We had the good fortune of connecting with EB Combs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi EB, what do you attribute your success to?
People first. Hell it might seem over simplified and boring, but it has proven its value time and time again to put people first in every part of my process. Taking time to know and understand my clients’ and their goals before the shoot day, allows me to bring a vision together that is honoring and authentic to who they are now and who they are becoming. This people first pursuit has also played a huge role in our studio and venue, Realm. While the primary product is renting a physical space, the relationship element we’ve been able to incorporate has made a huge impact in the community we’ve been able to facilitate in our first (almost) 2 years. While the pandemic has made some impact on how our community can function, we’ve seen so much participation virtually and constantly heard how everyone is craving the day that we can safely gather in person in a big way again. Caring for our clients needs in a personal way, offering on site support and connecting people have all played big roles in our people first mindset.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I temporarily stepped away from my formal photography career as we opened Realm in the end of May, 2019. During that season, is was most important to focus on building out operations and support as we began booking the studio and events upon our opening. While my role at Realm is ongoing, the unexpected events of the Pandemic in 2020 created an opportunity to revisit my own photography pursuits. Taking a step away from my craft for a time, allowed me the opportunity to discover newfound energy and an improved direction. I slowly came back, shooting for Realm and then taking clients on slowly. The third piece of what has made a huge impact in my photography has been prioritizing personal projects, often with local collaboration—whether it’s local models, makers, you name it—being able to shoot something for pleasure and exploration is a guaranteed way to shock some energy into my work. Personal projects are certainly at cost to my time and pocketbook, but the takeaway is a sharpening of my craft and a refinement for my portfolio, ultimately attracting future work in line with that exploration. Before we opened Realm, we often found ourselves aware that Denver was brooding with fantastic local talent, but we struggled to find authentic and natural access to new relationships—Realm changed the game for that. We had always envisioned that what we wanted to build would be a catalyst for relationship and collaboration. Well now, we’ve seen that firsthand in a big way. We are extremely hopeful to see that play out in an even bigger way in the future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am extremely passionate about breakfast, and my top threes are easily—The Universal, Onefold and Hoja. From there, I’d take my bestie somewhere outside given how lovely Denver weather typically is. One of our many beautiful parks are top picks—Sloans, Wash Park, Cheeseman and City Park are definitely highlights. I love how our city prioritizes outdoor public spaces. And on a rainy day, I’d opt for a museum—Museum of Contemporary Art (rooftop bar & all), Denver Art Museum or the Clyfford Still Museum are all favs. There are of course so many great neighborhood spots to visit and slowly explore. The options for eating and shopping are endless in RiNo, Highlands, Park Hill, Tennyson, and LoHi. And I’d wrap up with dinner at Spuntino, Uncle, Uchi, or Safta. And then I would fall asleep in a blissful food coma . 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 am forever indebted to my Realm co-founders, Jonathan Combs and Rachel Nichols. While we all share a similar background of design and content creation, we each bring very different approaches to each challenge and opportunity within our business. I count myself very lucky to share the same heart and values with my co-founders which creates immense freedom for us all to move the brand and offerings at Realm forward so that is constantly becoming more relevant and valuable to the Denver community. We’ve shared friendship for over a decade now, and I am so grateful for how they both enrich my personal and professional life.
Other: Included all Realm links above. Here are my personal links: https://www.instagram.com/thedeepwell/ https://www.thewhistlerandthewell.com/