We had the good fortune of connecting with Darren White and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darren, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
There are so many ways to measure success and or to gauge how much success a person has. In my case I believe in exceptional customer service. I love to work 1:1 with customers and clients and this allows me to provide a level of service that simply can’t be beat. I also believe the companies I work with should have the same desire to keep their customers happy. I can’t work with a company whose work ethic doesn’t match mine. If something happens (rarely does it) between the printer and the customer I need to know the printer is going to work 100% with me to make good for the customer.
Also by providing 1:1 service it allows me to totally customize any orders and take the guess work out of the equation so that the customer or client knows exactly what they are getting. I provide updates, feedback and communication on a personal level throughout the entire process.
I take great pride in running my business on my own and while that generally means more work on my part, I don’t have to rely on others to to make judgements and or decisions that are not in line with my own. I always treat my customers the same way I would want to be treated in the same situation.
These are the habits/traits I have that allow me to succeed and keep my customers happy.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Ever since I picked up a camera at the age of 12 I always knew I wanted to capture moments and events around me. I fell in love with photographing the ocean and the sunrises and sunsets. As a self taught photographer who began learning with film, I’ve always known what I like to photograph and what I don’t like. That’s not going to change. At 17 when I began making money from my photography I was shooing weddings, portraits, families and pets along with my landscapes. It only took a very short time for me to realize that those subjects were not the ones that gave me joy and happiness. It was then, when I was about 18 or 19, that I told myself that I would only photograph and do photography for me on a personal level and that if and when it ever turned into something bigger I would stay the course and continue to photograph the subjects I love.
For me personally, I want my images to represent the things in my life I love, the outdoors, the night sky, amazing sunsets/sunrises and old abandoned buildings and the combination of 2 or more of these into one single image.
I’ve spent almost 30 years learning photography and fine tuning my processes both in the field and at home behind the computer. This allows me to keep my images my own and see them through from start to finish with my own visions.
Getting to where I am today was a slow process that covers the film and digital era. It wasn’t an overnight success story that most people are looking for today. I just kept doing what I love for me on a personal level and am very happy that enough people like my images to want to buy them and hang them in their homes and offices.. Over the years I’ve worked with various magazines, interior designers, printers, calendar companies and many more. My work has been seen and sold worldwide but I can’t say there was one single image that went viral that changed everything. Hard work, dedication and the ability to take no for an answer are the things that helped me the most along this journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am not much of a city person. I tend to avoid large cities and large groups of people…If I had a friend visiting who wasn’t from the area I would probably take them up into the mountains of Colorado. Each of the little mountain towns have their own charm and places to eat and drink.
Estes Park is close by and this is the entry into Rocky Mountain National Park. I’d show them some elk and deer as well as some of the lakes. I enjoy hiking in RMNP so we’d go on a hike for sure.
After the hike we’d stop at “Coffee on the Rocks” and enjoy a coffee and snack as we watched the ducks out back in the duck pond..
If we were exploring the wildflowers or fall colors of Southwest Colorado we would probably be in the Ouray area checking out Red Mountain Pass, Crystal Lake as well as the upper and lower Ice lake for their amazing blue water and mountain views. Back in town we’d stop at the Ouray brewery for a bite and a beer as we unwind from the hikes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
At an early age I was inspired by the late Galen Rowell. His travels across the globe kept my dreams alive and made me want to see all the amazing places outside of my hometown.
My mother was my biggest supporter from the time I was 12 until she passed away in 2012. She got to see my small successes, magazine covers, articles, locally published images ect… These little things gave her much joy as she battled cancer.
My friends… I have a very small group of friends who I like to shoot with and enjoy sharing images back and forth. They’ve been a great support system and have always been the ones to “pat me on the back” when there is something positive to be happy about…
Image of me in the water – Photo Credit to Russel Pugh Photography All other images by me…