We had the good fortune of connecting with Chad Gilbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chad, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up in rural Montana, surrounded by mountains. My parents were blue collar workers who were always trying to make ends meet. From an early age, my parents instilled in me a rock solid work ethic. In fact, my Dad was the the hardest working person I knew. He taught me that nothing is unreachable with hard work and effort. He also taught me that the hardest part of any problem is figuring out whether or not its possible – the rest is just research, time and sweat. Although he worked A LOT of different jobs (welder, railroad engineer, retired Army National Guard, logger, to name just a few), his passion was woodworking and I like to think I received my love of that craft from him. My Mom was also a huge influence in my younger years. Her passion is photography and there is no better place than Montana to practice and hone photography skills than Montana. To this day, she still gets out whenever she can to photgraph the beautiful Montana landscapes.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a landscape photographer and I also love woodworking. What I believe sets me apart is why I do it. I don’t do either to make a living (yes, I’d like to make money some day). I do it to give something back. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. What gets me through the day is a servant mindset. That anxiety and depression seems to melt away when I’m able to give a piece of art (photography or woodworking) away or at the least, charge the minimum amount. Many of my friends think I’m crazy for not charging for one of these pieces; what they don’t realize is that I get something much more valuable in return.

Now, about my photography… I love landscapes. There is nothing better than driving up into the mountains early in the morning to capture the sunrise. The pressure of life just seems to melt away and I want that feeling, that emotional response, for anyone who sees my art. I don’t really have a style. It’s almost free flowing and I like to see where the image takes me. Subsequently, its always an adventure.

My woodworking is a bit different. I make a lot of U.S. Flags using a Shou Sugi Ban technique to make the grain in the wood stand out. To further enhance the grain patterns, I coat them in resin.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado Springs has so much to offer. Some of the low hanging fruit is of course hiking Garden of the Gods and driving up Pikes Peak. I’d also take them east of town to the Paint Mines – that’s a full day trip. Red Rock Open Space is a great hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Further west, Mueller State Park can’t be missed, especially when the color is at its peak in the Fall. Any time of year, Fox Run Regional Park is a great destination to hike or just to hang out at the gazebo. For some urban adventures, you can’t go wrong with Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. Be sure you don’t skip the Penny Arcade. Don’t forget about touring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Even though may parents made me what I am today, my wife, Amy, is responsible for the success. We’ve been married 23 years and she has not just supported me every step of the way, she’s been a role model to me and our two children. Amy isn’t afraid to tell me that I’m doing the right thing and she’s definitely not afraid to tell me when I’m making a mistake. She is a career 5th grade teacher (23 years, so far) and has never faltered in her ideal that the children come first. She also has a rock solid work ethic. Yes, she gets the summers off (when she isn’t working summer school), but it’s a rare weekend or weeknight where she isn’t toiling away answering parent emails, grading papers or concocting new ways to inspire her students.

Website: www.chadgilbertphotography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ctgilbert1/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chadgilbertphoto

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