You Can" packages the discount is the same generous 25%.
2Can this work for a wedding? Can I secure a discount on something other than a portrait session after you are back?
Anything you wish! Kickstarter does allow pledging more than the preset amounts seen on the project page. For example, although the listed "I'll Be Back" maximum amount is $800, you can pledge $3,200 which will turn into $4,000 to use as a studio credit towards your wedding package!
3Can I combine these specials with any other discounts or specials?
Unfortunately, no. These are deeply discounted already and we have to continue generating a sustaining income to support business and families. As such, tour special discounts are taken off the list prices.
4How does the payment plan work? Is there a deposit, when is the balance due?
Unlike our regular bookings, this fundraiser's goal is to make ZORPHOTOUR project possible. All funds are pledged and collected during the campaign in full. If you prefer to break up the payments, you are welcome to book outside of the Kickstarter campaign just as normal but no tied rewards will be offered, unfortunately.
5Ok, I want to support with N amount but it's not listed and I don't see rewards that interest me. Can we customize something?
Absolutely. Just get in touch with us, name the amount and your needs, and we'll figure something out for you! Or, you can use the "Make a pledge without a reward" option on top of the Kickstarter "Support" column.
6Say I want to pledge $150 which falls between two rewards and has two rewards below. How will we figure out the reward?
It will never be a problem. The key thing is that you pledged an amount; we will chat to match the best reward that works for you! For example, if you pledged having a digital restoration of 4 old photos in mind, you will not be given an hour-long business consultation instead. :) In other words, do not worry about the tier of the reward, you will never be under-rewarded or forced an unwanted one!
7I just want to support with a modest amount, without any photo session. Will I get a hug in return?
Two hugs and more! We want to show a greater appreciation so we set up non-shoot rewards like free retouching, photo restoration, photography mentoring, business consulting and advising, and more! Check them up on Kickstarter!
8I pledged an amount and now want to add more products or services. Can I count on the same discount?
If you do it before the end of Kickstarter fundraising campaign, the same level of rewards will await. Contact us to discuss the best approach. If, however, you decide on this afterwards, any add-ons will be offered at full price.
9Since Kickstarter is "all or nothing" fundraising platform, what happens to my pledge and booking if you don't raise enough funds?
Kickstarter will not charge your (or anyone else's) credit card and we will not receive any of the pledged funds. However, your booking will remain valid, of course, we'll utilize alternative funding and just process your credit card ourselves as we book normally. If you just pledged an amount to support, without needing a photo shoot, we'll part our ways without owning each other this time.

TIMELINE


  • Summer 2016First Intent

    Original time frame for the RV trip as a way to introduce the new family moving from overseas to the country. Project dropped as unrealistic at the time and postponed, possibly permanently.
  • September 2017Project Revival

    With summer 2017 bringing own complications, made a solid decision to commit to the project in 2018.
  • December 04, 2017RV Booked

    After some back-and-forth around the planned jobs for summer 2018, settled for blocked out August, jumped on booking the RV.
  • March 2018Tour Page Designed

    This official page for the tour takes long days to be put together, starting from sketching on the Note 8 smartphone, designing the cover page, and among the toughest tasks -- coming up with the name, ZORPHOTOUR. As with the rest of the studio website, all web design work is done by internally (past skills help).
  • March 22, 2018Kickstarter Campaign Launched

    As a fundraising effort to help cover the massive costs of this tour (at least $10,000) and help alleviate the losses from missed photo jobs at home for the entire month, Kickstarter campaign is launched, first backers hit the 10% of the goal on the first day. To play safe in overcoming the "all or nothing" barrier, only half of the amount ($5,000) is set as a fail-safe goal.
  • March 23, 2018Tour Announced

    The ZORPHOTOUR is officially and widely announced.
  • March 29, 2018First Sponsor and Gifts

    A first sponsor, PhotoKrafft, approached with a special offer of free photo albums to the early birds.
  • April 16, 2018Video Plea for Support Created

    To attract backers who don't necessarily need a discounted photoshoot but are just willing to support the project, a no-thrill video with personal address by Ed is quickly produced, also outlining the costs breakdown.
  • April 18, 2018Kickstarter Goal Achieved

    A heartwarming response to the video address dramatically boosted the Kickstarter fundraising, doubling the donations and reaching the fail-safe $5,000 goal. While the first half of funds was collected by the perspective clients to be shot along the tour route, this wave largely comprised of pure backers with no attached photoshoots in return. A dear friend who wished to remain anonymous donated $850... The next milestone and hope is to reach the actual goal of $10,000.
  • April 19, 2018Two More Sponsors

    Two dear friends, Akshar Sidana of Indianica Academy and JP Sevillano of JP Remdl whom Ed met through NILMDTS volunteer organization, became new tour sponsors demonstrating an unbelievably touching support.
  • May 03, 2018Bad Rap

    One of my Facebook connections, a photographer, teacher, and influencer, mocked my Kickstarter fundraising among thousands of his friends as "vacation on some else’s dime". I do not know how driving 400 miles (8 hours in RV terms) every day and shooting someone else's portraits for 2-4 hours during the stops will feel as a vacation to me... He does destination weddings and should know better. He probably charges his destination brides, even if he spends some time on the beach, right? I saw a load of insults from his fellow photographers eager to pat the star's shoulder. In the past, I helped my friends with similar projects (one being a photo expedition to the Far East, another to bring his couture collection overseas for a fashion show, etc.) and never thought about them as "jackasses", "retards", "lazy f**ks", and so much more. I either donated or quietly went about my own business if I couldn't. Friends can help friends, what is an issue here?
  • May 21, 2018Kickstarter Successfully Ended

    Although the ideal funding goal of $10K was not reached on KS, additional funds were collected outside of it, directly via studio's booking system. A sweeter deal was offered exclusively to our mailing list subscribers, bringing more shoots and surpassing that goal. Thank you all who signed up or donated!

2 Comments

  1. Marina says:

    Hope you have lots of fun, great weather & tons of amazing images to share with us ❤️❤️❤️

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