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

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.

Headshot Photography Session with Albuquerque Actress Nora Navarro
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Recently, I was hired to take some headshot photography of my new friend Nora. She recently moved to Albuquerque from New York City and needed some updated headshot photography done...

Recently, I was hired to take some headshot photography of my new friend Nora. She recently moved to Albuquerque from New York City and needed some updated headshot photography done to help her gain exposure and work here in New Mexico.

I met Nora in an interesting way. As some people might know, I recently started playing music again, and joined a local band here in town called Slow Jeremiah. In the past, I have played in bands and even gone on tours all over the United States. However, since moving to Albuquerque, I put down my guitar and decided to focus my attention to headshot photography. It wasn’t until taken a few people’s headshots that I decided to get back into playing and writing music.

Some time ago, I took headshots of local actor Matthew Puett. During our session, he had mentioned he was playing music with his friends and that they needed a bass guitarist. He asked if I was interested and I kind of dodged the question. Months later, I photographed Michael Lovato, who is in the same band, and asked me the same question. Eventually, I decided to give it a go – and I’m really enjoying it.

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Now, I met Nora through the other member of the band, Sam. Sam and Nora have been dating for years, and Nora recently decided to move to Albuquerque from New York City to pursue her acting further and joining her boyfriends band, as she has an incredible voice. Upon meeting with Carissa at Mitchell & Presley Talent Group, she was recommended to me for headshot photography, who she was conveniently in a band with.

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Working with Nora was great. It was really nice to get to know my client prior to working with them, and I really think it helped her get comfortable when put in front of my giant lights and camera. We ended up taking a few photos both in the studio as well as outdoors, and got some headshots that both herself and her agent are really happy with.

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Be sure to look out for Nora in the acting scene as she gets her start here in Albuquerque, and be sure to see her, myself, Matt, Michael and Sam all play shows together around Albuquerque under the band name Slow Jeremiah.

For more info on my Albuquerque headshot photography, you’re able to go to my headshot information page. You’re also able to see more female headshot photography by clicking here.


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Photography Tutorial Series Information
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Over the past few months, I have been promoting a photography tutorial series that I have been putting together with the help of RGG EDU. We filmed the tutorial series in June, which highlighted 4 different photoshoots...

Over the past few months, I have been promoting a photography tutorial series that I have been putting together with the help of RGG EDU. We filmed the tutorial series in June, which highlighted 4 different photoshoots, and was filmed over the course of 7 days. With a heavy heart, I must announce that the production of this tutorial series has been halted indefinitely.

Why Was It Put On Hold?

When announcing this tutorial, I had one goal in mind for the tutorial series. I agreed to do such tutorial series, under the condition that it was the absolute best and most comprehensive tutorial series available for photographers who are interested in increasing their skill using lights on location. The reason for the stopping of production is just that – quality.

Over the course of the 4 photoshoots, we captured some amazing footage, and some amazing photos. I hope you’ll eventually see both of those at some point, but I feel it lost sight of it’s primary focus, which was education. I’m not interested in producing a 10 hour video series that does nothing that promote myself and the brands I use. My purpose is to educate people on off-camera lighting, and drastically improving their skills as photographers as a result. Sadly, that focus was lost by both myself and the production team.

The tutorial series we’ve been working on is massive in size. With over 80 hours of footage taken over the course of a week, we got some insane stuff to work with. We were incredibly ambitious with the project, which was overly ambitious at times. I also think that in our excitement of locations, and talent and everything in between, of the education aspect of it suffered. As said once, and now said again – I’m not interested in making a fluff piece to only further my career as a photographer and educator. I’m here to educate, plain and simple. RGG EDU is in agreement with this decision, as they share the same vision – to provide exceptional education within photography.

So What Does This All Mean?

Well does this mean that I’m not making a photography tutorial series? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’m taking this footage, watching it closely, and finding what I can do differently to make the best tutorial series available – as I originally promised. My sights are focused on creating a higher standard of education for photographers, and while I’ve managed to do that with the workshops I’ve taught over the last year, I still have work to do on the video side of things. So this isn’t an announcement of cancellation, it’s an announcement of extended deadlines, and with extended vision.

