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

Hi Ri, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was struggling to find peace and mental stability in other jobs. I’d tried my hand at desk jobs, labor work, and multiple service industry gigs ranging from food and retail to outdoor recreation. Jobs with more flexible schedules that facilitated experiences for others were by far more fulfilling but still felt like they were lacking, and I felt like I was struggling to fit in.

I figured the worst case that would come of me trying to start my own business were some dead end roads and valuable life lessons, and the best case would be figuring out a career and lifestyle that filled my soul. So far I’m thinking the latter is the more probable outcome.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a visual storyteller that uses photography and videography to capture the details and moments that stand out to me. I thrive on connection and big love energy and those two things essentially create the foundation of my business.

Growing up, photography was my main outlet for freezing time long enough for me to process the environment around me, and truly tune in to emotions, details, and the vibrations of the landscape around me. I held onto photography as a hobby for an extended period of time throughout high school and college, and after graduating college and experiencing a few failed career starts during the pandemic, questioned if I should revisit the idea of being a photographer by trade.

Starting my business was incredibly difficult in terms of catching up. Everything I knew about photography I had learned in high school, and for a hobbyist, that was enough. Becoming a professional meant incorporating a higher level of detail both during a shoot and in post production. Learning newer post standards ended up being and still is one of my biggest hurdles (this is something I still struggle with the most for videography). I ended up turning to the internet and diving into color theory and how it can be used in the post production world of photography. Getting a handle on this and in turn how I could use it to create entire story lines within a few photographs was a major catalyst for me refining my style and settling into the industry comfortable and confident with my own skills.

Every step of the process for me is infused with tid bits of the essence and aura of the people I work with and what they share with me. I want people to look at my photos and see their soul in them, ya know, see parts they feel can sometimes get lost in translation.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my gosh, these questions are SO HARD for me.

My favorite coffee shop is 81301, I’ve been going there pretty much since it opened, and throughout college and even the early days of my business could be seen parked at the back corner table working between jokes and conversation with the staff. That place feels like home, so naturally it would have to be a first stop for some good bean energy juice and laughs. After that, I’d want to go for a long hike or bike ride somewhere between Durango and Silverton where we could play in waterfalls, marvel at vistas above tree line, and just spend time reconnecting and conversing – well out of cell service.

Live music is always playing at 11th street so that would have to be a stop for drinks and food. I’d want to walk around downtown, go exploring around the in town trails, maybe boulder, raft or find a concert. Theres always so much to do around here. Taking skyline up to the view point on Raider’s Ridge above Durango is one of my favorite trails and views.

I’d want them to meet all of my friends most importantly. The community is the best part of living here, and I’d want them to have a mini Durango Experience complete with that kind of friend love that can only develop in mountain towns and valleys.

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?
Huge shoutouts to the community in both Durango and the Mountain Biking Industry. My business would quite literally be impossible without the outpouring of love and support from the amazing humans I get to run into at coffee shops and grocery stores.

And a very important shoutout to my parents who understood I was going to need space and time to figure out where I belonged in this world, and allowed me that space to explore everything I needed and wanted to learn.

Website: wildchildadventurecollective.com

Instagram: wildchild_adventure_collective

Linkedin: linkedin.com/shaianneganey

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

Image Credits
All photos were taken by Ri Ganey of Wild Child Adventure Collective

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.