Anatomy of a Photo Shoot

Today is a little something different. A ladies point of view. Not just any lady. The first lady of Zeffler Photo, to put it rather cheesily. My wife Burgess is often the first person you’ll speak with if you are looking to book a photo shoot or invite me to any kind of misadventures. Not only is she my biggest fan, she is also my sharpest critic. She gets to see all the lame things I do so you don’t have to. She wanted to share this, and who am I to say no to her? She’s carrying our baby. Ewton Baby #2 for anyone out there keeping count. *Expect baby hysteria to initiate soon*

Without further ado…

HatchHave you ever wondered what goes into a photo shoot with Zeffler Photo? Many of you who read this blog are past clients and have had your lovely faces splashed across these pages already – and many of you who are reading this are dreaming of your own photo shoot and waiting for the perfect time to schedule one. The purpose of this post is to give you a greater insight into how a photo shoot works and a greater appreciation for the photographer — the devilishly handsome, Zane Ewton. So even if you’ve already had your experience with Zeffler Photo, I hope by reading this you’ll get to know a little bit more about the process and have a greater appreciation for it.

First things First: To give you the whole picture, we must start at the beginning. It was March 2005. Zane and I were newlyweds and looking for the perfect present for our first anniversary. Zane would reminisce about his college days and the photography class he took, and how much he enjoyed it. So we decided to take the plunge, got a Best Buy Credit card, and made the biggest purchase yet of our marriage – The Rebel — our first digital DSLR.

Zane’s first paying shoots happened at the end of 2008. That’s 3.5 years of practicing on anyone that would get in front of his camera. He was obsessed with creating unique portraits — and still is.

Fast Forward: Zane has a day job at GCU as a communications specialist. He’s also taking classes to complete his third degree – this one in English Literature. On Sundays he has church and the obligations that come with that. You guessed it – that leaves one day of the week to himself and his family – Saturdays. And this is when he does photo shoots.

Planning: So you see Zane’s website or Facebook and decide you want him to do your family pictures. The first thing he does is send you to me – the Office Manager, Scheduling Queen, and Lovely Assistant (I don’t get paid, so I can make up whatever title I want). We set you up with a day and time and take care of the deposit. The next step is talking to Zane about the creative side of things.

If you’ve seen Zane’s photos you’ll notice a few things. First, they’re always outside. There’s a reason for this. The best light to shoot in is natural light. Flashes and other lighting equipment are only trying to be as good as natural light, so we skip the middle man. The best natural lighting is in the early morning or late evening, when the sun isn’t glaring. The second thing you’ll notice – his photos are very colorful. He works with a variety of different, interesting backgrounds at different locations. He’ll work with you to choose a location that goes with the feel that you want for your shoot. Families 258

The last creative element of the shoot (and, I dare say, the most important) is what your family will wear. Zane likes to capture your family’s personality. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not many people’s personality is a white polo and jeans. Also, your family DOES NOT have to match. In fact, it’s better if they don’t. Yes, you read that correctly. If everyone is wearing matching t-shirts and jeans, it’s boring. It shows nothing of the individuality of your family. Why would you want the same exact pictures as every once else? Zane agonizes over the details of every shoot. He wants YOU to have something unique. He wants YOU to feel good about yourself. EVERY photo shoot is unique and different for him.

A lot of people will look at his pictures and schedule a shoot because they want something different. And then they’ll want to all wear white and take the pictures at a park or in front of a waterfall. If that is really what you want, that’s fine. It’s just not what Zeffler Photo does. So when you talk to him and think it’s weird that he’s asking you about clothes – just go with it and trust him. He knows how to make a cool and unique picture that you’ll love, and all of these elements have to go together to create these amazing photos.

The Shoot: After all the details are worked out, it’s shooting time. Everyone will be there on time (please), happy, and ready to go (hopefully). Just relax. I know it can be nerve wracking, but Zane’s a very laid back person who will make you feel comfortable immediately. Interact with each other. Have an idea for a pose? Great – he’s open to suggestions. It will be fun and relaxing and everyone will have a good time.

After the Shoot: This may be a surprise to some people, but the pictures don’t come straight out of the camera being awesome. Zane takes 200-300 pictures per shoot. He loads all of them on the computer and then he looks at each one individually and picks the best ones to edit. Editing time is approximately 4-6 hours per shoot. That’s right, it takes 4 hours to go from 300 pictures taken to 30 edited pictures. Not only does he apply different and multiple effects to each picture – he also brightens eyes, cleans up skin, erases boogers, etc. Basically, he makes you look GOOD.

So, as you can see, the actual shooting time is just a small fraction of the process. Zane cares about you and your pictures and creating something that everyone will enjoy. He’s a busy boy and wouldn’t be doing this otherwise.

Now that you have a better idea of how Zeffler Photo works, I hope you’ll give us a try. You won’t regret it.



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