We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Hoglund and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve been an artist ever since I could pick up a crayon, but it took me a while to discover photography. I grew up with film cameras, and a roll of 12 exposure film was considered a luxury reserved for vacations.
During my childhood, it was communicated that art only meant painting and it should be just a hobby. I did win awards for my watercolors in high school, but it was assumed that I would pick a more practical college major. Since I also liked math and science, I started college as a Nursing major. During sophomore year, my microbiology professor noted that my lab drawings were way better than my lab reports. He was correct, and I ended up changing my major to Art. I’ve been employed as an artist in some form ever since. I started as a graphic designer, and I’ve been a photographer for the past 10.
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.
I started photography as a hobby while earning my living as a graphic designer. It took me decades to realize that photography was my strength. Most people think professional photography is only for wedding photos. It was hard for me to ignore those voices and realize photographing dogs could be a career. I’ve always been an animal lover, so the pet niche made the most sense. Today, I have a thriving pet photography business!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d take my friends hiking since Colorado is so beautiful! Depending on the time of year and the fitness level of my friends, I’d pick Sandstone Ranch or Herman Gulch. Sandstone Ranch is near Larkspur and is best in winter. It’s an easy hike with red rock formations, meadows, forested canyons, and even Colorado ranching history. Herman Gulch is in the mountains, so it’s fun for a summer hike to see wildflowers.
I always need to remember that my friends and family aren’t used to the high altitude. Once I took my brother to hike at Silver Dollar Lake, and I underestimated how the 11,000 ft altitude would affect him. I also underestimated how early we needed to leave to beat afternoon thunderstorms. We ended up getting caught in a downpour, and then my dogs got mud all over this car on the drive home. Whoops. He may or may not have forgiven me for that!
I’d take my friends to a bakery for sure. I love baking, so I’m a little bit picky about bakeries. They have to offer something I can’t easily make myself. Both Tokyo Premium Bakery and Devil’s Food Bakery fit the bill. For dinner, Thai Pot Cafe is always a winner!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I should thank my biology professor, Dr. Knipp, for being brutally honest about how sub-par my lab reports were. My heart wasn’t into my nursing major, and I’m sure he could tell!
Of course, the person I am MOST grateful for is my husband, Dan. He’s also an artist and has been 100% behind my art for the past 30 years.
Image Credits: “Mariah Ehlert Photography” for the photo of my golden retriever and me on the white couch.