Let me start by saying that I had just started photography and was 6 months into it when I met Amir.
I was always fascinated by this form of art and was always curious to learn something new. I even switched my major from Creative writing to Film just because I loved it so much. But then came the main struggle. I was learning the basics of film in school but it always felt like something was missing. I kept scrolling through Instagram and checking different videos and photos but nothing caught my eye. Don’t get me wrong, they were amazing but were very similar to the next post. One day, during my usual Instagram scrolling, I ran into a post on 9GAG’s page that was so unique that I didn’t even know what it was called. It was that moment when you didn’t even know you loved something that you didn’t even know about. I clicked on the person that was tagged and that was how I found out about Amir Zakeri. I went through his posts and immediately knew this guy was unique in his style. I stayed updated with his work.
There was this opportunity to travel with him to Peru and there was no way I was going to let this pass. I signed up instantly and hopped on the plane when the time came. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of the trip but I knew to notice and learn about his work environment. I took notes on what he does in the field and how he went about it. There were many workshops including ones where he told about his life story and the struggles he went through to get where he was. I can’t guarantee this but I can assume most of us were in his footsteps but way down the line. In his workshops he mentioned the creative side of the work but he went in depth about the business side of it too. Looking through his eyes at the world opened up new pathways for me. Some of the techniques were so simple yet it never came to our minds and still can guarantee 99% of the world won’t even know it even though it’s right in front of their eyes.
I thought it was going to be a trip where we just went, learnt 1-2 new tricks, visit the ruins and come back home but I think what we all gained was a bargain. Not only did Amir give us an insight of the world we were heading towards, he did it with an open and welcoming heart. He was patient and made sure everything he told us was clear. The trip was just a week but tears poured out when we left because we felt like we’d known each other for way longer. In only one week I gained knowledge that I don’t think I’ll receive in college or these online course offered by many.
As I mentioned, I was just 6 months into photography and I can definitely tell I’ve improved. It was easy to grasp what was taught and can vouch for the workshop being beginner friendly. Amir has a way with the camera and without, that is so unique to him, people would be lucky to learn.Gumlee Ete - @gumlee_ete
I had the fortune to travel to Peru with Amir in 2019. After traveling with someone in a foreign country for a week you get a pretty good sense of who that person really is. You can tell that leaving the comforts of his home at a young age, struggling and grinding on his own to become the amazing videographer that Amir is today has made him wise beyond his years. I learned a ton from Amir over the course of a week. It was obvious that Amir has really perfected his craft. He demands from himself that he is always original and creative on every new project. He never looks back. During lessons with Amir he never held back. He revealed all his tips and tricks and answered all of our questions. Not only is Amir one of the most talented creators out there - he’s an even better person. See all the work he does to benefit the environment. I can’t wait to get my hands on Amir’s tutorials and to see what else he has in store. I will keep supporting him and his causes!Jay Ritch - @jay.ritch
In September 2019 myself and a group of 9 individuals from all over the world got the rare opportunity to meet with Amir Zakeri and take a 7 day trip to Peru where we could learn more about the process and opportunities in filmmaking.
In this time not only did I receive the guidence and teaching I was looking for but Amir created an environment where we could come together as friends and share our ideas and passion for videography.
I am overwhelmingly grateful for having an opportunity to attend this workshop run by Amir.Innes Simpson - @innes_simpson
Amir's depth of knowledge is only rivaled by his passion. His instruction is clear and engaging. The information he provides is outstandingly easy to follow, even for beginners. A charismatic personality and energy combine to create an environment where you enjoy, and want to continue to learn, to try new things and to create something amazing. Amir is clearly no stranger to film, and his impressive client list is a testament to this. I would highly recommend to anyone and everyone looking to engage in film either recreationally or as a profession to invest in his tutelage right now, and be better off for it.Casey Sholson - @caseysholson
Growing up, I never realized that photography was the one thing in life I didn’t know that I loved so much. I’ve always been astonished with what the right person with a creative eye can do with a camera, I just never thought that I could be one of those people. I graduated and went straight college soon after, only to realize I didn’t know where I was planning to go in life. All I could think about was taking a chance and trying something new, I just didn’t know what that thing was. I was learning all of the wrong things in school and it drove me crazy. I’d always just sit on instagram in class and fantasize what my life COULD look like. I’d look for new pages and new people to follow and reach out to who we’re doing something different. But at the time, everyone was doing the same things, just in different places. Jumping ahead to the point where I’ve taken the chance at trying something new, I decided to pick up this craft and see if it was meant for me. Sure enough, it was the best decision i’ve ever made with my life. At this point, i’m struggling to find ways to showcase my talent in unique ways. After a few months of trial and error in learning new skills, one of my best friends, who I had met at a photography event, showed me her idol. It just so happened to be Amir. I had heard his name around the instagram community before but I had never paid as much attention to him. I eventually looked him up and was blown away at first sight. This was the guy that I had been looking for for so long. I knew this kid was creative and unique the second I saw his page. I followed him and always waited for his posts, they were contagious and I always waited to see what he made next!
