Zach Sutton Photography
422 Yale Blvd SE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
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Photography Blog of Zach Sutton

A blog highlighting the recent work of Zach Sutton Photography in Albuquerque, NM. Photography blog is intended to show the work that I do for various clients in Albuquerque, NM and all over the United States. I also use it as place to announce workshops and other events in Albuquerque and elsewhere.

Better Headshot Photography – My Method For A Higher Quality
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I’m a headshot photographer in Albuquerque. When I moved here,

I’m a headshot photographer in Albuquerque. When I moved here, I had intentions ofheadshot photography-Zach-Sutton-head-shot-photography-2 becoming the most well known and best headshot photographer in Albuquerque, and met with many agencies within Albuquerque and Santa Fe to see what they wanted for their clients and for their business model. That said – I had one hypocrisy – I had a really boring headshot. For someone who does headshot photography, that’s blasphemous, right?

A struggle that photographers everywhere are often faced with is that they don’t have very nice photographs of themselves. Usually that’s because they’re always behind the camera and never bother to contemplate the alternative, or don’t feel comfortable in front of it instead of behind it. Regardless of the case, I was one of those photographers who had an incredibly simple, and boring headshot.

My headshot was taken by a friend of mine and fellow photographer, Jennifer Garrett. When I started getting a few writing and publicity jobs a few years ago, I was told I needed a headshot. I wanted to photograph my own head shot, but the process of taking some photos, then checking, then taking some more photos was tedious and mundane. I asked Jen if she’d take some headshot of me, and she said yes. My headshot session was a rush job, and something I wasn’t terribly satisfied with.

And my lack of satisfaction certainly didn’t come from Jen’s work. I simply didn’t approach the headshot photography session with much interest or seriousness. I needed something that would work temporarily, and didn’t bother investing the time to get something I was really happy with. I had absolutely no connection to the feelings that my clients often got when the booked me for a headshot session, and I wanted to change that.

What I Did

What I did was simple, I found headshot photographers that I admired, and booked headshot photography sessions with them. That said, I didn’t look into Albuquerque, because I already liked my work more so than other headshot photographers in the area, and I wanted to truly invest in the headshot work. So I booked a headshot photography session in New York City, and a headshot photography session in Los Angeles. I figured, I tell my clients to invest in a headshot, so why shouldn’t I do the same?

New York

The New York headshot photography session came with some luck. My friend and fellow Fstoppers writer, Dani Diamond had been making quite a name for himself in the headshot market in NYC, and started doing a personal project called The Project – where he photographs talented photographers and delivers them headshots for them to use in their business (exactly what I was looking for). That said, Dani has been really busy with other projects form his generated success from The Project, so much that The Project was put on hold. I was able to talk to him though, and he agreed to make me face #70 of The Project, and was able to spend a few minutes to get me a really cool headshot for me to use for my business.

Dani’s headshot work is moody and dramatic. We were able to shoot the head shot session in Mid Town of New York City, using natural light. The headshot photography session was pretty painless, and despite only taking a couple minutes, Dani was able to get some really cool photographs of me. Of the 20 or so images he sent me as a proofing gallery, I chose the head shot below to use for my business and promotion of my work.

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles was (of course) quite a bit different then New York. I’m familiar with both of their styles on a headshot photography stand point, which made me so interested in getting a headshot from both areas. New York will often use natural light, and have more of a lightstyle feel to their headshots (something that Dani has excelled at considerably). While L.A. Will be a bit more commercial with their headshot, and either shoot in a monochromatic studio space (one like I use for many of my headshot photography) or shoot outside with nice bold, bright colors (something I also often do for my headshot photography work). So for that reason, I reached out to my friend Dylan Patrick, to see if he’d be available for a headshot session with me as the subject.

Dylan Patrick is a photographer that I have an immense admiration for. His work is clean, vibrant and beautiful, so when I decided that I wanted to get new headshots, I knew it was worth investing in and flying to L.A. To get what I really wanted from Dylan. I was able to work with Dylan and in just a short amount of time, I was able to get some of these incredible photos to use to help promote myself and my business.

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Learning Through It All

Perhaps the most important thing of this experience was all the learning I gain from it. Both Dani Diamond and Dylan Patrick are exceptional photographers in their markets, and being able to see them direct me, and shape me into this photogenic guy. The whole experience showed me how they directed their subjects, and taught me how I could better improve my experience with my clients as well. Aside from that, it was incredible to get that feeling of excitement that my clients often would get and I wouldn’t entirely understand.

So my advice to you. If you’re a photographer, hire other photographers. In order to show your appreciation to the industry, you need to do your part and work with the industry. Not only will you learn a wealth of information on how others do their work, but it’ll make you a better photographer as well.

SO HOW MUCH DO I CARE ABOUT HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY?

Enough that I flew to from coast to coast to get headshots from two of my favorite photographers.

Feel free to tell me your favorites of these headshots in the comments below.

 

For more info on MY headshot photography, you’re able to go to my headshot information page.