The Future Plans

Some time ago, I started teaching workshops and giving lectures and found not only a lot of success, but a lot of fun from all of it. So my plans? Keep having fun with this. And I’m doing that in a few different ways.


Perhaps the most obvious conclusion I’ve made following this decision is to do more workshops than ever. My workshops have been highly reviewed, and a massive resource for the photographers who have been able to attend them. These incredible reviews and critiques has gotten me some sponsors for the workshops such as LensRentals, Phase One, and many more. These photography workshops have been exceptional, and my goal over the next 6 months to is make them even better & more accessible to everyone.

Tutorial Series

I’m still very passionate about creating a tutorial series or series of videos for people to watch and learn from. This one we were producing, is likely to simply be cut up into some amazing behind the scenes videos, but I still want to build something bigger. So I’m  punching the numbers to put together my own self-financed photography tutorials, and hoping to get started on that sometime in the next year. Fear not, I’m going to make an education resource available for everyone soon.

Print Education

As always, I’m also going to focus on my writing even more so than before. As many people know, I’m a writer and editor for Fstoppers, and I will continue to churn out content for them on a regular basis. I also recently accepted a job for Photofocus, to help contribute by putting out original content to help photographers by sharing my own personal experiences. And yes, I’m still posting articles to local publication Pyragraph, as well as retouching giant Retouching Academy.


Make no mistake, I am absolutely heartbroken to announce this news. However, I hope to learn from this series of events, and build something even bigger and better than even imagined before. So this is a hiccup, and something amazing is going to come out of all of this. I just ask for your patience, while I turn a few lemons into lemonade.

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Travel Notices for Zach Sutton Photography
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Often like I do in the fall, I've decided to go a bit of travelling for my photography, and wanted to let you all know about in on the off chance you'd...

Often like I do in the fall, I’ve decided to go a bit of travelling, and wanted to let you all know about in on the off chance you’d like to book a session while I’m possibly in your town. These travel notifications reflect both the photography workshop tour I’m embarking on, as well as an opportunity to visit friends and family members that I don’t get to see too often. So here is a quick breakdown of each location.


Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids, MI

I’ll be in Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 24th (I’m writing this from an airplane) til Oct 6th. I’ll be in town for a couple different reasons, but still have plenty of time to book any sessions for those who might be interested. I’ll be shooting two weddings, each of old friends, while I’m in town. I’ll also be teaching my Outdoor Lighting Photography Workshop in Kalamazoo MI on September 28th. For more information about my availability, please feel free to contact me. 

Marfa, TX

I’ll be in Marfa with my makeup artist, Kata Baron of The Pretty Committee, as well as Ashley Hamilton, and Lisa Burke who are both photographers in Albuquerque, NM. We’re travelling to Marfa to do a series of photoshoots in one of the coolest art communities in the United States. We’ll be working with Fo Porter of America’s Next Top Model fame, as well as a local model from Albuquerque named Lynne Cash. hile I’ll be busy during the majority of my time there, I’d love to meet up with anyone who lives in that area.

New York City

Following Marfa, I’ll be traveling to New York City for Photo Plus Expo. For those who have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been to Photo Plus Expo before, and look forward once again to meet with various photographers for this fantastic event. While I’ll be largely looking at PPE as a vacation, I’ll be available to meet up and chat, as well as book any photo sessions while in town. This is also a great opportunity for any photographers who live in the area, and have been looking to take advantage of my One on One Retouching Training.

Washington, DC

Following the week in New York City, I’ll be travelling to Washington, DC to put together the largest workshop of my career. Working with Phase One, we’ve recently extended this workshop to 20 students, and expect it to be the best workshop I’ve taught to date. For those interested in knowing more, you can register your seat by going to my photography workshop website. I’m also looking for 4 models while in town to help be subjects for my Outdoor Lighting Photography Workshop. So if you know anyone, please contact me for more information.

As always, and with all of these traveling announcements, I’d love to meet with fellow photographers to talk shop. I’m also available for very limited booking for headshot photography, events, and general portrait sessions. Please let me know if you know of any great places to see while I’m in these cities, and let me know if you’d like to meet up!

