Zach Ancell


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Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, you were more likely to find Zach Ancell sprinting laps around a track than taking pictures. It wasn’t until he attended college that he picked up a camera and started photographing his teammates. As Zach’s athletic career came to a close he turned his focus to photography as a way to stay connected to the sports world which has been his lifelong passion. What resulted from this combination was heroic portraits from an athletes’s point of view.

By day, you’re likely to find Zach laying in a puddle of water as a runner hurdles over him or perched atop a ladder in studio trying to find the perfect angle. He’s always searching for the best possible way to highlight unique athletic movements, no matter what it takes. By night, he’s behind the computer retouching images and piecing together elaborate composites. He loves being able to have his hands on the image from initial concept all the way through to the final product. 

Zach is currently based out of Portland, Oregon, but also spends a lot of time up and down the west coast. Some of his clients include Nike, Adidas, Reebok, University of Oregon, Smithsonian Magazine, and Gerber Legendary Blades.



Today I finally get to share with all of you a project that I’ve been invited to contribute to and I’m really excited to be able to tell you about it. To make a fairly long backstory short, I ran track in college and had the opportunity to be teammates with two of the best athletes in the world currently: Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton. Because it’s an Olympic year, they’ve announced an initiative to get people to go after their goals called #WhatsYourGold. The project aims to get people to declare their ultimate goal and share that publicly via social media. Through a minimum of four submissions (A Goal, A Struggle, A Breakthrough, and The Outcome) using the hashtag #WhatsYourGold, your objective is to tell the best story of your journey to achieve your own personal “Gold”. In the end, one person will be selected to win a prize that includes a two person 12-day trip to the Olympics this year in Rio! Pretty amazing! In an attempt to keep this post short I’ll direct you to the campaign website: (link in my bio) to read more about the challenge. Also make sure you follow @weareeaton to join in with Ashton and Brianne (@btheiseneaton) as they go for their ultimate goal of winning Olympic Gold. I will also be contributing and sharing along the way and next week I will be filling you all in on what my “Gold” is! Looking forward to hearing what all of your goals are and going along the journey with you!

A photo posted by Zach Ancell (@zachancell) on


Last week, I introduced you all to the amazing storytelling project #WhatsYourGold that @weareeaton has challenged you to. It’s also a project that I’ve been ask to participate in to help you all along your journey to reach your personal gold. This week, I’m going to dive in and share what’s my “Gold”. For roughly 4 or 5 years I’ve been making a living as a photographer and even before that I followed a industry magazine called Photo District News (@pdnonline). Every year, they have an edition of their magazine where they name a select group of photographers to be “PDN’s 30: New and Emerging Photographers to watch”. As I was coming into the industry some of the people I respected and looked up to were named to the list over the years so naturally it was something that I wanted to win myself. So, for the #WhatsYourGold challenge my Gold is to be named to that list next year. And, I figured the best way to announce my gold would be to share a brand new image (above) which shows the direction I want to push my portfolio toward over the next year. (Side note: I have to recommend that you head over to my website to see the full resolution image since this had to be cropped for Instagram). Now that you know what I’m going after I have to pose the question to you: #WhatsYourGold? ----- Model: @a.yogis.way with @sluagency ----- #YOGASMOGA #Yoga #Yogi #GetFit #Fitness #fitspo #ElMatador #Malibu #Dancer #LosAngeles #sluagency #endeavoralways

A photo posted by Zach Ancell (@zachancell) on