We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul & Katie McPherson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul & Katie, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Single most important decision my wife and I have made was to marry each other and start a family. Our love & friendship has created an opportunity for us to do things we could’ve never accomplished otherwise. Having 3 children has given us such a deep sense of purpose and motivation to go above and beyond in an effort to be successful. Our children also ground us to make sure that we’re leading our best life and striving to set a good examples. Every single day, we wake up with a determination to be productive and responsible with our stewardships. Those simple moments when the kids come in for a hug, or any chance we have an opportunity to interact and connect are by the highlights of our day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There’s a billion photographers in the world now. Everyone with a phone has a camera. We are constantly having to ask the question, “what are we doing to set ourselves apart from the rest?” It’s a challenge for sure, and there is ALWAYS someone who is better or more creative right around the corner. One commitment we’ve made from the very beginning is to do more than we are paid to do. Whether we’re shooting a wedding or an elopement or a family or businesses owners, we’re constantly pushing just little bit beyond what we were paid to do. That extra effort has translated to clients who love their product, which has led to word of mouth. And as we’ve pushed farther and harder than we thought we capacity to push with each shoot, we are amazing with the leaps and bounds our photography and film grows with each shoot. The one thing we’d love people know about Shutterfreek is that the word “freek” means just that. We’re absolute camera freeks and always work to push the boundaries in our craft.
Let’s pretend they fly into Albuquerque. I’d first put them up at Hotel Chaco. For lunch we head across the street to Saw Mill Market and have tacos at Floras. We’d go visit the botanical gardens or maybe go through a stroll in the Bosque. For Dinner we’d take the tram up to the Sandia Peak restaurant or to Los Poblanos.
Next we’d be off to Santa Fe for breakfast at Tia Sofias. I would take them to the top of Hyde National park to explore the trails around Big Tesque. Maybe a day exploring Meow Wolf if it’s open. Post them up for a night at La Posada where they could dine in or consider Pasquals.
Next off to Taos to stay at Hotel Luna Mystica. Take some time to explore the gorge along with old Town Taos. Maybe a drive up around Taos Ski Valley for some day hikes and exploring.
Next we’d route toward Ghost Ranch as home base in Abiquiu looking to spend at Christ in the Desert Monastery with some exploration along the Chama River. We’d go check out Plaza Blanca and possible spend a little time at the Georgia O’Keefe Center.
Then off toward Farmington, NM where I would post them up at Kokapelli’s Cave. With access to a full kitchen and grill they could unwind inside the cave and get some serious R&R for the following day aventures. From there we’d go explore the base of shiprock, ascend high into the Lukachukai mountains and cross over to the Bisti Badlands where we’d setup camp for the evening about 3ish miles in. Camping in the Bisti will be unlike anything they’ve ever experience. Eerily silent but extremely peaceful and energizing. The following day we’d look at hiking 7-10 miles exploring the bad lands. From there we’d also check out Valley of Dreams.
Finally we’d bounce to Durango, CO to stay at an air bnb around Purgatory Ski Resort. From there I’d take them on a 2-3 day tour of Silverton, staying at the Wyman Hotel on to Ouray for the hot springs and finally end in an air bnb in the top of the mountains of Telluride, CO.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One thing that has kept us on a straight and narrow course is our Church. We’re both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our faith & and relationship with God has been the sole reason we’ve experience any level of success. Of course hard work has gotten us a long way. But we’ve seen too many Wedding Ceremonies where clouds have parted and miracles have happened to help produce the amazing results we’ve achieved. We pray before every event as an insurance policy for the day. Then, we just put our heads down and go to work having every confidence that everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to. We’d be lost without our faith for sure.