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Information on Outdoor Lighting and Photography Workshops
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As mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m embarking on a

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m embarking on a photography workshop tour to help spread education all over the United States (and hopefully world at some point) on lighting and photography. These workshops are designed to be an affordable alternative to formal education, and designed to give you real life techniques used by commercial and editorial photographers in the field.

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For more info, check out

However, these workshops come with a lot of hype, as they have received nothing but positive reviews from everyone who has attended them. And often, with hype, sometimes the design and purpose of the workshops get lost, so I wanted to go over exactly what is taught in these workshops, as well as the format of the photography workshops…to give everyone a very descript idea of how things work.

Schedule of Events

The outdoor lighting workshop is broken down into two large sections. These sections are designed to not only inform people, put also allows for practice of the techniques taught during the photography workshop. I’ve found that this style of teaching compliments both the technical learner, and the visual learner.


The lecture portion of the workshop is the first half of the workshop. This portion is taught using a presentation, and encourages questions to be asked throughout the presentation, to help answer any confusion and questions the students might have.  This portion of the workshop is where all the technical aspects of lighting are taught, some of the topics are –

Inverse Square Law
The Inverse Square Law is the backbone of lighting while on location, and this workshop is designed to explain the complicated mathematical formula practically. My explanation on this topic have been proven to be easier to understand, and shown how to use these techniques both on location and in studio.
Light Modifiers
One of the biggest fears when working with off camera lighting is the explanation of the modifiers used for lighting. With softboxes, umbrellas, beauty dishes and a million other devices, the diversity is virtually endless. This photography workshop focuses on building an understanding of each lighting modifier, with pros and cons of each. This general understanding of each will teach you to know exactly what you need to use and when.

Filters On Location
Often, you’ll see photographers using filters while outdoors, with little understanding of what each filter does, and how it’s used to each person advantage while using off camera lighting. This workshop breaks down what ND filters, polarizing filters and other filters are, and explains the practical use of each.
Directional Lighting
Perhaps the biggest thing that turns photographers away from off camera lighting is the idea that you’re in full control over everything. When working with natural light, you’re designed to take advantage of where the sun is in the sky, without any control of working with it’s positioning. This photography workshop teaches use exactly how to manipulate the light, and have full control over where it needs to be to get the absolute best results.
General Q&A
Arguably the most informative portion of the workshop is the open discussion. I invite each student to ask me any questions related to photography, from business and marketing skills, to retouching practices. This portion of the workshop is to build confidence and knowledge to each student at the workshop.

On Location

The second half of the workshop comes in the form of practical education. After a short lunch break, we meet on location with a model to practice the techniques taught in the lecture portion of the photography workshop. This allows people to learn with hands on education, as well as through trial and error. It also gives me an opportunity to work with each student individually, allowing us to find a way to incorporate the techniques for a style that works best for them.


Fortunately, these workshops have also generated some buzz on the business side of things as well, and have been offered some sponsorship deals as a result. To be clear, the sponsors are designed to help the students of the workshop, and each of them come with some really exceptional perks. Some of the sponsors for these workshops are –

Phase One

Phase One has agreed to sponsor these workshops, as an opportunity to show off their medium format cameras. This helps the workshop, as it gives me an opportunity to explain leaf shutter lenses, as well as giving the students an opportunity to use Phase One Camera Systems. For reference, the cheapest Phase One camera is available for around $40K. So while it probably if out of the price range of the average student, it does allow you to “Test drive the Ferrari” so to speak. 

Capture Integration / Capture One

Capture Integration is also a sponsor of these workshops, and give the students some really unique things in the process. This means a certified Phase One and Capture One rep is at all the workshops, to help educate people how to use their system as well as Capture One software. This means that each attendee will also receive a discounted price of Capture One software.

Alien Skin

While normally, I do not like presets or software designed to simplify the retouching process, I do love Exposure 6 by Alien Skin. Alien Skin in turn, has agreed to sponsors myself and these workshops, and will offer a giveaway of their Exposure 6 suite to one lucky student of the workshop. Discount codes for Alien Skin software will also be available to ALL attendees of the workshops.