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Wedding Photography with Susan & Vinnie Brigance
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Last week, I posted a blog entry on my wedding photography in Grand Rapids with Jason and Jackie. However, when I was back in Michigan last, I was actually the wedding photographer for two weddings, and also photographed my friends Vinnie and Susan's wedding.

Last week, I posted a blog entry on my wedding photography in Grand Rapids with Jason and Jackie. However, when I was back in Michigan last, I was actually the wedding photographer for two weddings, and also photographed my friends Vinnie and Susan’s wedding.

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As stated in my last blog post, I’m not much of a wedding photographer anymore, and don’t photograph weddings as often as I used to, as I want to invest more into the couple and their day, and provide them with a product that is really special to them. The result of that is being really exclusive with my clients, and only selecting a few weddings each year so that I can focus on them and ensure that I deliver them with a product that compliments who they are and love. So with that said, when Vinnie and Susan contacted me to become their wedding photographer, I was overjoyed, as they’re two of my absolute favorite people.

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Susan and Vinnie have been dating for as long as I can remember, and I’ve known them for about 8 years now. I went to college with them, and first met Vinnie while attending college. Vinnie and I shared a few of the same friends, and had a few courses together as well. I almost immediately established that he was brilliant, and him and I would often spend our time talking about a lot of things that we didn’t fully comprehend, such as quantum physics.

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Shortly after a few semesters, Vinnie and Susan decided that they wanted to travel to somewhere new, and picked Boston as their new home. They moved, and I always promised to visit at one point or another, but surprisingly, my extensive traveling never brought me to Boston. This is something I have yet to do, and following their wedding and being their wedding photographer, I knew I had to visit them again.

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Despite them living in Boston, Vinnie and I have managed to keep in touch over the years. From the occasional phone call, to the sharing articles, stories and other things to each other on Facebook, I still consider him one of my best friends, who just happens to live on the other side of the country. In fact, Vinnie more so than anyone else was the one to convince me to move to Albuquerque and continue my dream of being a professional photographer.

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So fast forward a couple years, and Vinnie finally proposes to Susan (I say finally because it was never a question of whether or not they were perfect for each other – they are – it just took him forever to do it). Shortly after the proposal, Vinnie and Susan reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to travel to photograph their wedding. I immediately said yes.

Susan and Vinnie chose to have their wedding in west Michigan, where they’re originally from, which made for some traveling issues for their friends living in Boston and elsewhere. But if you’ve ever met, Susan or Vinnie, you see how completely exceptional they are…so many of their guests drove or flew from Boston to make sure they could show their support for their special day. The wedding had a collection of people from all over the United States attending – from Boston, to West Michigan, to Houston, and myself from Albuquerque.

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The wedding itself was incredible. I was able to hang out with both Susan and Vinnie from the morning to capture getting ready photos, and I even came back to the reception and hung out after I was done photographing for the day. It’s weddings like these that make me absolutely geeked to be a wedding photographer. I’m so happy to be able to capture the love that Vinnie and Susan share with each other and their close group of friends and family. For more of the wedding photos, check out of the gallery below.


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Wedding Photography with Jackie & Jason O’Brien
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Since moving to Albuquerque, my wedding photography has slowed down considerably. The reason for this is intentional, as I wanted to ensure that I get the absolute best images for my clients when photographing their wedding.

Since moving to Albuquerque, my wedding photography has slowed down considerably. The reason for this is intentional, as I wanted to ensure that I get the absolute best images for my clients when photographing their wedding.

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Too often with wedding photography, you get overworked and overbooked, and fall into autopilot mode with wedding photography. The most important day of someone else’s life ends up being a day where you’re a robot, programmed to take a specific number of images, of a specific number of things. I used to be a victim of this dilemma, when I was shooting many more weddings than I do now, so I did the unconventional – I limited myself.

I decided that I only wanted to photograph a few weddings a year, and really be able to focus on the detail from those weddings, and give them the absolute best wedding photography as a result. So I don’t really consider myself a wedding photographer in Albuquerque anymore, but certainly want to do more weddings, if time allows for it.

 

This wedding is with Jason and Jackie. I’ve known Jason for my entire life, so when he asked me to be his wedding photographer, I was completely flattered. Jason and I grew up in the same town in Michigan, and played on many of the same sports teams growing up. Eventually, we went to the same college, and I even moved into his old apartment when he was moving out.

Some time ago, he met Jackie, and fell in love. And as that love developed, he inevitably decided that he wanted Jackie to be his wife, and he proposed. She of course said yes and they began planning their wedding.

At this same time, I had moved to Albuquerque from Michigan. Jason contacted me, and asked if I’d be willing to travel to Michigan from Albuquerque for a weekend and be their wedding photographer, and I naturally said yes. We then started planning.

 

As many of you may remember, I also took Jason & Jackie’s engagement photos, when I was in town to teach a photography workshop. You can see some of those photos here.

Jackie and Jason got married on September 26th, 2014. Special thank you to Jason, Jackie and their families for having me photograph their special wedding day. And thank you to Laura Alexandra for working as my second shooter for the day. For more photos, check below.

