We had the good fortune of connecting with Connor Rothgeb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Connor, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was always into science and math growing up, and as college neared I pictured my career being in a STEM field of some kind. I figured it would be work that was always in-demand and paid well enough to enable me to travel and have a nice, comfortable lifestyle. Fast forward to college and I’m doing basically that, pursuing a degree in statistics (after changing my major a couple times). I felt fine about it, but I was lacking the passion for my future career that some of my friends had.
Late in college, my interest in photography was sparked by a group of friends I met who were into it and ran a club dedicated to it. I absolutely fell in love with it and spent tons of time learning techniques and practicing, and it quickly evolved from just a hobby to something that earned me small amounts of side income toward the end of college. I even started to wonder if photography could become a full-time pursuit for me, which was completely out of the ordinary for me. I think the fact that I spent so much time on photography so quickly showed that deep down I had a desire to do something outside of STEM that sparked joy in me that was lacking. Pursuing photography has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
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.
I think that being a photographer is far more than just having a camera. It’s about connecting with whatever you’re photographing, whether it’s people, places, or animals, and capturing unique moments in time in a way that’s authentic to the photographer. I mostly do portrait and landscape photography, both of which excite me in very different ways. I love connecting with clients and making them feel confident and at-ease, helping me capture their special occasions and moments so that they can cherish them for years to come. On the other hand, it’s hard to beat witnessing, and photographing, a sunrise casting an orange glow onto a landscape and the amazing feeling that comes with it. both forms of photography bring me joy, and I refuse to put myself in a box by only doing one or the other.
The reactions people have when they see a photograph are what really top it all off for me. Whether it’s a client smiling when they see their photos for the first time or a friend admiring a landscape I’ve captured, the feelings I’m able to elicit through photography are invaluable to me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d probably take them on a road trip through the whole state, to be honest. I’d want them to experience the same joys that I do: hiking, seeing wildlife, and experiencing the places that are unique to Colorado. The Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountain National Park would be first on the list, for sure. Along the way, I’d have to take them to the best restaurants we can find, and I’ll prove to them that cream cheese goes well on basically anything.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely have to thank my family (especially my mom), friends, and girlfriend for being so supportive of my interest in photography and helping me realize that life is more than just your career. I also have to thank Streetdreams at Virginia Tech, the photography club that I joined that helped me meet so many friends and fellow creatives that inspire me to this day.