Zoe Rain | Hard Work and Getting Lucky

Seattle born Zoe Rain has already accomplished a lot in her young, creative career. By the age of 20, she was touring the world with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as their official photographer. The list of artists she’s worked with include Lorde, Chance the Rapper, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus and more. Now based in Chicago, Zoe lives in the same studio where she shoots editorial covers and personal projects in her dream loft/studio setup.

In our convo, Zoe and I discuss the importance of establishing connections and how she handles herself on tour, on set and what this experience has been like for her so far. She shares artists she was starstruck by, what’s in her DM’s and answer some of aspiring concert photographer’s questions. I hope you enjoy this episode Zoe Rain as much as I did.

Zoe Rain Quotes

“It’s so cliche but those are the moments under high stress that you’re going to figure it out.”

“It was a really good avenue looking back. It really taught me how to shoot in harsh conditions. Like very contrasted or dark light with fast movement with unpredictable people with crowds and loud noises and having to climb over things to get shots.  Its kinda like a field guide to shooting.“

“I got to shoot portraits of Ed Sheeran those are things that are very lucky situations and moments I was lucky to be in an I feel like I happen to keep being in those situations”

“And also being super supportive online and voicing constantly saying the nicest things and after certain point you either have to believe it or continue to say “nah, nah, I’m shitty”

“I try to be a very humble person and take everything into perspective so I’m always going to be super critical of myself but the support’s been helpful for that negative voice in my head.”

“I wanted work with dolphins but thank God I didn’t because Seaworld is horrible”

“It’s a combination of luck and hard work of course”

“It’s not a natural thing to be a celebrity”

“I don’t want to be forgettable by the work that they see my do.”

“The only seperation between people that people that make it and the people that don’t I feel is the people give up, get discouraged and stop shooting. The ones that stick around and fight through it; You’re gonna eventually make it get better and figure it out.”


“My number one goal is to make people look beautiful, no matter what”

What you'll learn

2:20- How Zoe learned to shoot

3:24- Getting her foot in the door

6:00- Where Zoe found confidence early in her career

7:06 Growing as a photographer

9:00 Zoe’s approach to assignments

11:20 Growing up

13:07 Making a connection

15:06 Mistakes aspiring concert photographers make

18:17 Staying positive and making $$$

23:22 Marketing and finding work

25:00 Looking back at old work

26:26 On getting a studio

28:57 Planned vs organic poses

30:00 Connecting with talent 

33:20 Updating Website and Instagram

34:59 On Shooting Music Videos

38:57 Starstuck

42:14  DM’s on Instagram

44:32 Upgrading you camera

45:40 Finding Inspiration

47:15 What’s next?

48:19 Zoe’s latest work