My friend, who idolized Amir, came to me one day flipping out upon hearing that he was hosting a masterclass in Peru. Right away, after both growing such a genuine love for this guy, we knew we weren’t passing up the opportunity. We had never been on a trip like this before and had no idea what to expect, nor what we’d take away from it. Though with no hesitation, we signed up and waited gratuitously for the days to get smaller. Meeting and learning side by side from him was a surreal experience of its own, let alone working on projects with him. I took notes on everything he taught me in regards to business, photography, editing, maintaining a healthier way of life and keeping the planet clean and happier. In his lessons, he spoke about his process in getting to where he is currently which was extremely refreshing, considering i’m in the same boat as he once was, years prior. He walked me through step by step on his journey and gave me all of the advice and tools I never knew I needed to make the process easier. He taught me all the things he learned the hard way on his voyage to becoming a successful videographer, regarding business, editing, networking, etc. Seeing his vision and the way he cares about the planet helped make my journey so much easier and more exciting. It gave me a better outlook on everything and it taught me to love the process.
Clearly my expectations for the trip were blown out of the water, as I took away more from that trip than I could carry at once. I thought it was going to be a trip where we meet a really cool videographer and hang w him for a week and learn a few handy tips for our careers. Amir helped educate and persuade us to look at the world in a more compassionate and giving manner. I didn’t know how much I cared about the planet until I met him. He helped give us a sneak peak on what to expect and how to go about every little detail there is to spot in the photography business world. He’s one of my favorite humans to this day and I can’t say I know a more selfless and giving person than him. He was an amazing listener, took everyone’s questions and gave solid and honest answers, as well as made sure everyone understood any and all’s steps crystal clear, guided us step by step in the shooting and editing process and helped us run down the business and marketing world piece by piece. I can’t directly speak for anyone in the group who joined me but saying our goodbyes to such a legend was definitely one of my hardest moments. I cried, hugged, and thanked him for everything he’s done to impact my life in such a positive way. I learned more from him in a week, regarding photography, business, marketing, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, than I ever did in my entire academic career. They were skills that school districts weren’t teaching kids.
Since that trip, I must say I’ve taken all tips and details into thought when constructing my business into something more serious and professional. I have most definitely improved with my shooting/editing skills, as well as marketing myself, networking with new people, keeping myself healthier and constantly in a positive mindset, and keeping the planet clean and healing. It was refreshing to see that the trip was for any and all levels of photographers, whether they were just started out or were an all out professional, like Amir, there was knowledge to be shared all over. This has easily been one of the purest experiences I’ve ever shared and one of the the best trips of my life. He has a way with this craft but there’s so much more in him that you’d never seek to realize. All in all, if you have the chance to meet and work with him, don’t pass it up. You’d be foolish to let the opportunity pass.Cameron Hoffman - @camroho
I found Amir through his Save The Reef documentary and oh man, could the timing have not been any better. In the months leading up to my high school graduation I began to have increasing problems with anxiety, depression, and self confidence issues. Although I had gotten into every college I had applied to and was fortunate enough to have multiple academic scholarships, and parents that would help with the costs of my education, I wasn't happy. A few months pasted and I had only gotten worse, I had decided not to go to college for many reasons. I found myself in the Bahamas when I came across Amirs video and it really got my mind working. Prior to seeing it I only viewed social media as vlogs and Instagram models. I had never realized how of a powerful tool it can be, and the possible positive impacts it can have on the world. Immediately I was hooked to Amir's work, and learning all about videography and photography.
