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

Hi Ken, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I think back on my career, I find it’s been full of risk and reward. But I also know that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. In fact, I’ve been fortunate enough to have three careers all in photography.

It all began when I graduated from college.

My first career goal was to a local television news reporter. I wanted to be that guy on air that told stories with my words. But as with most college graduates, it was difficult to find a job doing what I wanted to do. I learned early that I needed to adapt and change to be successful. The local ABC television station hired me as a photojournalist. Luckily, I had experience with and interest in photography and video, so I took the risk of starting my broadcasting career on a little different track.

That first risk in my career was my biggest reward. I turned that first job into a 20 year journey as a news photojournalist. And instead of telling stories with words, I told stories with photos and video.

The next big risk was for my newly married wife and me to pack up all of our stuff and move halfway across the country to Michigan to continue my television career. Had we ever been there…nope. Did we know anyone there…nope. Huge risk, right? But after living in Grand Rapids, Michigan for 3 years, we have lifelong friends that we created and fun experiences that we can look back on.

Then came a fork in the road full of risks. I was offered a television photojournalist job in Orlando, Florida. And at the same time, I was offered a television photojournalist job in Salt Lake City, Utah. Head for the warm sun but be so far away from family, or head out west, but still far from family?

This is where we had to make some tough decisions for our lives and our careers. We chose the risk that felt more comfortable for us and moved to Salt Lake City. Do I ever regret not moving to Orlando? Not really because who knows which way our life and career stories would have gone.

But then…after only a year and a half, one more risk would come to my career. I had the chance to be a news photojournalist at KUSA TV in Denver, Colorado. This was it. This was my dream. The place that I had always wanted to work at was giving me a chance. So I grabbed it! It was exciting and scary all at the same time. This was huge for me. You see, KUSA has always been known as one of the very best stations in the country for photojournalists. The very best get hired there, and there I was! What a reward!

After a 20 year run as a news photojournalist, I love to think back to all of the experiences I’ve had, all of the people I’ve met, all of the stories I’ve told. It truly was a rewarding career.

I think that there is something in me that likes the challenge of risk. I think it keeps me motivated to learn something new, to set new life goals and to kick me in the butt.

My next career risk was to leave the relative safety of my news career, something I had done for 20 years, to expand my creative journey. I entered the world of marketing!

Now, what made this risky is that the styles of photography for news and marketing are almost completely opposite. I had to learn a whole new way of storytelling, and that was exciting!

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts took a risky chance at hiring me to be their staff videographer. But it was a great place for me to learn and practice being a marketing storyteller. I am forever grateful for their belief in me!

After a short time with the DCPA, I continued my marketing photography career at Denver International Airport. This is where I really embraced marketing. I studied hard and learned as much as I could to become the best photographer, videographer and storyteller I could be. And there were always stories to tell!

And that brings me to my latest career jump, and probably the most risky…starting my very own photography and video business! Just a couple of years ago, I jumped in feet first to do my own thing. It has been exciting and extremely scary! As most creatives know, we are not the best business people. It took me quite a bit of studying and learning the business side of my business. And thank goodness for my marketing experience, I spend most of my time marketing my own business!

And wouldn’t you know it, just 9 months after opening my business, COVID came. I am happy to say that I was able to stay busy enough for my business to survive and I’m still going! Sure it was tough and most definitely a risk. And yes, there have been times where I’ve wondered if I should quit the business and just get a more secure job. But I have accepted the challenge and I continue to succeed. I am trying to enjoy the reward!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is Ken Mostek Photography. I offer photography, video and editing services. I have two areas that I specialize in…Business Marketing and Pet Photography. Yep…pet photography!

As with most photography businesses when they start, they offer a wide variety of services to make ends meet. Family portraits, weddings, kids and the like. And I did that too. But, I’ve found that for my business to be successful, I needed to only concentrate on certain types of photography.

My first speciality is Business Marketing. I love helping businesses create content for their websites and social media accounts. It is so important for a business to keep up with fresh photography or videos to showcase their products, staff portraits and projects they are working on. The internet is yesterday’s yellow pages. A strong business presence with photos and video will draw people to their business. I love telling the stories of these awesome businesses!

My second specialty is pet photography. This is my favorite thing to photograph! I really don’t consider it to be “work” when I am taking photos of cute dogs. Pets are members of our family, and they deserve to be in the spotlight too! This is also a great way for me to include family portraits in the services I offer.

The challenge that I have is that both of these specialties are so far apart in similarities. So it’s difficult for me to stylize my own website to showcase both of these topics. I’m still trying to figure out how to make that successful. But I’m up for the challenge!

What makes my business different is the level of experience I offer my clients. It’s very important to me to make photography and video production as easy as possible for them. Many people are often nervous to have their photo done, or they are uneasy if they have to speak to a camera. I love to work with my clients, talk them through the experience and make them comfortable and excited for their final projects. I also pride myself as being a very good listener and hearing exactly what my client is looking for. Is providing a high quality product to the client important? Of course it is. But making sure they enjoy the experience and that they know their product will be what they want and on brand, that’s what my business is all about!

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.
Colorado is such a beautiful state with wonderful adventures around every corner! Whether you like the plains of Eastern Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, the farms and vineyards of Western Colorado or the big cities, we’ve got it all. Anywhere in the mountains is a must. There are so many parks and lakes along the front range that are so awesome to visit. If you are coming for a week…you might need two!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As most people would say, there are a ton of people who have been influential to my success. It would be hard to mention everyone and not miss someone.

Of course, it begins with my parents, Dan and Betty. They have always been very supportive of my career and life decisions. While they provided some guidance, they also let me learn and go my own way. And my awesome family who have always been there for me!

My biggest supporter is my wife, Glenda. She has been with me for all of my adventures. She put up with us moving 4 times in less than 10 years. And she trusts that I can make my business successful. I couldn’t have done any of this without her!

Again, while there are so many people who have helped me along the way and I thank all of them. There are a few who deserve some special name recognition: Frank Klock, Jim Paulson, Lonnie Nichols, Colin McKenzie, Manny Sotelo, Chris Vanderveen, Suzanne Yoe, Stacey Stegman, Kristina McGinnis, Kathy Michel, Carl and Taylor Martin, Amanda Sutton, Sierra Richards, Traci Young, Darren Bailey and Peter Soby.

Website: www.kenmostekphotography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenmostekphotography/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenmostekphotography/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kenmostekphotography

Youtube: Ken Mostek Photography

Image Credits
Bob Grandpre Photography

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