This season is our last doing family photo sessions

IMG_5243Hello fans and friends!

Lady Zeffler here with some news: We have decided to make this fall our last doing family photo sessions.

That’s right: We’re retiring.

It’s been wonderful meeting and working with so many of you terrific people. The support and encouragement we’ve always received has been genuinely life changing. You are all amazing. But it’s time to move on.

We’ll be deleting the Facebook page, but the website will still be active and you can also find Zane over on Instagram.

If you won a photo shoot with us through a charity auction, have a credit with us or we’ve traded services with you – we will definitely still honor these commitments, just email me when you’re ready (any time through 2016).

If you’re interested in a shoot with us this fall you can also email me at We have nine spots left.

Again, thank you for making the last few years of this nonsense a genuine delight.



Zeffler Photo 101: Don’t be late for our very important date!

Hi Zeffler Photo fans, Burgess the scheduling mistress here.  I would like to cover a very important aspect of your photo shoot – being on time!

Tafoya Train 129When you schedule a shoot with us, there are very specific times that we schedule.  The reason is that Zane shoots mostly in natural light.  Here in Phoenix, it’s always a fight with the blazing sun, and shooting in the early morning or late evening will help you and your family look your best.  We know that requiring you to be on location, looking good, at 7:30 a.m. is asking a lot.  We also know that you want amazing pictures – that’s why you came to Zane in the first place.

So here’s what you can do to respect and value everyone’s time:

  1. If you know that 7:30 am is way too early for your family to be ready and happy, please schedule an evening slot.
  2. Whatever time you choose, please be there 5 minutes early and ready to go, just like you would with any other appointment.
  3. If you are going to be late, text Zane and let him know.

We want everyone to be happy and ready to go, otherwise instead of being a fun experience, it’s a miserable one.  You know what happens when you’re late – you’re stressed, and that makes the kids stressed.  Zane also starts getting stressed about location and lighting issues.  It’s very hard to get nice, relaxed pictures when everyone is on edge.  Also, if you’re late, it eats into your shooting time — it always takes a little time to get everyone comfortable in front of the camera, so that means less opportunity for nice, natural pictures.

We know that things happen and we’ll try our best to work with you.  If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late, please text Zane and let him know.  If you are more than 20 minutes late, you will be required to pay a $25 late fee.  If you are more than 30 minutes late, you will be required to reschedule with a new deposit.

Thank you for coming to us for your photo needs!  We feel honored to be a part of your lives and memories – and it’s just as fun for us as it is for you!

5 More Questions with Mrs. Zeffler

Hooray! My foxy wife is back for round two of 5 Questions with Mrs. Zeffler. This thing has momentum now. I asked these questions again. Leave your’s in the comments and maybe she’ll answer them next time.

1. What do you think is the most important factor for a family (mom) to consider when preparing for a photo shoot?
The most important thing for a mom to consider when preparing for a shoot would be the time of day the kids are their happiest. Kids already think it’s boring to stand around for long periods of time and they can get restless. The clothes are important, the hair is important — but none of that matters if he kids aren’t happy!

2. What is your biggest photo pet peeve?
The biggest photo pet peeve I have is matching too closely — No one dresses like that in real life, so it’s completely unnatural and it’s distracting. The pictures become all about the clothes instead of the people. The second biggest pet peeve I have are fake smiles — why do you want the kids to fake smile it up for the photo? Don’t you want to capture their REAL expressions so you can remember these moments and how they were at this stage of their lives? I’d rather look at the photos in 15 years and see the real them, instead of remembering how hard it was to get them to sit and smile that day.

3. What is your favorite thing to see in a photograph?
My favourite thing to see in a photo is people being natural and feeling comfortable. If you’re not up for it, having a bad day, or REALLY self-concious — it definitely shows!

4. You have a free pass to buy whatever you want from any store in the world. Which store do you go to and what do you buy?
I would have to say the travel store and buy an amazing trip. Do those still exist in real life?

5. What was the best rock album of the 1990’s?
Best rock album of the 90s — of course I have to say Nirvana’s Nevermind. After I heard that, I started listening to what I liked, not what was popular.

5 Questions With Mrs. Zeffler

Hooray! My foxy wife Burgess is up for a little piece of business that may become a regular feature around here. Of course, whenever I’ve called something a regular feature, it has died a fiery death.

With that said, enjoy 5 Questions with Mrs. Zeffler. Maybe you’ll see some more. Maybe not. She’s mysterious like that. I asked the questions. Leave your’s in the comments and maybe she’ll answer them next time.

1. Who is your favorite photographer? (Besides me)
My favourite photographer beside Zane would be the folks at Blue Lily Photography. They are a husband and wife team that travel around the world taking pictures. I love the colors, I love how they get people to dress perfectly (matching too closely is a serious pet peeve of mine), and their sessions only last 30-45 minutes. Since they’re both taking pictures, they get plenty of shots in that time, and it’s perfect for kids. They also keep it fun and get pictures of real life — but also the posed pictures where eveyone looks perfect. They’re also very generous — they donated a shoot to our auction last year which brought in 1/4 of our funds.

2. What is your favorite word?
My favourite word would be….I don’t know. I like all kinds of words.

3. What would be your perfect day?
My perfect day would be going anywhere I haven’t been before with my 3 favourite people.

4. What question do you most often hear about Zeffler Photo?
The question I hear the most about Zeffler Photo — besides “is that his real name?” would be “Will he tell me where to go, or do I have to come up with a place?” Most clients want to leave all the details to Zane, but he wants people to be more involved in the planning. Most of the time they come up with a nice balance.

5. How do you answer it?
I tell them that, while Zane will be happy to give them suggestions, it would be great if they thought about the feel they want for their shoot and think of different backgrounds they would like.

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.