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

Hi Garrett, why did you pursue a creative career?
I would say the photographic industry pursued me. Over an eleven year period I discovered photography. It became a constant in my life with defining moments telling me I was on the right path. Eventually it caught up to me and became my career choice. It was my senior year of high school, we had just been assigned our final art project and the only instruction was to accomplish a goal with our art. I decided the goal of my project was to prove the idea that a photograph can speak a thousand words. The project consisted of three main parts, a completely dark room, a large illuminated print, and a calming instrumental song. One at a time for ten minutes participants would look at the image and would be asked how they felt and what they experienced. It was one teacher who said the experience had reinvigorated his desire to finish the Pacific Crest Trail after years of being burned out. This realization that photography could evoke such emotion in people became the foundation of my photography. After graduating high school in May 2020 I took a gap year to work and test the feasibility of a career in photography. I shot whenever I could, collaborated with other photographers, made a few attempts at a small business, and developed my style. But what built upon my high school foundation was a trip to Washington DC, more specifically to the Newseum. When touring the museum I realized how photography has the ability to inspire people, open dialogues, and encourage change. From the “Running Toward Danger” exhibit to the “Pulitzer Prize Photographs” I found a career path in which I can not only do what I love but hopefully make a difference with.
A week into college I took a job with The Rocky Mountain Collegian Newspaper as a photojournalist. I switched my major from business to media journalism, and began delving into the world of photographic storytelling. Learning the ways in which my photographs can help inspire people, open dialogues, bring awareness, and encourage change. To sum up my thousand words like a photograph; I pursue photography to tell stories of fleeting moments.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My photographic journey has taught me a lot with each subject teaching me something new. Landscapes showed me how to live in the moment, to appreciate what is in front of me, to slow down and live a little more slowly. Portraiture taught me that everyone has a unique narrative, a way of looking at things that has been shaped by their experiences and can be seen in the expressions they wear. Journalistic photography has taught me how to read the expressions, listen to, and portray everyone’s narrative in an objective manner. Not all lessons were easily learnt though, some were learned the hard way, some learned over years, and most I have yet to learn. The camera helped me learn these lessons by focusing me into the details, narrowing my field of view, getting me to look at things composition by composition, angle by angle, helping me develop the final image. Through my photography and my business I hope to share stories and lessons for people to read, learn from, and enjoy.

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.
The first thing on the itinerary would be a burger from Powerstop. Open late, the burgers are a must-try when visiting and the attached mini arcade and the full bar keeps the good vibes rolling on the first evening in town. After a night at the arcade a trip up to Crested Butte for skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. With a long day of outdoor activities in the memory books, coming back into town for a slice or two at the Secret Stash and their famous crack fries are the perfect end to the day. Continuing the adventure, a trip into the backcountry to climb a 14er and camp under the crystal clear night skies is always a favorite part of people’s visits. But what really makes adventure memorable is coming back into town after a few nights in the backcountry and getting some tacos from Teocalli Tamale and laughing about your time and the crazy things that happened. All of this has easily taken five to six days of someone’s visit and to round out the trip, a soak in the hot springs in the winter or a day of river surfing in the summer.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Throughout my photographic journey I have thankfully found support and encouragement in numerous people, family, friends, and fellow photographers. But the support of my friends has been the most unwavering. Through failed business attempts, creative slumps, doubts in my career choice, and doubts in my abilities my friends always stood by me and kept me going. Some supported me in buying prints, some with modeling, and all of them with words of encouragement. Weekend trips and nights out on the town turned into photoshoots leading to some of my favorite memories and images. Without them a lot of my photography wouldn’t have the same meaning and lore behind them that they do.

Website: https://www.mountainmanphotographic.com/

Instagram: @m0unta1in_man

Twitter: @MountainManGman

Image Credits
Woman in Hat: Lydia A. Woman in the arcade: Payton M. Man In Mask: Torch Mouth

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.