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

Hi Rafael, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
From the messages and comments I receive, it’s clear that sharing my adventures and photography helps people to have a little escape of their own. A moment of beauty in their day and inspiration to go out and connect with nature themselves. Through my work, I sincerely hope I am influencing people to slow down more and get back to nature and the simple aspects of life all while learning to appreciate and respect the outdoors.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I aim to create images that take you into them. Images that bring you a sense of peace, joy, adventure, and wonder. I am always trying to find interesting and new compositions, be it a random location or a popular location. I am proud that after a lot of practice I eventually came to being able to create images I am excited about. I have gotten to where I am today by staying persistent and constantly trying to improve my craft. From the artistic side, it wasn’t necessarily easy, but once I figured out all the elements needed to bring my ideas to life, I would say, now it’s easy. From the business side, it has been and remains very hard. I have learned through much frustration that you have to let go of the “employee mentality” of trading work hours for pay. That is the hardest part of starting any business, especially one that produces a product that isn’t a necessity. You put in the long hard hours, having faith that it will all pay off in the end. Even if it doesn’t pay off, the lessons learned along the way will be valuable tools for your next endeavor. I would like the world to know that my brand Rafael Calderon Photography is just simply about adding more beauty into this chaotic and sometimes ugly world we live in. I want to show my fellow human beings that the natural world remains still and beautiful no matter what it is going through and we should attempt to model ourselves in the same way. I want to help people learn to slow down and look at the details- to begin to see the beauty in the little things. In my grand landscape images, I want people to take the time to see how many different beautiful elements can be seen and enjoyed if you take the time to slow down and pay attention. Most importantly I want to alert everyone to think about their impact on this world that we all are living in and treat it with respect.

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.
Well… being that I am a landscape photographer, I am pretty much 100% about the outdoors so I would take my best friend or anyone interested far away from the city. 10 years ago my answer would have been different but I feel I have grown so much more as a person by leaving the noise of the city.

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 believe this whole journey really started from seeing the photography of Lars Leber, who I am now happy to call a friend. His images were what inspired me to learn the whole art of photography and go beyond just being a point and shoot guy who knew a few basic principles. From there it was actually his fiance Candayce Abney who asked me to join and start posting on their Facebook page Colorful Colorado Collective. This has connected me with a great group of photographers who I now call friends and share the joy of photography and the hustle of making a living out of it.

Website: www.rafaelcalderonphotography.com

Instagram: rafael_calderon_photography

Linkedin: Rafael Calderon

Twitter: rafaelcalderonphoto

Facebook: rafaelcalderonphotographyCO

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.