Examples of Images Produced Using The Techniques Taught

Certainly, the most important thing with these workshops is results. This workshop promises to increase your techniques and skills as a photographer, regardless of your niche. Here are some images I’m produced using the techniques I teach in this photography workshop.


These workshops are designed to be tailored to each student and class, so they come with some very limited availability. At this point, these photography workshops are set to take place in three locations — Kalamazoo, MI, Albuquerque, NM and Washington D.C.

Kalamazoo, MI on Sept 28th 2014

The Kalamazoo, MI workshop is set to take place on September 28th, 2014. This workshop will be accompanied by Doug, a Phase One rep, and owner of Pro Gear Rental in Chicago, IL. There are currently 2 seats still available for this workshop, and you can reserve your seat by pre-paying using PayPal by clicking here.

Albuquerque, NM on Oct 19th 2014

Albuquerque’s workshop is set to take place on October 19th, 2014. There are still 4 seats available for this workshop, and Capture Integration will be joining this workshop for in depth education on their Capture One software. You can reserve your seat to this workshop by clicking here.

Washington D.C. on Nov 9th 2014

Washington D.C. is expected to take place the week following PPE in New York, on Sunday November 9th 2014. This workshop will be accompanied by Digital Transitions who will be working at the Phase One and Capture One rep. You can reserve your seat to this photography workshop by clicking here.

 For more information or to sign up for these photography workshops, feel free to visit my photography workshops website by clicking here.


If you have any questions regarding my photography workshop tour, feel free to ask in the comments below.

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3 Reasons Why Alternative Education in Photography is Great
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I wanted to bring a post into light about photography, and explain to those why I do teach workshops and offer services in photography education over on my Photography Workshop Page.

I wanted to bring a post into light about photography, and explain to those why I do teach workshops and offer services in photography education over on my Photography Workshop Page.

As many people might know, I’m self taught with my photography, however, I really hate that term because ultimately, I wasn’t solely self taught, but rather was taught by thousands of people through critiques, tutorials, workshops, DVD series and general discussion while showing off my work and building my photography business over the last 8 years.

So when I say Alternative Education, I mean anything that can be done or learned outside a classroom. This could be workshops, DVD series, YouTube videos or articles. And while these aren’t always as information as a class on photography, they still have all the key components to help further your education on the subject.

Insight Into Modern Photography

Perhaps the biggest advantage with alternative education in photography is the insight within the modern world of photography. It’s no secret that over the last 15 years, photography has completely flipped on his head. Before then, it was exceptionally expensive, involved film, and a lot of complicated practices that are no longer necessary (I haven’t developed film myself in over 10 years and would certainly destroy it if I tried at this point). It wasn’t something that people could begin to learn and enjoy at a relatively inexpensive price. In these last 15 years, we’ve been gifted Instagram, cameras on our phones, and a million new ways to share our work and ideas. And that is probably the biggest asset to alternative education in photography – the insight into the modern world.

I have met some brilliant professors in my day, with some amazing insight into how photography used to be. Many of the practices they teach no longer apply, and are flooded with a brand new market with brand new ideas and ways of things. Certainly, many professors of photography and art still use their cameras, and have some insight within the industry, but their careers have largely transformed into educators. By having a photographer as your educator, you can learn from someone who is at the forefront of the industry, and tell you exactly what they do to remain a household name within photography.

The Business Of Photography

While staying on the topic discussed in the last point, is the nature of formal education within photography. Many of the professors on a formal education system were previously art students, and are now teaching you how to create art. While this is great, but the best artist in the world needs to know how to promote their work and make a living wage from it. Informal education opens the doors for all aspects of photography, including the business and marketing side of things. The best artist in the world is useless if no one knows his/her work.

One thing I’ve learned from my workshops and my work as a writer for Fstoppers, is that many people are fantastic photographers and artists, but really have no idea how to market their business to potential clients. Informal education allows you to learn this practices, as well as the practices that are among the core of photography. And while my workshops aren’t strictly business related, business practices are always brought up, and build some in depth conversations during the Q&A portion of the workshop.

