We had the good fortune of connecting with Desiree R Goguen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Desiree R, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I gave birth to my daughter, Mojave, naturally on September 5, 2021 in our cabin, elevated 8k feet in the Colorado Rockies. We were surrounded by nature, wildlife and a stellar midwife team. I believe many women are losing connection to the sacred art of natural birth. Overwhelming studies show the benefits of choosing to bring a child earth-side in this way, yet we are slowly losing touch with our innate power as women. More and more deliveries are happening in brightly lit, sterile hospital rooms under unsupportive doctor and staff supervision, often on their schedule, not the newborn’s. Fear has crept into the collective women’s psyche that we are somehow inadequate for the job, as if we haven’t been doing it since the beginning of time. The child’s first experience earth-side is often traumatic in the hospital setting, so when we are able to provide a more calm, positive home experience, we see how the benefits carry on throughout that child’s life. It was extremely important to me to teach my daughter, through example, of a woman’s innate strength from the very beginning.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve had a deep love for photography for as long as I can remember. I like to consider myself a Jane-of-all-Trades when it comes to creativity (painting, drawing, writing, acting/performing, singing, handcrafting), but photography was always my first love.
As the times began to change with the ever increasing flow of technology, the opportunities for renascence artists like myself have also grown. I soon came to find that when I threw all of my creative passions into a boiling pot, this fresh, new flavor tasted a bit like what this generation was calling ‘content creation”. It’s the production of content to be shared across social media platforms for the purpose of helping increase your brand or small business’ exposure. Studies show that even major corporations are turning to social media in droves, offering who they call “influencers” the opportunity to help give genuine feedback of their products or services to their appropriate followers. This is usually in exchange for a fee. In a nutshell, I suppose you could say it’s a new breed of marketing.
And I was finding that with the ability to create content, I was utilizing my passion for writing, building community, art, sharing my holistic world views and most of all, my photography. Having spent numerous years in the entertainment industry, I’m not one to shy away from the camera, and I was finding that people responded well to my authenticity about the life events I would share, from trauma recovery techniques and creativity to single motherhood and holistic health.
After having been complimented on my unique eye for photography over the course of my life, I decided this was the avenue I would focus on once I knew I was to become a new + single mother. This helped in my decision to start offering my product and lifestyle photography services to brands and small businesses in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas.
As a professional photographer, my style is an infusion of photojournalistic and editorial compositions. I believe this is what my clients appreciate about my fresh perspective to their products or lifestyle they want to share with the world. I have reoccurring clients that return month after month for new content to represent them on their social media outlets.
As an artist photographer, I specialize in self-portraits and self-portrait digital collages. It began with wanting to shoot captive images, but I didn’t have a subject to shoot. So when I was young and starting out, I would often set up a scene, frame the shot, set the camera’s timer and run to get into the image. From there, I began to make little tweaks. Composition. Body position. Emotions. Props. I tried to figure out the logistics and make adjustments until I was happy with my final piece. Now, some 20+ years later, I feel I have really perfected my style.
When 2020 arrived, I was going through a pretty traumatic time in addition to what was going on in the world. A herniated disk in my lowest lumbar had rendered me horizontal most days leading up to the surgery, so I found that my inspiration shifted from shooting self-portraits to creating new art with my past shoots. I began to create collages digitally on my iPad with one of my previous self-portraits incorporated, creating a whole new story to tell. My art has been recognized nationally and I have recently been approached by local small businesses who wish to display my digital collages in their place of business around Colorado.
As a parent, I knew I would be taking on the role of single mother as early as 13 weeks pregnant. I had moved across the country from Florida to Colorado because the mountains were calling for me to heal from the numerous devastations I experienced in 2020. For this, it took a tremendous amount of inner work and outer strategy to ensure my ability to stay at home and raise my daughter. All the while, continuing to pursue my professional creative career in a new state where no one knew me.
It hasn’t been the easiest. Moving to a new town rarely is. But through ways of managing my schedule, networking with business that align with my values, and allowing the leniency necessary to adapt and accommodate for daily life, I’ve been able to successfully stay afloat (at home) with my now, 8 month old. I strongly feel that my inner strength has been, and will continue to be a lighthouse to my daughter, Mojave when the eventual clouds come. It’s not about how successful I may or may not become, but about continuing to pursue the things that set the soul aflame, despite exterior circumstances. I hope one day, she will look back when she’s much older and say how proud she was of her wild bohemian artist mom who had a vision to help change the world for the better through creativity.
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?
Locations: Garden of the Gods
The drive up Pike’s Peak
Green Mountain Falls
Just go driving
Crystal Park Cantina (Mexican food)
Savelli’s (Italian food)
Wild Ginger (Thai food)
Red Dog Coffee
Silver Sparrow Beads
La Henna Boheme
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?
Anna Foster and Sara Berry, owners of Anna’s Apothecary, Kenzi Hatley, owner of Wildridge Hair Salon, Somah Devi Ma, owner of Savitur Botanicals, all of whom chose to put their faith in my work and allowed it the privilege of representing them professionally when I was a new face to the state of Colorado.
Michele O’Brien of Silver Sparrow Beads in Old Colorado Springs for trusting in my jewelry crafting abilities and providing me with an amazing opportunity to work from home to be with my daughter.
The book, “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D which has left a profound impact on connecting me back to my wild woman and reclaiming my inner strength after experiencing a season of intense trauma.
Other: Photography specific: www.instagram.com/desireereneephoto and www.facebook.com/desireereneephoto Art specific: www.instagram.com/thewolfwandress
Product + Lifestyle photography I have produced for local businesses Anna’s Apothecary, Wildridge and Savitur Botanicals.