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

Hi Derek, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my own business came from my personal experiences. Before I came into photography I ran an Outdoor Recreation Program at Colorado Northwestern Community College. I took over a program that had previously owned and used a Sony Mavic 1.3MP camera that used 2MB floppy disc drive. Even though it was a hassle to carry all the floppy discs on backcountry adventures, and the quality was low, I naturally gravitated to capturing the students in action and the scenic views. Soon I was receiving praise for my images and there was a desire for the college to use them in their marketing material. With the low quality they quickly decided to let me get an upgrade. The quality improved and so did the demand for my images, but it still wasn’t good enough and eventually I found myself investing in my own DSLR camera equipment. As my images were being used on college view books and published in magazines and national newspapers I soon started receiving many requests to photograph for families portraits, senior portraits, and weddings. I fell in love with photo journaling all of the adventures and I enjoyed the extra income from all the side photography jobs. Fast forward about ten years, a different mindset about life and with much better equipment, I found myself leading adventures for my kids and I absolutely loved capturing them in the moment. We would come back from camping trips or days at the lake and had the most amazing images and I absolutely loved sharing the images on social media with family and friends. I noticed that others also shared their images too, but the quality just wasn’t there. I remember thinking, “I wish they could hire me to go on their adventures so they would have truly amazing photography that better capture the memories.” In addition to the quality there was something else that was missing. As with my own personal photos of my family adventures with my children, the photographs of my children are amazing, yet I realized that when they get older, even though they will cherish these images they are also going to ask, “where are the photos of you dad?” It was the combination of wanting to give others better quality images of their adventures and for them to be fully present so everyone gets captured. Even as a photographer I realized this was a service even I would want. I want to give others amazing images and an experience where they remain fully present enjoying each other. How many family adventures can you think of where everyone is unconsciously on their phones, taking selfies, etc verse just being present in the moment, fully enjoying each other and nature? Photo Conscious is quality imagery meets mindful adventures.

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.
My art is rooted in mindfulness. Through life transformations I’ve come to value of staying present in life. When I see families or couple out on adventure and constantly behind screens, I want to give them the gift of fully being present in the moment with those they are with. Most couples and families want the standard portrait session where they stand and pose. I want to give them their realness, in places they love and cherish, to tell their beautiful authentic story. The hard part is finding couples and families who value being fully present, having their adventures captured for them. As an introvert I have some hurdles to overcome to share my gifts.

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.
If I had a friend visiting I’d definitely take them around to some of the best hiking and biking trails, from Hall Ranch to Hermit Park to Devils Backbone to Horsetooth and then we’d hit the nearby waters at Carter Lake, Horsetooth Reservoir, the Poudre river, the St. Vrain river, and Boulder Creek. To refuel we hit one of the few healthy eateries as we explore the amazing downtown districts in Boulder, Lyons, Loveland, Estes Park, or Fort Collins.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One of my shoutouts is to Abbie Stout, my girlfriend, who is an amazing entrepreneur and also my biggest supporter. Being more of a technician she has been a great role model for what I need to be doing as an entrepreneur and her enthusiasm is courageous and contagious. My other shoutout is to Eckhart Tolle who woke me up, spiritually and consciously, through his book “The Power of Now”, and forever changed my life.

Website: https://www.photoconscious.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/photo.conscious/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/derekmogensen/

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

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/photo-conscious-loveland?osq=photo+conscious

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.