We had the good fortune of connecting with Bob Younger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bob, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Keep going or give up??? If you are an entrepreneur you may ask yourself this question 10 times a week. That’s not a bad thing. Think about this. – every successful business person has spent time and energy re-assessing, making plans, experimenting with new ideas. Why do they do that? It’s because there is always a little doubt. What isn’t working, what can I do better, what is the market asking of me? These questions will undoubtedly create doubt, doubt creates decision points which often lead to the idea of quitting or moving forward. The real question is, as a small business owner, do I have the vision of a future where I am comfortable and doing what I enjoy? If the answer is yes, then those quit/no quit questions are so much easier to answer. For me, I constantly assess where I am, where do I want to be and what is it going to take to get there. You should do the same. Don’t be afraid of those times you feel like giving up, embrace them, get creative and move on. You’ve got this!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began shooting photos at a young age growing up in Yellowstone where my dad worked. Back then, it was all film. I waited patiently for the images to return by mail, and often I was let down. What did I screw up this time? Why is this image just black? But about 5 years ago I purchased my first DSLR and a whole new world opened up to me. Being able to immediately see the images on the back of the camera left me empowered to do better with each click of the shutter. I began posting them to social media and the requests came in. Can you shoot my family? Do you do weddings? What is your rate? I was blown away and humbled. I opened my brick and mortar studio in Old Town Fort Collins four years ago and I haven’t looked back. I believe that my images stand out from the norm because of two things. First, I care very much for my clients. I want them to have an experience that leaves them glad they picked me and realizing they had waaaay more fun then they expected. Second, my images are dramatic and tell a story. I constantly push myself to learn more, do more with my images and I think that shows. Every photo set, every client, I come out of those experiences with new knowledge and new ideas for the next shoot. And my clients, they really are the best. I think they make my job easy and fun and I love them to pieces.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A trip to Fort Collins would not be complete without a visit to local breweries and drinking establishments. Every guest that comes town gets a special introduction to the Old Town area, usually starting at Social, an amazing speak easy buried below the city street in Old Town. The owner, Ty Fulcher, has created a staple with the most amazing setting, food and the BEST cocktails anywhere. And of course, no visit to this area would be the same without a trip to the mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, hiking the Rawah wilderness, fly fishing the Poudre or the Big Thompson -seriously how Colorado is that? Oh, and the music! We are blessed to have some of the most forward thinking benefactors in this town who provided us with some exceptionally awesome music shows, venues and events. Honestly, having lived elsewhere, I can’t see myself anywhere but here in FoCo!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Every day I am fortunate enough to have a tribe of support. Most importantly, my wife Michelle and my amazing children. Without them this would not be possible. My wife is a saint, patient and understanding of my dream. And my kids – they are the best assistants and second shooters around! But like I said, my tribe is big. It’s important to recognize those who help you along the way. I belong to a collective of like-minded photographers who believe in collaboration and not competition. Don’t get me wrong, we are all in it to win it. But there are so many times that you can choose to help a fellow photographer out. People like Tony Clapp, Sarah Christine Photography, Sean Lara, JM Gant, Rebecca Elliot of Sunnybrook Photo, they have all helped me, provided support, information, mentoring and challenged me as well. Personal mentors like Joe Buckner of Beautifully Savage boxing often make me think critically about my business and help keep me on track and motivated.
All photos belong to Bob Younger Images