URBAN OUTFITTERS STYLED SHOOT IN DEER CREEK CANYON, CO

Jamie and I first connected through Instagram, and amazingly she agreed to model for my first official styled shoot! All apparel items worn by Jamie were found at Urban Outfitters (links below), hair / makeup by the talented Kortney Kruger, second shooting by Anna Boardman of Hello Anna Lou Photography, and sweet truck provided by this one guy, Mike. (You may recognize him from this blog post.)

I'll be very honest ... the morning of the shoot I still had no idea what we were going to do, where we were going to go, and what our inspiration was. Cue panic mode. I remember calling my sister from Amethyst Coffee Co and telling her to just start saying words or ideas until something clicked. Thankfully [and yes, surprisingly] that worked! Trigger word? Gas station. Or maybe she said diner or the 50s and my mind went to a gas station. Either way, I recalled this 1992 Cindy Crawford Pepsi commercial and instantly knew that would be the inspiration for our shoot. Key words were Americana, grunge, dusty, wavy, natural. I found hairstyles and models and similar apparel online and created a Pinterest board for Jamie and Kortney so they could see my thoughts. After HMU were done, we packed up the car and set out south. We ended up shooting in Deer Creek Canyon by finding spots here and there to pull off the road, and guys, it was perfect. 

My friend, Mike, is a vintage-everything aficionado and agreed to meet us on location with his 1963 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45. He also happens to look like Tom Hardy, so I had to get him in some shots too. He provided his own wardrobe, save for the white and blue t-shirts from Urban. 

This team was absolutely phenomenal and so fun to work with! Thank you all for your time and mad skills making this shoot happen. 

If you are interested in setting up a similar lifestyle shoot, contact me

Levi's 501 Frayed Denim Shorts (or similar), size 25

Out From Under Ribbed Bodysuit in rose / grey /mint, size small

The blue dress is no longer available, but the Kimchi Blue Waterfall dress is similar; size x-small

Skylar half-frame sunglasses in black, one size

The white crop top is no longer available, but the BDG Johnny Tank Top is similar; size x-small

BDG Twig Ripped High-Rise Skinny Jeans in black, size 25

Shoes provided by Jamie: White Converse and 14th & Union Brook Leather Oxford in black

Mike's t-shirts were both BDG, size men's medium

Source: www.annahudsonphotography.com

VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE LIFESTYLE SHOOT IN SEDALIA, CO

Mike and I met last summer shortly after I moved to Denver, and his motorcycle has been a topic of conversation since then. Let's talk specs for a second: This is a 1976 Honda CB750F Super Sport. I may not know a lot about bikes, but I know this one's beautiful. Mike said he worked three paper routes to save for the bike and bought it from a neighbor before he was old enough to get a license. He wanted to get photos with it (before he lost his figure), so we set out south from Castle Rock in search of great light and dirt roads, and Colorado did not disappoint. We found our way to Sedalia, stopping along back roads to snag photos, and whatever road we ended up on gifted us an unreal sunset.

I have to brag about this shoot's fashion for a second too. Mike showed up sporting Topo Designs Work Pants, Grifter Company leather gloves, a Topo Designs klettersack (not pictured), and a Whiskey Grade denim jacket. It was like a genie granted me a wish. We've since been featured on Founded USA, Whiskey Grade, Whiskey Grade Denver, Motorcy.cl, and The Portrait Collection. 

I've been posting photos from this shoot here and there, so you may have seen some of these already, but I had to do a full post, because muscles, motorcycles, beards, tattoos, cigarettes, and sunsets. Every photoshoot's dream team. Enjoy!

THE BAND YOU'RE ABOUT TO SEE

This post about some very talented friends is somewhat preemptive, but we might as well start the buzz early, right? These four incredibly-talented musicians, Emma, Josh, Seth, and Caleb, are in the beginning stages of forming an indie pop rock band (thus the band "name"). I get the joy of hearing Josh write songs in my living and previewing demos they've recorded and was so excited to get out with them and take photos. We hit up a little spot close to Mile High Stadium here in the Mile High City, and it was perfect and quirky and fun and awesome.

Stay tuned for more info on how to get a hold of their music and where you can see them perform!

AURORA, CO IN-HOME LIFESTYLE SESSION - GINNY + TONY

I first connected with Ginny through a Facebook group for lady photogs here in Colorado, and I'll be honest, it was her long, wavy, blonde locks that first caught my eye and gave me the idea of doing an in-home, lifestyle session with her. She and her husband, Tony, graciously invited me into their home one summery, Sunday morning to capture some moments of them naturally. Or as naturally as possible with a photographer following you around.

Ginny and Tony shared mugs of coffee and whispers of what they were most proud of in the other, I love yous, and tender glances (and maybe also, "Thanks for doing this"). I learned Tony was in the Air Force, served several deployments overseas, and earned a Purple Heart for his bravery and service. They are the proud parents of two little girls, and the quiet love they had for them and one another seemed to come forward as we shot. 

Thank you, two, for such a sweet, in-home session!

Also, I just had to make my first original GIF after seeing these photos in succession. So here you go

SOME THINGS I CURRENTLY LOVE

I don't know about you, but I love hearing about what media, technology, and gear other creatives are using [or avoiding], not to mention any trade secrets they want to share. So here are my five favorite photography tools (currently). 

Photography tools - Anna Hudson Photography

SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram. And not just regular ole Instagram, but Instagram for businesses. Like every other person on the planet, I was not excited to hear about Instagram's move to using an algorithm in users' feeds. Fast forward a few months, like every other [business owner] person on the planet, I was leery of Instagram's roll out of business accounts and assumed the worst: You switch to a business account, Instagram pushes your posts into a black hole where no one will see them, and IG starts charging you for posts because you are a business. I get it. I was there. I thought all the thoughts. Maybe that will happen someday, but for now, I am loving the benefits of switching to a business account. 

