We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelley Hageman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelley, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think as with most people, when you say there is a risk that has to be taken, there is some fear associated with failure of said risk. The older I get, my perspective on failure has shifted to one of lessons. If one thing I’ve tried doesn’t work, I’ve learned not to fight it, and to try again. I’ve taken risks I never would’ve even imagined had I been asked before the risk was taken. I took a risk and tried my hand at being a Flight Attendant. I self-published books. I moved to San Diego for a minute. I donated my eggs to two incredible families. I became a nurse. And I found a passion for photography through practice, refining, and then sharing with the world- all risks I’ve had to take. In taking these risks, I met people I would have never met otherwise. I learned lessons I never would have learned. I made mistakes. But most importantly I grew; I grew up, I expanded, I found my passions, and ultimately have started figuring out who I am.
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.
My career veers off from what this article is really about, but it’s part of who I am, and a part that I’m so proud of. I am a Pediatric Registered Nurse, and have been for the last 5 years. Since the age of 7, I knew that I wanted to be a Nurse, so college was easy for me in the sense that I already knew what I wanted to be. This really allowed for me to take my time, experience life at the pace I chose, and also finish schooling as I chose. Like I said before, I tried my hand at being a Flight Attendant. I traveled often and enjoyed every moment, though some more than others. Two years later I was ready to continue my pursuit of nursing. I obtained my CNA, moved to San Diego for a minute, completed my LPN, moved back home to Colorado and finished off my BSN in nursing. After moving home is when I started hiking and trying my hand at photography, with absolutely no foresight to create anything other than what I captured on my phone. Time after time I practiced capturing with my phone what I saw with my eyes, found what, in nature, spoke to my soul, and I have yet to quit. My nursing career has afforded me the ability to travel more and to upgrade my photography equipment, which has fueled this fire inside for also having a side gig of “nature photographer.” For right now I’m thankful photography is just a passion because I don’t want it to feel like work. Being in nature and also photographing her is something that fuels my soul, and fills my heart. The only person I am in competition with is myself, and not in a way one my think. I fight to remind myself to soak in the warmth of the sun and not to worry about capturing the perfect sun star. To relinquish wishing the wind away, and ease into the sense of feeling its touch on my skin. To notice the vibration from the earth under my feet. To take in the smells of Pine. To touch passing boulders from those who’ve come before me and those who will be there after me. Every moment spent in these places I capture through my lens is to remind myself that I am alive, and that life exists in immeasurable beauty when you take the time to remember.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hands down, Rocky Mountain National Park is my happiest place. You can’t go wrong with hikes off of the Glacier Gorge TH or the Bear Lake TH. Estes Park has a few hikes outside of the park as well. Also hikes all around the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. If I had a week off, you’d find me in these places on the daily, and where I always tell my out of town friends to go when they visit CO.
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?
Every person near and dear to me are the ones who deserve the most credit. Without their unwavering support, feedback and encouragement, there’s no way I would have had the courage to step out as a photographer and share my photos with the world. My Dad of course is my biggest fan, along with my hiking and travel adventure buddies Landon H, Jessica M, Sarah O and Travis O, my sweet friends and cheerleaders April N and Kris H who always support my work and encourage me to expand myself outside of my comfort zone. And to those I’ve failed to mention both near and far. Your support has meant everything to me!