lately with laura: thanksgiving giveaway

Lately I have been working on finalizing highlight slideshows for all of our fall photo shoots, and yet no slideshow is complete without the perfect song. Great music makes all the difference in visual storytelling. Finding a piece of music that compliments each set of images can sometimes be the hardest part of the process. I can’t simply attach the first song on my most recently played list; instead, the song has to feel right to me and match my presentation. Each song I choose adds a certain emotion, depth and energy, which brings the whole presentation to life.

I am always in search of new additions to our music library, and when I first heard Anna Jepson’s “Tall Dark and Handsome,” I was hooked. The song just screamed “Engagement Session” – for the right couple of course. I think I contacted Anna the very next day!

Since then, Anna’s new EP- Something About Sunshine has been released, and I am in LOVE!

Anna and I want to share the love with a little gift from us to you – our friends and family, and future friends and family on this Thanksgiving Holiday.

Thanksgiving Giveaway 2010:

Simply become a fan of Laura Ashbrook Photography on Facebook and post what you’ve been thankful for this past year on our page. Two random winners will be chosen next Monday; they will receive a signed copy of Something About Sunshine!

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Q & A with Anna:

For anyone who had never heard your music, describe your sound/style in 5 words:

souful, fun, real, heartfelt, endearing

Do you remember when you first fell in love with singing/songwriting?

I’m pretty sure that I came out of the womb singing. I’ve always done it. When I was little, I would stand at the top of the stairs after I was supposed to be in bed and sing as loud as I could until I fell asleep or my parents told me that it was enough. Songwriting is a much more recent love for me. When I got to Berklee, I had only written a couple of songs, and I knew that if I really wanted to pursue this that I had to do it all. So I started playing and writing for hours at a time and I fell in love with new ways to paint pictures with words. I’ve really only been writing for a little under 2 years, so I know there’s a lot more to come.

You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from and what’s your favorite part of the process?

There really isn’t a specific process for me, but that’s good and bad. Sometimes songs come from personal experience. Those are usually the ones about boys. Tall Dark and Handsome was definitely one of those. There was this guy who knew that I’d fall for him, and he let me a couple of times and it just made me crazy- in a good way. Then there are other times where I have an idea or an emotion that I’m trying to convey. Those are usually more difficult to write because they’re less of a story, and more of an evolution, either of an idea or an emotion. So far, those have been my favorite. As for my favorite part of writing? Finding great hooks. A hook can be lyrical or melodic, but for the most part its the two together. It’s the part that gets stuck in your head. Finding one hook gets me more excited than finishing a whole song. I like being able to write on the rush of it. It’s addicting. Making the next song better than the last is my goal, and making sure they don’t sound too similar to the others. Songwriting is a continual discovery and challenge for me, and I basically love it.

What five artists are at the top of your recently played list?

Rascal Flats, Brooke Fraser, Katie Herzig, The Civil Wars, and Good Old War. I tend to listen to a lot of acoustic based stuff. It’s the kind of music that speaks to my soul.

If you were going to do a duet with anyone who would it be?

I’ve thought about this one a lot and there are a few. John Mayer is probably on the top of the list. He’s someone I’d want to write and perform with. I think he’s just brilliant. Then there is Gary Levox from Rascal Flats who is an incredible vocalist- no one else sounds like him. And another person that I’d really like to work with, both in writing and performing, is Nick Jonas. His solo album is so soulful and shows a lot of maturity. I think that he has a crazy amount of talent that people overlook.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/playing?

Bake! I love to bake- especially cupcakes. It’s kind of unfortunate actually, because it isn’t a cheap hobby. I really enjoy experimenting with different flavors and decorations. And they just make people happy. So far my favorites are pumpkin spice with cream cheese icing, and banana cupcakes with milk chocolate buttercream, Yum! Someday, in a distant future, I’d love to open a bakery. I’m also really into film, so I like to watch all kinds of movies when I can, and usually have one playing when I’m baking.

*Follow Anna on twitter and become a fan on facebook!


Photos are courtesy of Hostetler Photo, who I cannot recommend enough. Specializing in high school senior portraits, Hostetler Photo continues to knock it out of the park with each and every shoot. Their warm demeanor and attention to detail provides seniors with the ultimate client experience that is completely unmatched.

{ show } { hide } 6 comments

Teri Pozniak - November 25, 2010 - 12:30 am

I am so thankful for the opportunity this year, to LIVE MY DREAM!

Jeremiah Burke - November 25, 2010 - 8:51 am

I am thankful for the following

Anna Jepson
Kristi Noem
Gia Allemand
Susan Neizelski
Laura Wilcox
Priscila Presley
Sarah Palin
Audrina Patridge

These individuals have been such an inspiration in my life, they have inspired me to be more, to love more, to laugh more, to sing more, to like more, to be all that i can be.

Love you guys

Paper Moss - November 25, 2010 - 4:14 pm

So thankful for the simple things in life: tea, a good book, and a fire. :)

Nancy - November 25, 2010 - 4:16 pm

Today I’m giving thanks for naps in the middle of the day. They are simply the best.

Madeline - November 25, 2010 - 4:18 pm

So thankful for music! I am loving Anna’s songs :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Hostetler Photo - November 29, 2010 - 11:04 pm

Thankful for being forgiven and that He chose me!!! And of course my fam, a warm snuggly home and my Nutty ;-)

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