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Up and Coming Photographer: Hudson Ratzlaff

Hudson Ratzlaff is an up and coming videographer with a knack for capturing the perfect moment and the feelings that accompany it.

            Though he is only a Sophomore at the University of Colorado, studying Media Production with a minor in Technology Media and Arts, he rivals other professionals in the field. His story starts like many others, taking up photography and videography as a hobby and passion project at the end of his freshman year of college. He actually started out as a chemical engineer but gave it up after he wasn’t passionate about it. Once he got his first camera, he edged his way into the industry by first taking photos of his sister and then finding a niche photographing street-wear after posting on the Facebook page for CU Boulder students. Every weekend he made it his goal to go on a new type of photo-shoot.

Through his dedication, optimism, and natural talent, his career took off within the last year and he now interns with a startup studio on Pearl Street, called Boulder Bits. He’s also working to establish his own business which focuses on producing content for various businesses that captures “beauty and art” in a way that still helps to business market their product. He says that it is his specialty to be able to work with clients while not losing this artistic license. 

“It’s like someone else has been writing on the pages of your life until a certain point, and now you’ve finally grabbed the pen for yourself and you’re wanting to finally make your own path,” said Ratzlaff about his recent success.

His success also lead him to various destinations around the country. His work has sent him to numerous locations including Aspen, Las Angles, and Texas.  Out of all the locations he’s been to for photo shoots, he says that Aspen and the Xgames were by far one of his favorite experiences. “Shooting Martin Garix was insane and the athletes and stuff. I’m there with my DSLR, my old vintage lenses that I’ve been working with, and then you have guys with literally $20,000 cameras next to me. Guys who are like ‘yeah I’m working with ESPN.’ But I got to go and take pictures of all the concerts down there and stuff like that which was awesome. It was a wild experience for me.”


            For Ratzlaff, his whole journey has been experimental. He mainly learned by spending time researching various photography techniques on YouTube and similar forums. “There’s really not a set of instructions, there’s no guidebook. It’s so new, its un-tread territory still. You see so many people who are Insta famous but don’t wanna talk about how they got there,” he said.

He also attributes some of his success to the culture of creativity that openness on college campuses and especially at CU Boulder. He’s found that so many of his peers and other people in the community get excited about his mission and projects. People are more than willing to help him find connections or volunteer for photo-shoots.

PC and Instagram: @jameshudsonratzlaff


Ashley Hopko

CU Boulder

Ashley is a freelance writer and graphic designer based out of Boulder, Colorado. When not in class, she can be found serving on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega, blogging about her many misadventures, or spending time outdoors.
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