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

Hi Kaylan, what inspires you?
First and foremost, horses. Horses have always been my first love, and they never cease to amaze me. They are such powerful and majestic creatures, and I can’t help but want to show everyone how amazing they are. They go hand and hand with my deep appreciation for the cowboy way of life, and it makes me strive to capture the essence of western culture with my lens. I don’t want any of it to be forgotten! Secondly, nature. I have always been an outdoorsy gal, and I am always in awe of the detail in the world around me. It’s challenging to capture what the naked eye sees, and I love being able to show people how awesome nature is if they just slow down and look! I am a huge fan of National Geographic, and I’m always inspired by the photographers’ ability to take a photograph that can tell a story. 

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.
Starting my own business was something I never imagined doing; but then again, finding out I had a love for photography was also unexpected. I had no idea how much I needed a creative outlet in my life until I was in my late 20’s and was living alone in rural Colorado. I had always enjoyed snapping photos here and there with my phone or point-and-shoot camera, but my new job, a different landscape, and an abundant amount of time spent alone had me researching the best way to capture my new life. After upgrading my equipment and seeking out some instruction from a few professionals, I was hooked. I went on photo retreats, took online classes, and consistently sought out opportunities to put my newfound knowledge to use. As my talent improved and people started noticing, I started hearing comments and encouragements to try and sell some of my work. I had no idea what it would take, and it took several (and I mean several) months for me to finally take the leap of faith and give it a shot. It was terrifying and exciting. Putting my work on display was a level of vulnerability I was never truly going to be ready for, but you can’t move forward if you’re not willing to take a risk, right? One of the biggest driving forces behind starting my own business was seeing how much joy people got out of seeing my photos. Some of them have their own experiences or childhood memories they like to share with me, and I love being able to connect with them over a mutual passion. It always makes me smile when one of my photos gets purchased because it reminds them of a horse from their past. In saying that, my primary focus is equine, ranch, and landscape photography. I know it won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s ok. Those are the things that inspire me, and get me excited to go out and shoot. When I first started showcasing my work, I would have people come up to me and say, “This is great, but do you have any photos of (fill in the blank)?” As a new artist on the scene – and a bit of a people pleaser – it was hard for me not to go home and think, “Ok, they wanted a photo of an alligator…how can I manage to get one?” In reality, I’ll probably never see that customer again, so why would I try to change my focus for them? I had to learn that it’s ok to only offer what I offer, people will either appreciate it or they won’t. It does’t change how I feel about my own work, or the images I want to pursue.

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.
My friends and I are all lovers of the outdoors, so I would start with a few days in the mountains! My family regularly visited Estes Park growing up, so I have a lot of favorite places in town and in Rocky Mountain National Park. Camping and hiking are always favorite pastimes, as well as driving Trail Ridge Road, strolling town, getting some coffee from Inkwell & Brew, and pie from You Need Pie Diner & Bakery. Another great drive is Guanella Pass from Georgetown to Grant. Or if we were up for some drive time, I’d suggest heading down to Durango! If we stayed local, we would spend a day seeing Red Rocks and hanging out in Golden. The Bridgewater Grill has delicious food, and sits right along the river providing some great views. At some point during the week, I would grab breakfast burritos from Home Cookin’ Cafe, Thai food from Real Thai, and either a Smoked Maple Bacon Old Fashioned from Lazy Dog Restaurant or an Olde Town Fashioned from the Arvada Tavern (I’m a whiskey gal).

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 have the best family and friends in the world! In general, I am a very analytical and logical person who has never been one to jump into things, so it took a lot of encouragement from all my favorite people to finally step into the unknown and get my business going. They have helped me critique photos, build booths, research business opportunities, and most of all, have been the best cheerleaders a girl could ask for. I couldn’t have done it without them!

Website: www.kaylanelysephotography.com
Instagram: @kgreiman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaylanelysephotography

Image Credits
IMG_2259: Green Chair Stories

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