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Creative Corner: Nature brings out little surprises in this artist's photos

Everyone is more at ease in nature

It has been said many times that a photo is worth 1,000 words. For Yelena Hughes, the statement could not be more true as she takes the time to get to know clients and searches for the little things that make a photo come to life. 

Hughes grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico butcame to Colorado to study at the University of Colorado-Boulder, CU.   There, she started as a photography major, although she didn't finish it. She ended up with a B.A. in geography and peace and conflict studies. However, while there, she did a lot of outdoor education working for the CU outdoor education program and her love for nature grew. 

After graduation, Hughes worked for Avid 4 Adventure, Longacre Expeditions and then created her own outdoor adventure business, One Heart Adventures, that is focused on wilderness and other adventure travel for women and middle-school girls. 

Now, Yelena is combining her love of adventure with her love of photography at Yelena Hughes Photography. She specializes in lifestyle photography in natural, outdoor settings and documents people's adventurous sides.

Clients usually come to Lyons for their own little adventure, but I also travel in the Denver metro area, including Longmont.

"I enjoy capturing adventure and travel and nature. All of my clients know that I'm going to take their photos in natural light. It's a natural element but it's also their own natural element if they choose my style of photography," Hughes said.

She said one reason she focuses on nature photography is that she "likes how everyone is at ease in nature."

A client recently expressed their interests and favorite outdoor activities. Hughes harnessed that knowledge to create their family photos.

She said, "I recently had a family that said they love to hike. We tramped around in the woods and I took photos of them." 

Family photos are special to her and she wants to make sure familles take advantage of opportunities to hold onto their memories. She said it was a subject of debate in her own family.

"My husband was totally annoyed that I wanted photos when my son was born, now he thinks it's one of the best investments we made," Hughes said.

One of her favorite things about taking photos is: "Getting to know the clients, being in nature with them, and capturing the small sweet moments." 

Hughes also said she loves finding surprises during the editing process.

"I like playing with the light and shadows, adding in the black and white element. My photo galleries always have some black and white images. I like looking closely at the photos and finding little surprises, especially in the family photos.," she said.

Hughes would like people to know that photographs are worth it.

She said, "I'd like to encourage everyone to get photographs taken — in any stage of life, with me, or with another photographer. It's rare to have someone focusing entirely on you and your family and you will never regret taking the photos."