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

Hi Peter, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
I have the opportunity to do what I love, and that is photographing nature. There is a spirituality to it.

My view of success is whether or not I have lived up to my commitment to photograph the VERY BEST photo
I can produce out of each scene without having to do composite images. Truthfully representing what was in front of my camera in that session is important to me and to those who follow my work.

I consider the “art” element of my photos as being supplied by nature–by our creator–and not by myself or a magic tool of Photoshop.

It is MY job to be there at the right time with amazing light and being patient enough to capture it.

I think that those who like my work know that my photos are a true representation of the moment and scene, and I believe they honor that.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I come from a photojournalism background in Arizona.

I was Photographer of the Year 4 times at the Arizona Republic and honored numerous other times both Nationally
and in Arizona.

But there came a time when I realized I needed more freedom to photograph by my own rules and I left
the Republic to freelance and–as it turned out–teach photography at Northern Arizona University thanks to the encouragement of then Department chief Gene Balzer.

During that time, I was able to start on my new career of both teaching and nature photography. I learned a lot through teaching because presenting my approach to photography for my students helped me to crystalize and put into action my own personal blueprint for successful photography.

When I finally retired from teaching, it gave me full-time opportunity to put that blueprint into motion.

The biggest challenge of my life was leaving a relatively secure job at the Republic. But I have not missed the political
aspects of that job and though I loved teaching and consider NAU the best job I have ever had, It is obvious to me that working for myself is a perfect fit for me. I make my own choices, never have to ask permission to follow my instincts and my success or failure is my own and not influenced by the judgements of others.

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?
Garden of the Gods. Maroon Bells. Rocky Mt. National Park.

We hang out at Fox Run Park near my Colorado Springs home.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I taught photography at Northern Arizona University. My students always inspired me and continue to do so.

So many other people have encouraged me and mentored me, but truthfully my wife Charlette
deserves credit for sticking it out with me during this sometimes difficult journey.

Website: www.schwepkerarts.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.schwepker.75

Image Credits
All Images by Peter Schwepker

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