We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucy Schultz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lucy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wish I could say I had a business plan, or a grand scheme, or even an idea of where I wanted to be one day when I started. But the truth is that I actually resisted being hired for my photography services at first. I was a teenager – just 16. And while I loved photography, I didn’t think I wanted to be paid to do what I was enjoying as a hobby. I didn’t want to ruin the fun. And all the adults in my life told me the life of an artist would be immensely hard and discouraged me from pursuing it full time. Luckily for me, a few early supporters were relentless in their attempts to pay me for photography services. After completing a few portrait sessions, I needed a place to share the images, so I needed a website. Once the website was up, I started getting hired by more and more people and the business was born. I absolutely adore my job now and can’t imagine my life without it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m a destination elopement photographer and self proclaimed National Park freak. I’ve been a wedding photographer for ten years, and 2020 was.. hard. Since almost all of my spring and summer work was cancelled, I took some time off to reconnect with my love of the outdoors that started when I was a kid. At the same time, I was sensing many couple’s frustrations with planning a wedding during a pandemic. Most couples do not want to wait to get married, putting off their other life plans indefinitely until they can celebrate. So I decided to pivot and help couples elope in all of my favorite places. I gathered all my personal landscape & travel photos from National Parks and other hidden gems, dove into researching permits and regulations, and turned all my results into location specific elopement guides. Now I help connect folks with the elopement location that makes them grin the widest and choose activities that they will love doing on their wedding day. I absolutely adore exploring new scenes and ticking off bucket list locations in my own free time – and now I get to combine both photography and special places! Not only is it hugely fulfilling, it also means that amazing, joyous, candid elopement photos are guaranteed. Emphasizing the colorful landscapes in my client’s photos is one of the reasons they choose me – and my first hand knowledge of tons of gorgeous places. This year I’m incredibly excited to offer underwater couples photography too! No landscape is safe!
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 huge place, and I’m very ambitious. The ideal itinerary for an out of town visitor is going to include a lot of time on scenic roads, and I’m okay with that. The 4 National parks are world class, and some hidden gems are great for sightseeing too. I love hiking around Lake Dillon or touring a few waterfalls. My favorite easy hikes for people who aren’t used to the altitude include the Fowler trail in Eldorado Canyon State Park, Garden of the Gods park and the Sprague Lake loop in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re lucky enough to visit in summer, driving up Mt. Evans will give you the whole Colorado experience. If you get to see a Pika, it’s a good day. Take the Georgetown loop railroad, the Estes Park tramway, or venture all the way out to Telluride for the free gondola if you’re not into walking. No trip to Denver would be complete without a tour of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge, where you can drive through the Bison enclosure. I LOVE food so I’ve got a great food tour for everyone! The best Mexican is El Taquelenos’ family owned place – get the Fajitas Acapulco and thank me later. Our go to for a great burger and the best fries in town is the Alaskan bar & grill called “The 49th.” For fine dining, Cho Lon Asian fusion in LoDo can’t be beat. On Mondays, we’re going to Odyssey Italian bistro for their monday special on house made pasta. Acres on South Broadway is the best New American dining- get the gnocchi mac and cheese (and everything else)! And my favorite local spot to hang out is, of course, the Denver Cat Cafe where cats rule!
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 am supported by an amazing community of female professional photographers. One of my best cheerleaders is Stacy Gillespie (https://www.gillphotos.com/). She taught me everything about flash photography and she is the best at pushing me to reach my full potential. We help remind each other of photo contest submission deadlines. Even though we compete with each other, we often go over the other’s work to get new eyes on it and provide valuable critique. Gabrielle Stowe (https://gabriellestowe.com/) is my other favorite – her solidarity, friendship and listening ears have been clutch over the last year. Sometimes, all I need is an adorable cat photo, and she’s got loads of them. Her photography is so stupidly good that it drives me to try and outdo her.. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Maybe I should have said she inspires me.. but truly I’m just trying to catch up ’cause I want to be on her level.