Zach Glassman considers himself an entrepreneur, a photographer and a storyteller. He opened his website Passion Passport this year in an attempt to ignite the wanderlust that exists inside all of us and to demonstrate the transformative power of travel.
Zach was born in Montreal to an American father and Canadian mother. “My father was a travel writer, so the travel bug bit me early. My family would frequently take trips to Central America and we even had a ‘country house’ not in the forests of Quebec, but near a volcanic lake in Guatemala, where my parents first met.”
He is a former competitive swimmer and participated in three Canadian Olympic Trials (in 2004, 2008, and in 2012). “I am still wildly obsessed with the sport of swimming, so when I am not working on my other projects, I am probably trolling swimming results and swimming news.” He speaks six languages (he’s currently studying Portuguese), learning HTML, and working on two start-up businesses.
Zach’s artistic passion comes from a curiosity about discovering new places, new languages, and observing how other people live their lives. “When I left my last job in Hong Kong, I was miserable and the world had been drained of its color. In an attempt to rediscover its beauty, I traveled for nearly ten months and took photos. I shifted my focus to the details and the beauty of other cultures, and the color came flooding back all around me.”
Based now in New York City, Zach says he is obsessed with telling stories – through photos, through writing – and using those stories to inspire and challenge people. “One of the reasons I founded Passion Passport was because I saw companies gifting travel but not telling the incredible narratives that emerge from those experiences,” he says, “When I traveled around the world and built a following on Instagram, I realized the power of telling my own story. I wanted to create opportunities for others to do the same.”
Take a look at Passion Passport here.
Four Pillars – Mumbai, India
I ventured out early one day in Mumbai to explore before a day of business meetings at my previous job. Before I shot this photo, I was immediately drawn to these women. Each wore a distinct impression on her face and wore vibrant colors. The busy train station served as a fantastic backdrop.
The Yangshuo Fisherman – Yangshuo, China
This image was shot along the Li River. The fisherman’s face was lit up beautifully by the lamp in his hand. The magnificent limestone mountains, so characteristic of this region, are visible in the background.
Burning Rice Terraces – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
The man in this photo was burning some garbage or compost in the rice terraces in Ubud on an exceptionally humid day. When he saw me taking his photo, he didn't look the slightest bit alarmed, but actually turned, smiled, and waved.
Gum Tree Sunrise – Esperance, West Australia
This is one of my favorite photographs I have ever taken. It was shot at dawn while I was driving from Perth towards the pristine beaches of Esperance, West Australia.
First Catch – Yangshuo, China
Beautiful reflections and a lone fisherman on the Li River in Yangshuo make this photo a personal favorite. I will also never forget the walks and bicycle rides I took through rice paddies and small villages.
Serengeti Elephants – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Visiting Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was an exceptional experience. There is a moment when you find yourself near majestic creatures like these ones—in their natural habitat—that is very difficult to describe. There is an overwhelming quiet and stillness to the scene, and it is as if time has stopped.