We had the good fortune of connecting with Terrel Bailey (lifted spirit photos) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Terrel, what are you inspired by?
Nature, and the desire to preserve it for future generations. We seem to have become so preoccupied with ourselves, our television schedules and our devices and less concerned with the physical world we live in. I try to inspire others to care and preserve the nature we still have – to ask ourselves the tough question(s) of what we can do to stop the destruction and potential loss of many of the places I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and love.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m primarily a landscape and conservation photographer. As a recovering alcoholic, I rediscovered my love and passion for the outdoors and the mountains early on in my recovery. As such, my vision of nature is much more intimate than many other landscape photographers. I feel as if I’m a part of the scene as opposed to merely viewing it. I see and feel the quietness of nature as opposed to its drama, so I believe you’ll not only feel close to the natural subjects in my images, but feel the quietness of the scene. As someone that also does projects for the conservation of nature, I am most proud of my contributions both from a publicity standpoint, but also my donations to charities or organizations dedicated to preserving the areas I’ve come to love and want to preserve. I would say perseverance is one of the biggest reasons I’m where I’m at today. I’ve had a number of occasions where I’ve considered giving up, but I’ve prodded on and find myself at the most successful stage yet in my career. I’ve realized at this point in my life that having regrets is one of the worst things I can do, and had I quit at any of those points, I would have regretted it, so I pushed on. I also have a very serious internal drive that has propelled me to develop both technically and artistically. I would say these two elements are the biggest reasons I’m still here today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one. I’m a bit out of touch on “the scene.” But if money weren’t an object, we’d eat at Frasca in Boulder after a day hiking at Chataqua and then people watching on Pearl St. We’d spend a day downtown shopping at REI, and making our way towards Union Station and Larimer Square. We’ll eat dinner at Rioja for the Artichoke Tortellini. We’d spend a couple days in Estes Park, staying overnight at the Stanley Hotel. We’d explore the east side of the park one day and the west side of the park another day. We’d likely visit each of the candy stores in town for ice cream since I’ve not found one that is a must have so much as all of them are must haves. We’d also go spend a night camping in the Flat Tops Wilderness in the gear we purchased at REI near one of my favorite lakes. We’d probably hike to the Devil’s Causeway to see who can turn more pale when the wind gusts. On the way home from the Flat Tops, we’d stop in Summit County – eating the best fish tacos this side of the baja peninsula at Chimayo Grill. We’d then head over to Breckenridge to drink copious amounts of coffee while people watching on Main Street before having dinner at Giampietro’s Pizza.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I highly doubt I’d have the love and respect for nature without my parents taking me camping for weeks each summer to places primarily in the western US and Canada. John Zeising showed me the ropes in photography. Additionally, he has and continues to be an inspiration to myself and many others, and he’s taken me to some hugely inspirational places. Katherine Spahr and Gallery 1505 have been a continuous support, providing me with a place to show and sell my work. Kat Payge, Kat Payge Gallery and D’art Gallery have also providing me with gallerys to show my work. Jeremy Janus has become an incredible friend, pushing me to new creative highs (some may consider them lows) and keeps my old soul energized with his enthusiasm. Jenn Merz Color Queen has become a wonderful friend, but also a valued colleague who asked me if I’d do a gallery show with her. It gave me not only confidence, but I’ve had a blast working with her and love her work and the inspiration it instills in me. Sean Malkasian, Fuzzy J and Mother Tongue are all local musicians who have trusted me to photograph their bands and selves, giving me another option in my photographic journey. Siddhartha De – a photographer from India who has inspired me not only with his incredible photos, but his written words that go with his photos. His passion for history and place are a huge motivation for me. Finally, RAW Artists and the VFW on Santa Fe in Denver, have provided additional sales opportunities and connections while Reed Art and Imaging does my printing for large prints as well as metal and acrylic print offerings.