I got my first camera no lie 4 days before I left for the Peru trip. I spent most of the time on the plane reading the owners manual and learning how to work this thing. At this point I am very nervous, realizing I was on my way to a photography/videography masterclass with a bunch of content creators and well seasoned photographers days after receiving my first camera. Expecting to be looked over or looked down on because of my lack of knowledge, I was surprised in the most uplifting way. Not only did he give me props for coming on the trip being brand new to photography, but he was also the most genuine and helpful person I have ever met. Meeting Amir was a wake up call for me, seeing the ways he challenges himself and is constantly pursuing growth on a daily basis was truly life changing for me. My expectations for this trip were blown away after day 2. I was not expecting to learn as much as I did. The atmosphere within the group and the willingness to help was something I had never experienced before.
In my life, I have never had a more influential and life changing 7 days. Meeting Amir was a wake up call for me, seeing the ways he challenges himself, takes care of himself, and is constantly pursuing growth on a daily basis was truly life changing for me. I left Peru a different person, and I 100% owe it to Amir. I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't gone on this trip.Zach Fones - @zachfones
I’m a wedding/family photographer with very basic videography knowledge. During my travels last year, I was inspired by home videos and my experiences to create family films for people. But there was one major problem - I lacked the technical knowledge needed to make these films. Although there were tons of resources available online, I knew I needed help from someone who’d understand creative direction and help sort out all the ideas I had - which I’d only get from an in-person workshop.
That’s when I accidentally came across Amir’s work on Instagram. I had no prior knowledge of who he was or what he did, but his videos stood out from the sea of “travel videos” on social media. They were so different, creative and captivating - which is what I wanted people to experience from my own work. It wasn’t until the release of his documentary that I saw the deep passion that existed in him to create not just cool videos but content with meaning. I knew instantly that I wanted to learn everything I could from a person like that! That’s how I ended up at Amir’s videography workshop in Peru.
At first, I was very skeptical about what the experience would be like, if it was even worth it and if this guy can teach my clumsy self how to make videos I dreamed of making. Those 8 days were filled with hikes, learning and experiencing the culture of Peru, hands-on guidance from Amir on the technical, creative and business aspects of filmmaking and most importantly bonding with other like-minded creatives. It was hands down the best investment I’ve made for myself to date. Even after the trip ended, Amir has always been available to answers questions and continues to provide guidance to help make each of us not just great artists but even better humans.
There are endless options of “workshops” and education courses specific to whatever area of photography/videography you’re interested in. However, I’ve always felt that the information in said courses/workshops are just absorbed and regurgitated - nothing NEW is being taught or in the kind of depth people really need. That was the reason I decided to invest in someone who believed in sharing everything he knew - and in return, I gained an incredible amount of knowledge and confidence to go out and create the work I’ve been dying to make. I’m confident that this online course Amir has developed will be the most valuable material out there because he doesn’t HIDE anything. He shares everything he knows with the sole purpose of inspiring others to pick up their tools and create art that will have a lasting impact on the world.Nimmi Tom - @nimtom_
I fell in love with the learning process when I had the opportunity to study under Amir on a TrovaTrip to Peru in 2019. Based on his social media work that I had seen, Amir’s master level skills in photoshop, premier pro and after effects were none other than expected walking into the trip. However the eagerness Amir processed to share his knowledge and wisdom in his own humble manner was exceptional. I dreaded learning in school but Amir made learning something to fall in love with. Better yet, he made me feel eager to constantly seek the unknown. His passion for his videography and teaching others was exemplified in all of his hands on guidance and detailed explanations on topics. While learning from Amir in Peru, not a single topic or question from our group was untouched or disregarded. Amir was patient and adamant that we all understood his teachings before moving onto the next topic. I believe patience and passion are what make a great teacher and expert. Amir simply possesses both qualities. In the week that I spent with Amir, I learned more from him than I could’ve ever imagined. Some of the topics were simple; The differences between brands/models of cameras. Less simple; editing. And the unknown; reaching out to potential clients. These were just a few of my many notes.
I had never met a human being that ever so carefully considered the impacts of each of their actions on other people and on The Earth...until I met Amir. Amir is a kind and genuine soul with an exceptional talent of teaching others I’m the ins and outs of photography/videography. I am grateful to have been introduced to falling in love with learning and Amir’s insight to videography.Keiko Vassalli - @keikovassalli