We had the good fortune of connecting with Forest Barkdoll-Weil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Forest, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Ever since my dad gave me his old DSLR camera in 2017, photography has been my greatest passion. I believed that it would only ever be a hobby since it can be difficult making a living as a nature photographer. However, after a particularly frustrating situation with my job in October of last year, I decided that in 2022 I would open my own photography business. As an experienced software salesperson, I felt that I had a good chance to succeed doing what I love. Now, six months later, it’s clear it was one of the best decisions of my life, and I’m excited to continue to make a name for myself in the world of photography and grow my business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our planet is so beautiful, yet today most people live in urban areas and rarely, if ever, get to experience the natural world. I grew up in a rural area with meadows, forests, lakes, oceans, mountains, and clear night skies surrounding me. I have always loved nature, and I want to share this love with others.
In my photography and videography, I offer a gateway to extraordinary vistas, landscapes, and night skies. Because I’m also an athlete and climber, I can get to places that others may not be able to access, bringing people glimpses of nature they can’t find elsewhere.
Through my art, I try to convey the experience of wonder and awe; to represent visually the feelings that I have while in beautiful natural settings. My hope is that my work elicits joy and reverence in the people who see it.
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.
After bringing them to my favorite restaurant, City, O’ City, and heading to a RiNo brewery, I’d take them into the mountains that they’d be seeing from Denver, and that they’d hopefully be yearning to explore. We’d head to Staunton State Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, or – if they were up for the drive – to Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents. They have been incredibly supportive of this career change and offer both encouragement and constructive feedback. Oh, and of course my little dog, Ajax, who goes with me on most of my adventures – even storm chasing, where there is constant thunder, lightning, wind, and hail.
The photo of me is taken by Dion VanBoekel