Our Northern Colorado home is inherently Instagram worthy, Pinterest ready and has stories to tell. We’ve already highlighted a few of our favorite local Instagrammers, but this time around we wanted to focus a bit more on art, experience and storytelling from a few exceptional local photographers. To help paint a picture of what life is really like in Colorado, we found our favorite nature and lifestyle photographers and asked them to share their NoCo stories.
Explore for yourself, the people, the nature and the stories of our community through the lenses of our favorite artists! Can’t get enough? Explore their work deeper on their social media accounts, on their websites, or contact them directly!
Photos courtesy of Ben Ward Photo
Ben Ward is a Colorado native who regularly explores his state and his world, with camera in tow. Our favorite characteristics of his photos are his unique lighting styles and framing choices. Using these, he can take an everyday place, person or thing, give it a brand new spin and turn it into art. When you’re exploring his website, be sure to read through the stories section where he uses images and words to tell a story. We love his Rocky Mountain National Park story!
What Ben has to say about photography and his Northern Colorado home:
“Up until pretty recently I would always say that nature is my favorite subject to photograph. I grew up in Colorado and my parents would always take my brother and I camping for vacation. My love for photographing mountains, wildlife, and the stars came pretty naturally. I still love photographing nature, but right now my focus is on taking photos of people. Adding a moving, breathing subject to a photo creates a whole new realm of possibilities. Outside of my full-time job, I spend most of my time shooting photos of friends, strangers, models, and weddings.
“Taking photos used to be a very solitary activity for me, but now I rarely do it alone. Fort Collins is home to an unexpected amount of talented photographers. Some of the most inspiring photographers that I know live in Northern Colorado, and I’m proud to call them good friends of mine. Whether we’re waking up at 4 a.m. to summit a mountain in time to catch sunrise or just grabbing a beer in Old Town, I’m constantly blown away by the sense of community.”
Website: Ben Ward Photo
Photos courtesy of Wil Claussen
Wil’s nature photography focuses on exploration. We love how he introduces human elements into photos of natural landscapes — like cars venturing into wilderness and the Where’s Waldo style of inserting human silhouettes into huge shots. His portraits are also often immersed in nature. Though they focus more on the human than the wildlife, they still emphasize exploration, and what better place for this than beautiful Northern Colorado?!
What Wil has to say about photography and his Northern Colorado home:
“As a photographer living in Northern Colorado I have enjoyed access to some of the most beautiful and varied wilderness in all of the state which has fostered my deep love of landscape photography. When I am not shooting the natural environment, I enjoy capturing portraits of the many faces that make up my adventurous and supportive community.”
Website: Wil Claussen
Photos courtesy of Daryl Love Photography
Originally from Memphis, Daryl Love has lived in Fort Collins for four years. He specializes in film photography, but dabbles in a bit of everything. We love how his portraits show off the character and attitude of each person, making them truly genuine. HIs nature photography shows off our Northern Colorado surroundings and shows how we can explore and be a part of them. Check out his blog to see where he’s been traveling and what he’s been photographing!
What Daryl has to say about photography and his Northern Colorado home:
“My favorite thing to photograph is people. I love portraits. I feel it is a collaboration between the photographer and the subject. Everything the photo shows is a direct correlation of the relationship between the subject and photographer: the mood, the pose, the setting, the light, etc.
“What I love about Northern Colorado are the people and the terrain. The people are genuinely friendly. There is almost a southern hospitality to Fort Collins. I have met amazing people of all ages here. From farmers in Laporte to baristas from Wisconsin, everyone has treated me with love. I feel safe here in Fort Collins. And as far the terrain goes, you can drive an hour in any direction and have a different landscape. Wyoming up North, Rocky Mountain National Park Southwest, and the plains in the East guarantee I will never fall short of inspiration.”
Website: Daryl Love Photography
Photos courtesy of Andrew Jon Mueller
Andrew approaches his photography casually and does it simply because of his passion for the craft. He says, “My goal is to live this life and capture as many moments as I can.” This goal is evident in his photos — which capture moments full of life and expression. We love his portrait photography most because of his ability to freeze moments of emotion and character.
What Andrew has to say about photography and his Northern Colorado home:
“I love capturing authenticity, from the absolutely gorgeous environments to the diverse people who have something to express. My favorite aspect of Colorado photography is the love for adventure and life.”
Website: THE HOST PHOTO
Photos courtesy of Kyle Panis
Kyle’s photography is all about storytelling. We love the soft, muted tones he finds in nature — he turns everyday places into wonderlands that beg for peaceful exploration. His portrait photography is thoughtful. It makes each person intriguing and shows off their thought process, making you want to find out more about them. He has also done various branding projects, as well as senior portraits and interior photography.
What Kyle has to say about photography and his Northern Colorado home:
“Before my freshman year of college, I was expecting photography to slowly leave my life as I began focusing on Business or Computer Sciences, but I was completely wrong. I began to use Photography as an outlet of expression for when I felt lost in the masses of humans going to class or the three hundred person lecture halls. I felt like I wasn’t being stimulated artistically, and I wanted to create more.
“As my Instagram grew and my clients expanded, so did my dissatisfaction with school. I began traveling to states all around the country to cover subjects like national parks and camping trips and I was slowly booking more portrait and commercial shoots and I loved my time on the road. Slowly school became less of the education I wanted to invest in and more of a chore before the next outing or shoot.
“Freshman year ended, and I decided that I was going to take time off from school to pursue making a living with and learning more about photography.
“Since that time I have been able to pursue Content Creation for a Denver-Based company named Spruce and document a number of people and places, but my main obsession has been with portraits. I find solace in nature and the abandoned, Lifestyle photography has been a key to my environmental portraits and editorial campaigns, but capturing people and telling a side their story has to be my favorite aspect of capturing light.”
Website: Kyle Panis Photography
Photos courtesy of Liz Osban Photography
We love the cinematic and dream-like colors and themes in Liz’s photography. They’re artistic entertainment pieces and you can tell she has fun doing what she loves. She has done event photography as well as work for Denver’s Westword and participated in and won various film contests. Though she’s originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming she considers herself a part-time Coloradan and loves the photography potential of Northern Colorado. Read more about her on her website.
What Liz has to say about photography and Northern Colorado:
“Growing up, my biggest influences were films so I have a cinematic mindset when shooting my personal work. My favorite subjects to photograph are solo portraits with a styled theme sometimes inspired by a movie, era or a certain photograph. After that, I love photographing couples who don’t act aware of the camera, but pay more attention to their significant other which is really the best part of a relationship anyway — seeing how others react with their loved ones.
“The best thing about Northern Colorado is the endless amount of locations to photograph. Even if it’s snowing you can find stunning spots to shoot or explore. Right now, I love Estes Park. I have a nostalgic soft spot for Estes and feel like I’m in an autumn film there. I often think about spots in Wyoming and other nearby states that just don’t have that luxury and I try to remember how lucky we all are because of these epic landscapes and opportunities.”
Website: Liz Osban Photography
If you have a favorite NoCo photographer, let us know! We love our beautiful community and surroundings and could always use more photographs to swoon over. If you have your own creative ideas, contact any one of these photographers to get a photo session set up or get to know them over coffee!