PRESCOTT, Ariz. - “I just love sandwiches to death, I think they’re awesome."
If you ever get the chance to talk with him, you'll quickly realize Zach Sweeney, a senior at Prescott High School, is an 18-year-old with a BIG personality.
He loves life and, well, sandwiches -- obviously. But photographer Chad Castigliano of Chronicker Photography says that's an understatement.
"Zach is really a great kid and I love how he is just so relaxed in his own skin enough to be able to just be himself in his senior photos," Chad said in an email, "not all kids or adults for that matter are comfortable enough to do these types of things."
He would know. Chad is the photographer behind the camera of the viral Whimsical Woodsman photo series.
Chad said the brains behind the sandwich shoot was all Zach. The two were able to get the approval from the manager of a local Subway shop to shoot on a slow day.
PHOTOS: Zach's Subway senior photos
"I wanted to be different and show my personality," Zach said. "I love my sandwiches."
Another understatement in this story: the photos were a hit.
Zach said he thought the photos were "phenomenal," but he never thought they'd get this much attention -- reaching national outlets like BuzzFeed on its community page.
“I thought there was just going to be like family and friends looking at them," Zach said. "It took off.”
And don't worry, mom loved them too.
The motivation behind the pictures was, Zach said, to break the norm of everyone's usual senior photos.
His message: Stop with the cliché, in-the-middle-of-the-woods photos. Just be yourself.
“You and I both know half of these people couldn’t survive a day out in the woods,“ he said. "That’s my thing. Be you.”
Chad echoed his now-favorite sandwich model's words -- saying he thinks more seniors should be doing things like this for their photos.
"A quote we have come up with for all this is 'be comfortable in your own skin and don't let anybody pose YOU,'" he said. "Now Zach has some senior photos that in 20 years he can look back on and remember who he was at that moment in time, and well, isn't that what senior photos should do?"
“The pictures should represent who you are,” Zach said. “They shouldn’t be what the photographer wants you to look like, it should be what you are.”
Zach said he's "super excited" to graduate high school and speak at his school's graduation.
Next, he said he's headed to California to play football in college.
Sounds like Zach has a bright future and A LOT of sandwiches ahead of him.
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