After (Art) School Special: Lydia Hudgens

Curiosity and creativity go hand-in-hand. And as we get older, we start to lose that need to question everything or create for that matter. We no longer want to swim against the grain but instead, want to blend in. But why?

In order to produce unique, new ideas one has to be open, curious, and stay creative. Let your imagination run free. 

And with that, I welcome you to my newest series that will spotlight some of my favorite people who continue to push their own boundaries when it comes to creating. Photography, installation, designing, painting - anything and everything. 

First up to the podium is Lydia Hudgens.

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I've known Lydia for years now. I started as her photo intern years ago and the rest is history.

You may have seen her name receive photo credit for an image whilst scrolling through your Instagram feed. But what you may not be so familiar with is her personal portfolio. It has a completely different vibe - moodier, bold, and with a hint of homage to film. Fuel your fascination with our Q&A below.


Lydia Hudgens
San Francisco -> Brooklyn, New York
Academy of the Art University for Fine Art Photography

Who inspires you and how did they influence you? 

Lately, I've really been into really quiet photographers. Artists like Erika Astrid, lililand, sabrinasantiago, paradisonyc and Christina Emilile (the last being a close friend and an amazing minimalist photographer). I've shot street style for so long, so photographers like this interest me directly because it's so different than the fast speed that I've come accustomed to shooting. It's quieter, more thoughtful, poignant and I respond to it. 

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What do you want viewers to take away from your work? 

I want to start going in a more thoughtful direction with my work because the photography I personally enjoy is quiet, almost brooding and nearly always serious. I want people viewing my work to think, not only about the shape and fabric of the garment I'm shooting but the story I'm trying to convey. I'm working on rebranding currently, so this is the direction I'll be starting to gear my personal work towards.

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What is the difference between beauty and vulgarity? 

I think it's a fine line honestly. I see some photos where the subjects are clearly naked but they're more poignant and raw than someone completely clothed. I personally loved photographing the human form for years so I find beauty in the skin, regardless of the shape - whether it be fat, thin, muscle-bound, etc.. People can find something vulgar in any image but generally that vulgarity is personal. Something about the photo causes them distress but that response differs from person to person. It's not necessarily a negative but can become one if it's voiced online - an issue that is becoming more and more normal in this day and age. People feel like they can hide behind their computers and pick other people apart and it's honestly disgusting. If you don't like something, look elsewhere. It's not for you.

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Black and white or color?

Both!

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Do you miss film?

Yes, 100%. I shot film this weekend and will start incorporating more into my work. Unfortunately, it's very pricey so that's the only hurdle but I have been seeing more and more brands paying photographers to shoot film so maybe there's hope it'll have a resurgence!

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If you could take your art / photographs in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new thing would you try?

I may have already mentioned this before but I'm rebranding myself and created a new photography account @LydiaHudgensPhoto. I think people have sort of pigeonholed my work to bloggers and I know I have the bandwidth to do so much more. So that's what I'm working on - expanding, experimenting, slowing down, etc. Getting back to my roots! 

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Hope you enjoyed the first After (Art) School Special installment featuring Lydia Hudgens. Be sure to give her Instagram account a follow at @LydiaHudgensPhoto. My goal is to have these installments have their own consistent schedule, but until then you can stay up-to-date on all my blog happenings on Instagram and Twitter!

Where I Found My New Stylish Specs Online

Today's post was created in collaboration with Zenni. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

I would consider myself to be super health-conscious but there are some things that keep slipping off my radar due to costs. One, in particular, is getting my eyes checked and getting new frames since it's been a while. Ok, maybe like four or five years. 

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One of the reasons I've been putting it off for so long is because it's kind of expensive to get new frames. So I've been dealing with frames that have long, lost their luster and repeatedly slide down my very small nose bridge. But as you might have seen on my Instagram Stories a few new Zenni pairs that fit perfectly on my face and not to mention stay perfectly in place. FINALLY. 

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I tend to buy everything online - furniture, shoes, makeup, even fresh produce. But I haven't bought eyeglasses because it seemed intimidating and what if the fit wasn't great? Well, Zenni put all of my pensive thoughts to ease and made the entire process super easy.

All you need is your current prescription, this includes your PD (pupillary difference) which you can easily find with this tutorial, to get started. Then browse their extensive collection of everyday styles - there is truly something for everyone. As for me, I love thick horn-rimmed and vintage eyeglasses so I went with these two because the price point for both was affordable. Cute, right?

And if you're nervous about how it'll look on, don't fret. You can upload your photo to Frame Fit. It's Zenni's virtual mirror and will help tremendously as you compare all your favorite frames. Trust, it's going to be hard to narrow down your final selection.

After 10 business days, these guys came in the mail and I absolutely love the fit and the quality. One thing that stood out is how the lenses don't smudge or streak - an issue I hated with my older frames.

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Final verdict, 10 out of 10. I'm super happy with my frames, how seamless it was to order online, and how cute my frames look with my outfits. If you have any questions on the process don't hesitate to reach out!

And don't forget to shop for new Zenni frames here.

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Always on The Go Personal Essentials

Today's post was created in collaboration with BabbleBoxx.com and Simply Summer’s Eve®. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

  Photo by Lydia Hudgens.

Photo by Lydia Hudgens.

This has definitely been the year of travel for me. It feels like every other weekend I've been scurrying off to another state or packing my bags to experience a new side of Europe. It's been fun but at the same time, a little hard to always feel fresh. Same can be said for days when I'm settled in NYC but on the go to gym classes, meetings and outings with the crew.

However, I did notice a few essentials that I tend to keep stocked for those days and trips when I want to feel my best - confidence is key baby!

  • CC+ Cream - I found this type of foundation provides the coverage I like without the mess of a liquid foundation
  • Highlighter - a good glow can make a day 100x times better
  • Balm - it can be used on your lips, hands, cuticles and anywhere you're feeling a bit dry
  • Hair Oil - to revive my dried out, damaged curls 
  • Simply Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Cloths - comes in individual packets that are perfect for girls on the go
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I'm going to be completely transparent and say that yes, talking about personal care is kind of taboo but the only way to make something less taboo is to talk about it more, so let’s talk about it! ::multiple hand clap emojis::

I've been using Simply Summer's Eve® Cleansing Cloths on and off for a few different reasons: before my waxing appointment, after gym class when showers are non-existent, heavy flow days, freakishly long flights - you get the picture.

I love feeling confidently fresh and appreciate the discreet packaging. And in case you’re wondering, as I did, their gentle formula won’t irritate skin. They’ve also been clinically and gynecologist tested for safety. You can find out more on SummersEve.com.

They have a few scents, Mandarin Blossom, Cucumber Lily and Coconut Water, which both won awards from Real Simple.

What essentials do you keep your bag stocked with?