We had the good fortune of connecting with Chuck Rasco and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chuck, what do you attribute your success to?
I think the most important factor for me is connecting with my customer. Often times I’ll spend the extra few minutes talking to them about the image that they’re showing interest in, and give them some insight into what the day was like that I took the image, or the circumstances that created the scene. I feel that people have more interest in something if they have a connection to it, whether it be an iconic location they’ve visited, or the story of how the image was captured. If there’s a story behind the image, then it becomes more than just a pretty picture on the wall.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For me, photography is not just about capturing light, but also the technique and technology used to create that perfect scene that draws the viewer into the image. I continually strive to learn new techniques to push my photography further. Nightscapes and Milky Way photography have become a passion for me. Learning that 80% of Americans can’t, or have never seen the Milky Way drives me to create realistic images of the night sky using both unique and well known locations. I grew up in south Florida and was one of the 80%. I didn’t realize you could see the Milky Way with the naked eye until my wife and I were standing on a mountain pass in Colorado one fall night and she showed it to me. I want to show people what they’re missing, as well as show iconic locations that so many have seen images of, in a different light. Most people will travel to iconic locations and take snapshots along the way. And then when it’s dinner time, they call it a night. I like to go to these same locations, but at night. It’s a completely different look and feel to see an iconic location under the stars.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a baseball fanatic, so a “must-see” type trip would always include a baseball game at Coors Field, and a stroll through Union Station and the new McGregor Square. Without fail, whenever someone visits for the first time, I always want to take them to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a Colorado icon. It was one of the first places my wife took me took the first time I came out here. We always make a day of it, and drive up Fall River Road and then down into Grand Lake for ice cream, and sometimes dinner too. On the way back there’s a better opportunity to see moose, and you can time it to see sunset from the top of the Continental Divide. Before leaving the park, stop by Bear Lake for an easy walk around the lake to catch the Milky Way rising over Longs Peak. If that doesn’t scream ‘show me Colorado’ then I can’t help you.
An afternoon trip up to the top of Mt Evans always leaves visitors in awe, as they can see mountain goats, a beautiful sunset, and then watch the city lights of Denver awaken off in the distance as the Milky Way rises over the horizon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve had so many people help guide and mentor me through this process. The Lone Tree Photography Club introduced me to many other local photographers that have had a hand in shaping my vision and creative process. Darren White, a great friend and fellow photographer, is constantly pushing me to create, Whenever I start to find myself in a bit of a creative “funk”, I can hear him in my head telling me “You’ll never get the shot if you don’t get off the couch”. And he’s not afraid to tell you what you need to hear. Tom Heywood, another great friend and photographer. He was the one who first saw my work and introduced me to the LoneTree Photography Club. He has always been a source of info, support, and critiques.
Joseph Roybal – you guessed it, a photographer and close friend. Joseph also is an instructor and leads various workshops. I’ve taken several of his workshops and gone on various trips with him, and he’s one of those people that no matter what the conversation is about, you’ll walk away learning something from him.
My wife, Cathy – my harshest and most honest critic. She has been right there with me throughout this journey, and she’s not afraid to give me the brutally honest feedback that I’m looking for when I’m working on an image or and idea. If it sucks, she’ll let me know!
Personal Photo – Cathy Rasco