Hands On Education

I’m a huge advocate for one on one education, workshops and assisting others to get a better understanding of how they work. Like many of us, it’s so much easier to learn by being apart of the process, rather than reading an article on Fstoppers or Photofocus. And while those articles are a great alternative, being on location is one of the biggest advantages to any workshop or other alternative education method.

In my workshops, I specifically tailor it to my students. I have complete understanding that my students aren’t going to photograph things like me, and I try to take advantage of that. So my workshops have an outdoor session, where we take the principles learned, and apply it to each person’s style and workflow. The results are that everyone gets photos that they want, using techniques that they often never even considered before. (Shameless plug – A few seats still available for the workshop information above).


Hopefully these three components to nontraditional education has helped you consider workshops and other options to further your career or interest as a photographer. Of course, for those unaware, I do teach workshops as well as give 1 on 1 training in retouching, lighting and client interaction for those who are interest. Below is a quick breakdown of my upcoming photography workshops, and ofcourse be sure to check out my photography workshops website for more information.

Photography Workshops


For more info, check out

About This Workshop Tour

This workshop tour is of my highly accredited Outdoor Lighting Workshop, sponsored in part by Phase One Cameras, and AlienSkin. The workshop is to show people how to properly light portraits in an outdoor location, under some of the harshest conditions. Designed to take your work to the next level, The Outdoor Light Photography Workshop is among the highest rated workshops in the world.

This is just a small amount of the information available for this workshop tour. For more info on the workshops, feel free to check out my photography workshops website.


Zach Sutton will be teaching an Outdoor Lighting Workshop in Kalamazoo on September 28th, 2014. This class is 8 hours long and limited to 10 students. A Phase  One rep will be on location, to show you how to use their cameras if you’d like. A few months ago, this very same class sold out in 48 hours, so act fast. Click here to reserve your seat.
Zach Sutton will be teaching an Outdoor Lighting Workshop in Albuquerque on October 19th 2014. This class is 8 hours long and limited to 10 students. A Phase  One rep will be on location, to show you how to use their cameras if you’d like. I’ve taught this class twice in Albuquerque now, and have had an overwhelming out pour of additional people interested. Click here to reserve your seat.
In its Washington D.C. debut, the Outdoor Lighting Workshop will be taught in Washington D.C. on November 9th 2014. This class will be 8 hours long and limited to 10 students in total. As with all these workshops, Phase One will be on location with camera systems for students to try out and use if they’d like. Click here to reserve your seat.


 For more information or to sign up for these workshops, feel free to visit my workshops website by clicking here.

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Model Photography in Albuquerque with Male Model Sadel
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I got in touch with Sadel through his mother. Sadel is a musician, living in Los Angeles, and is looking to find some work in modeling while attending school for music.

I got in touch with Sadel through his mother. Sadel is a musician, living in Los Angeles, and is looking to find some work in modeling while attending school for music. I was happy to help him get some photos in model photography, and we set a date to plan.

Sadel’s reasoning is pretty simple, he’s a young good looking guy living in Los Angeles, which is the heart for Commercial Photography. Him and his mother found my portfolio online, and was quick to decide that I was the guy to help them get some really great photos to build a comp card.

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Sadel and his mom admittingly told me early on during the shoot that they knew very little about modeling and what someone would need in model photography to help get signed by an agency. Fortunately, I’ve worked with hundreds of models over the years, and have work with agencies within Los Angeles and southern California, so I was able to tell them about comp cards, the different styles of photography and models, and some tips to help him get ahead of the game over others pursuing the same thing.

Largely however, Sadel’s first love is music. It was great to talk to him about music, as he is a classically trained bassist, and is going to music school in Los Angeles under a scholarship. Recently, I started playing music again with a bunch of local musicians, so it was great to be able to talk shop with Sadel on music, and his approach to pursuing it further academically.

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Largely, the work we did for Sadel was headshots, as he’s still figuring out what style of photography and modeling he is pursuing. But he’s got a good head on his shoulders, so I have no doubt that Sadel will find some success in the Southern California modeling scene.

For more information about my model photography, and headshot photography in Albuquerque, be sure to look through my model photography portfolios.

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