 

What Jackie & Jason Said
Hey Zach!

The pictures turned out GREAT! We love them. Thank you for your part in making our day go as smoothly as it did! You and your partner were great! I’ll you know if we have any questions as we continue to go through the pictures. Thanks again.


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Headshot Photography Session With Santa Fe Actor Kevin French
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I met Kevin for his headshot photography session in a pretty unique way. I was contacted and hired to take some photos of some brass statues in an art gallery up in Santa Fe by the creator. I arrived at the art gallery and then met the manager,

I met Kevin in a pretty unique way. I was contacted and hired to take some photos of some brass statues in an art gallery up in Santa Fe by the creator. I arrived at the art gallery and then met the manager, Kevin. At that point, I simply took the photos the artist needed of his work, gave Kevin my business card, and went about my way. Little did I know that less than a month later, he’d be contacting me about headshot photography in Albuquerque.

A few weeks later, I get a call from Kevin to set up a headshot photography session with me. He had met Jody Black, a wonderful agent in Santa Fe and the owner of A&M Talent House through a series of friends, and was told he should pursue acting, but needed some actor headshots. He was given a short list of recommendations, and my name was one of them. He quickly then called me up, and scheduled an appointment for his headshot photography session in Albuquerque.

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Kevin recently moved to Santa Fe with his wife and kids, to manage the Mountain Trails Fine Art Gallery in the heart of Santa Fe. Him and his family hadn’t really been to the Southwest much, but like me, decided to just go for it. And naturally, he loves it so far.

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Kevin has been selling art for a number of years, and has known Vic Payne – the brass sculpture of his art gallery  – for a number of years. I could immediately tell that Kevin has an immense appreciation for art, and I’m confident that Jody will be able to get him plenty of jobs in the acting scene here in New Mexico. Below are some more images from our headshot session.

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Featured on Business of Creatives Podcast – My Move to Albuquerque
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A couple weeks ago, while in Marfa, Texas shooting with the Phase One IQ250, my friend and food photographer Taylor Mathis posted a podcast interview I did with him a while back. In the podcast, I talk about how I used referrals to build my business in Albuquerque...

A couple weeks ago, while in Marfa, Texas shooting with the Phase One IQ250, my friend and food photographer Taylor Mathis posted a podcast interview I did with him a while back. In the podcast, I talk about how I used referrals to build my business in Albuquerque when I became a New Mexico photographer a couple years ago.

If you read my blog often, you know that about two years ago, I made a challenge for myself. I decided to move from Kalamazoo MI to Albuquerque, NM without having any real idea of the industry here, or anyone here. I just wanted a culture change and a new perspective of what I was doing.

I moved here, and continued my career as a photographer. But instead of being a Kalamazoo photographer, I was now a New Mexico photographer, shooting in a new location without much knowledge of the people or things here. In those two years, I built up my clientele, and was able to become one of the most well known names in the Albuquerque photography scene.

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This podcast, I talk about my challenges doing just that, and how I was able to overcome them when moving to a new city without much of a marketing budget. I did this, in short, the same way I’ve always ran my business. By becoming friends with my clients, and offering the best product available for my location.

More of What is Talked About in this Podcast –

  • Building an experience that makes others want to work with you again
  • How to study your market and delivering a product that it needs.
  • Viral marketing, with absolutely no budget.
  • Recharging your creativity when feeling burnt out.
  • Finding applications to set your product above the rest.
  • Finding patience to help you go from good to great.

 

And while Taylor is largely a food photographer, he has also been an amazing resource I’ve used over the years to help motivate me, and provide me with insight on how the industry works. You definitely need to check out his work and see what he’s doing to get a better view on how to become successful in this industry we call photography. Also be sure to look at more of his Business of Creatives Podcast.


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Featured on TogTools Video Podcast
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I am absolutely honored to share that I was recently featured on the TogTools video podcast with Stephen and Jess Robertson. TogTools is a really great platform where they talk with some big names in the photography industry, and talk about specific topics on how they got their start.

I am absolutely honored to share that I was recently featured on the TogTools video podcast with Stephen and Jess Robertson. TogTools is a really great platform where they talk with some big names in the photography industry, and talk about specific topics on how they got their start. For my particular interview, I talked about building my educational services and photography workshops in Albuquerque and all over the United States.

I’m absolutely elated to be featured by TogTools, as they interview some people who inspire me to create the work that I do. As part of their Fstoppers series, they are able to talk to me about my insight into education in photography, and how I’ve developed my photography workshops and photography lectures that I’ve given in the past. Check out the video above to watch the podcast, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thank you again to Stephen and Jess for having me on the show, and being their normal charming selves during the interview I was able to do with them. For more information about my photography workshops, be sure to check out my photography workshops website by clicking this link. At this point, I still have about 6 seats available for the biggest and best workshop I’ve taught today, which is in Washington DC on Nov 9th. This photography workshop is on Outdoor Lighting and will contain, 20 students, tons of light, tons of fun and will result in a ton of great images. Be sure to check out my photography workshops website for more information about that class as well.


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