Fun with a cheap ring light

I recently snagged a cheapo ring light to mess around with. After knocking out the serious family photos during the Thanksgiving holiday, I had my girls and their girl cousins pose for a few shots before we lost all the light.

Just a bunch of bright, sweet and funny girls who will take over the world soon.


We’re back and why not?

IMG_5243It’s been about two years since I announced I was shutting down Zeffler Photo. Not really shutting down but definitely walking away for a time.

There were a number of reasons to do. Most were reasons I had no idea would be a reason. In the moment I simply felt like I needed to step away. Call it intuition.

My intuition was right on as following that announcement my family had some strange circumstances go down in life…on top of just life itself. Last year was marked by too many funerals and too many trips to see family in a hospital, and then, “hey, let’s have a baby,” and maybe we’ll move across the country. Or not.

The baby is a wonderful circumstance, by the way. Sublimely wonderful.

Along with the baby’s arrival, we decided to stay in Phoenix and plunge our roots even deeper. I also started to get the itch. I missed photography and all the wonderful people I’ve been blessed to work with because of it.

Not that life is any less crazy today, but I’m excited to say Zeffler Photo is back and prepared for a lot of photography fun this fall. It’s nice to be back.

Monument Valley

The boy and I braved camping in Monument Valley during Memorial Day weekend. Well, it was only one night. One desperately long and dark night where the winds of hell whipped and howled in a relentless pursuit of misery and failed s’mores.

That is a touch dramatic. It was windy. Very windy. But Monument Valley at sunrise and sunset is pretty cool to see – and somehow despite the hordes of tourists, it is easy to take a photo as if you’re the only person on earth.

Also, did I mention Zeffler Photo is back? You can see the return of the photo bidness here on the blog or on Facebook and Instagram.

Stuff Zeffler Photo taught me

3045266650_9740955331_oYou would think in seven years of photography work I would have learned much about lighting, composition, the mechanics of fancy gear or whatever.

Sure, I learned some of that. But that stuff doesn’t really matter. The only people who care if you’re technically proficient are other photographers.

With the end of Zeffler Photo this month, this feels like a good time to share some things I’ve learned as a photographer.

  • It’s important to do stuff where you have no idea what you are doing. You’ll get better. You’ll understand yourself better. You might even have fun.
  • Photography is an incredible tool for connecting with people. I was painfully awkward, shy and uncomfortable with strangers when I started Zeffler Photo seven years ago. Now I’m merely awkward.
  • As a parent, sometimes you need to let control go and let the kids lead the way. It might not lead to the picture perfect destination you want, but I promise it will be more fun getting there, your kids will surprise you and it will be real.
  • Great shoes make people more confident.

Photography really didn’t teach me anything. The people I photographed taught me all this and much more.

The people I’ve photographed have taught me kindness, enthusiasm, patience, how to open up and how to be present.

I am a much different person now than I was seven years ago. A patient, loving wife and terrific kids will do that to a guy. Zeffler Photo and the people I’ve worked with helped too.

As the sun sets on Zeffler Photo, I must say thank you for your time, support and unrelenting kindness. It’s had an impact on me I fail to explain in full.

I’m still figuring out what the next adventure will be.

Adios. For now.


Family photos in downtown Phoenix

Most often I connect with people through word of mouth, so it was unique to receive an inquiry from a family who was looking for photos in a specific location, saw my work and decided to give me a call.

Downtown Phoenix is one of my favorite places to shoot. There are colors.

And this family wanted colors.

These spots for great street art seem to be shrinking as development cuts down the funky buildings and raises up generic apartment complexes. Alas, I’ll continue to seek out the colors.