Healthy Habits

The vibrant wellness coach, Erin Statter, was looking to get a new set of head shots for her website and upcoming ebook.  We had a fun and whirlwind 30 minute session in downtown Loveland last week and  got a few shots that made her smile that radiant smile of hers.

Check out Well Rebellion for more info on Erin’s services:


Phase Trakker

I love meeting people who are passionate about what they do and have a great sense of how they would like to show off their products to the world! Meet my new friends, EDM, from Fort Collins Colorado. The first product EDM wanted to show off to the world is the Phase Trakker – a revolutionary high-tech tool used by the rugged linemen who maintain our electrical grids. The good folks over at EDM hired me to shoot and edit their Phase Trakker advert that they will use to stand apart from the crowd. I had an amazing time with these wonderful folks, learned so much, and can’t wait for the next product project. Check it out! (those of you who are High Plains Drifter fans will appreciate the opening scene):


PhaseTrakker Final (Web Version) from Alanna Brake on Vimeo.

Food Photography




Being a photographer in a smaller city usually means even if you have a specific niche you prefer, and excel at, you will also be shooting gigs in just about any niche that comes your way. This can either be daunting or you can choose to embrace the challenge of mixing things up a bit. Any time I’m about to do a shoot in a specialized genre of photography, I love to check out Google Images and soak in examples of other professionals’ work to get a fresh look at what I need to accomplish.

By looking at all these images you’ll be able to pick out crucial details to remember. For example, today’s shoot will be for the Northern Colorado branch of Barista Pro Shop and we’ll be doing closeups of the bakery goodies they’ll be offering this season (yum!). So, by searching for “professional dessert photography” I got a whole slew of awesome, tantalizing images to sift through. Once I was done drooling, I decided which images drew me in the most and then made notes on  angles, lighting, props, accent colors, and so on.

After looking at the example photos I’ll often set up a test shoot to practice with the new information I’ve gathered. The photos above are a few shots of yesterday’s early morning latte I caught while playing with lighting options and looking for fun angles to shoot from. I was going for “urban hipster latte” (hey, that could so be a thing!), what do you think?

If you’re interested in learning more about food photography here’s a link from a fantastic blogger/food photographer with some tips and equipment suggestions:

Cheers! and here’s to hoping you are fortunate enough to get to eat the desserts you shoot 🙂

Adverts Are In!

I have had so much fun working with the posse at Mueller & Associates as well as the creative powerhouses behind Full Circle Creative.  The good people of Loveland never cease to amaze me; this time because I’ve learned just what a plethora of incredibly talented people we have in the ‘hood!

As I’ve said in previous posts, the Muellers launched this new advert campaign to reboot their brand as well as showcase some of their big-name Northern Colorado clients, and I had the honor of being their project photographer. I’d love to hear your feedback on their new look! check it out here: or below are some snapshots of both the website and magazine adverts:

Barista Pro Shop

BPS is a supply company for Northern Colorado and New Hampshire that delivers coffee, syrups, tasty noshables, and more to area coffee shops. They are also a client of Mueller & Associates. Jay Weller, the owner, was kind enough to pose for a few shots to accompany his testimonial in the ad campaign. It was a real pleasure getting to work with him.

We did the shoot in the BPS warehouse break/meeting room. Just look at that espresso bar! I was so jealous the employees get to enjoy that awesomeness every day! 😉 Maybe I’ll have to buy a machine like that for my studio… you know, for entertaining clients, of course. Not because I’m a java-holic or anything…


And while we’re chatting about the love of coffee, check out local artist Scott Freeman’s recent blog post How I Went From Coffee-Hater To Coffee-Lover I had a good chuckle over it.

PUSH Industries

One of my favorite shoots I’ve had. (Do I say that about all my assignments?)

On a sunny 55˚January day we trekked up the Backbone trail near the mouth of the Thompson Canyon so that pro mountain biker and owner of PUSH Industries, Darren Murphey, could repeatedly run jumps and whizz past me at what I would guess was 30mph. Maybe it wasn’t that fast, but as he came barreling down the hill, passing me within 2-3 feet, it sure got my adrenaline pumping.

This was my first go at high-speed flash photography and I learned so much from the experience. I cannot wait for another shoot of this sort to apply the tricks I learned. My new Einstein lights held up well under the pressure, though I thought the plastic shell was going to melt right off of them by the end.

Darren was a great sport, and had endless energy to ride up and down the hills for us. While we walked to our location he taught the stylist, the client and myself some gnar biking world terms. My favorite was find your line, which means you have to find the best path for yourself in order to achieve the ultimate ride.  Deep. Who’d have thought philosophy and mountain biking go hand in hand?

Paging Dr. Lillis

20130121 SmartCPA LakeLovelandDerm-60_WEBAs my second shoot for Mueller & Associates the tight-quartered and professional location of a doctor’s office was quite a shift from the large and informal studio location I had enjoyed with the previous week’s Colorado Ice football shoot. That’s the fun of being an on-site photographer though!

Professional game-face on, and an amazingly detailed shoot manager at my side, I met with dermatologist Dr. Lillis of Lake Loveland Dermatology to take a few images for the Mueller’s advert campaign testimonials. My biggest takeaway from this shoot was that you can’t possibly know what people are thinking, and you simply must do your job to the best of your ability and try not to let your worries get in the way.

Because I misread his calm, even-keel persona I was concerned that the good doctor figured I was some young photographer who didn’t know what she was doing and took longer to wrap up the shoot than necessary, but as it turns out he reported back to my client that he was pleased with my professionalism and ability. Whew. Silly girl, way to project your fears of being perceived as a novice onto others.

20130121 SmartCPA LakeLovelandDerm-39_WEB

Colorado Ice Football Commercial Shoot

My first assignment with Mueller & Associates was doing a chromakey (green screen) shoot with the owner, Paul, and a few folks of the Colorado Ice football team for an advert that will run in publications such as the Colorado Business Report.

Again, this was a game of firsts for me since the majority of my work has been on-location portraits and events. As my debut commercial shoot it was my first time renting a studio location, first time shooting on a chromakey, first time using my new pro lights, first time working on a commercial set, the list goes on…

I booked the space for a few extra hours so I could make sure everything was set up perfectly before the clients arrived. This helped calm my nerves and gave me a chance to try a few lighting scenarios. I remembered to try a tip I’d read about using a sharp back light to help separate the subject from the chromakey background to make post work easier; and I knew the look we were going for was “on the football field” so I wanted crisp, dual-sided lighting to simulate the floods that light up the field during night games.

I gained a lot of knowledge from this shoot and now that I’m about a year into this career, faced with brand new scenarios every day, I’m realizing that one of the best assets a person could have as a photographer is to simply be able to learn technique on the fly.

We all had fun on set and, most importantly, the clients are happy with the result so I think this one goes in the books as a win for team Brake! Here is an image we came away with, pre- and post-edit:

The goal was to light up Paul, the client, with full light while leaving the football player a little more non-descript

The goal was to fully light Paul while leaving #55, Anthony Perkins, slightly in shadow

The final ad. I used a 7" reflector for main, and a homemade barndoor rig for the backlight.

A screen capture of the final advert by Full Circle Creative, Loveland, Co.
I used a 7″ reflector dish on main, and a homemade barndoor rig for the backlight