There is now a contact button with options for how to contact me (directions, call, or email). Because I have my Facebook business page linked to IG and am registered as a photographer on Facebook, IG automatically lists me as a photographer, and I don't waste precious characters telling people that. IG also lists my location, so that too, doesn't take up any characters in my bio. And last, but certainly not least, insights. Insights are basically Google analytics for your IG feed. And they are so interesting! I now can see my demographics, when my followers are using IG, and which posts are doing well or not so well. Lots of applause for this change, Instagram.

What are your thoughts this change for businesses? How have you changed what you do based on insights? 

APPS N ZERTS

Snug. It's also an app (don't judge me); it mirrors your Instagram feed and then allows you to add one to infinity photos and move them around to see what your Instagram would look like if you posted that photo. It's amazing, and it's only 99 cents. I will admit, it occasionally has its bug issues, but overall, it's the easiest app I've found that does what it does. I use it every day to see how my feed will change by adding certain photos, tones, content; and if I don't like what I'm seeing, I'm able to go back into Lightroom and edit a different image and try that out. 

I'm a new-to-full-time photographer, so I still post manually and don't have an exact schedule. What are apps you use that help you see what your feed will look like and also allow you to schedule posts? Has scheduling posts changed your social media workflow?

PRESETS

Many of you know the app, VSCOcam, which is a part of VSCO (Visual Supply Company), most known for its photography presets emulating film, e.g. Kodak Gold 100, Fuji 400, etc. When I first got into photography, I began buying the VSCO presets (I currently own packs 1, 4, 5, 6, + 7). I used various presets from various packs with varying levels of success; I honestly just couldn't find ones that fit my style from shoot to shoot. And then this year I was introduced to presets created by Tribe Archipelago. Talk about a game changer. I purchased the LXC pack, four color presets and two black and white. These have changed everything I do and everything I know about editing, and I finally feel like I can go into Lightroom, apply a preset, and get to work making the edits my own. Thank you, Loren + Chris! Personal favorites? LXC 03 and LXC 06. 

What presets do you use? Have you created your own? 

FACEBOOK GROUPS

I thought Facebook groups had died after college and it was no longer necessary to belong to "People who cross the street to step on leaves because they like the crunchy sound." (Or something like that. It was a real group.) But then last year I moved to Denver and was connected to a Facebook group of lady photographers in Colorado. They are bomb-@#$ girl bosses who share tips, answer questions, help with location scouting, give referrals, and encourage each other in our field. It's been one of the best things for me, knowing no one in Colorado and having no idea how I would start, let alone grow, a business here. 

There are a bunch of other photography groups I'm in on Facebook that inspire me, challenge me, answer questions, and help me grow. Without a doubt, I would not be in the spot I am today without the help from the people in these groups! If you're feeling a little bit lost, start your Facebook search for groups in your field. 

Has social media helped you connect with people in your trade? 

BLUETOOTH SPEAKER

Ben Sasso, amazing photographer and educator, recommends piping in music for shoots and gives tips on how to do that. His posts about his gear and how music can change, soften, or liven up a shoot led me to buy a bluetooth speaker I could bring with me to shoots. And also use in the shower, because music all the time. I bought this one because it's water resistant, can suction in the shower (and my car, I learned), has buttons on it so I can make changes without my phone, and it has a tiny carabiner I can hook to belt buckles or D-rings in the field.

Upsides: It was cheap, it's functional, meets my needs, and it's super portable. Downsides: I don't think the battery lasts very long, a few hours max, so I have to be very on top of charging it. The carabiner connection with the speaker should be a little bigger; the carabiner fits awkwardly, and it has to be upside down to be used (the carabiner, not the speaker). The instructions suck. I also hate reading instructions, so when I first bought it, I played around with it, convinced I could figure it out. Nope. Wrong. You need the instructions, and they are not great, but good news for you, here's what they should say: Hold down the power button for 50 million seconds until a creepy Siri says, "Power on." Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase!

Have you tried using music during a shoot? How did it change the mood?

Those are a few of the tools I'm using today; which tools do you love using in your creative field? 

Hey, LA

I'll be in LA (Hollywood and any beach or hiking trail within 50 miles) July 16-21 and can take a few more shoots! It wouldn't be a proper vacation for a photographer without a few sessions, right? I love my Colorado mountains, but there's just something about the beaches and coast and city vibes I really love out west. I'm looking for some rad couples, in-home lifestyle, or someone just up to get adventurous and maybe a little bit weird. But like, the good kind of weird. Contact me to book! Sessions will be limited. 

Source: www.annahudsonphotography.com

Lifestyle family portraits at Waneka Lake

First off, welcome to the blog! This is my very first post, and I'm so excited it's of the Wordens. Hillary reached out to me after I did a mini session with her cousin's family, and we set up a sunrise time at Waneka Lake in Lafayette, CO. Our morning could not have been sweeter; Waneka Lake is beautiful, we had lovely sun rays coming through the trees, we found a million sticks to throw in the lake, not to mention a dock [safe] and suitable for curious littles. The thing I love about lifestyle sessions is the ease and reality going into them. Did Harper and Finley cry a few times? Of course. Did Finley need a bottle halfway through? You bet. Did the girls try to eat or throw every twig and rock they saw? Absolutely they did. That's real life! But the girls were also so fun and sweet and inquisitive - beautiful little tomboys with curls and smiles and dresses, which I love. I got to witness Derrick and Hillary parent and love and laugh with their babes for an hour and am honored they invited me into their life for a summer morning at a golden lake. Thank you, Wordens!

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Source: www.annahudsonphotography.com