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

Hi Will, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand/business is passion. To me, taking photos of sprawling wild landscapes, exotic wildlife or remote backcountry campsites isn’t a job, but a gift. Every time I wake up before the sun rises, strap up with a heavily loaded backpack and head off into the wilderness for a shoot, I think about how lucky I am to be alive. For me, success is about loving what you do and never giving up on your dreams. Because for every 10 failures, there is one small victory just beyond the horizon to keep you going on your path towards success.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’d say I’m most proud of how my photography has evolved over the years. You can see through my photos how I am constantly improving upon my skills and attempting to capture a unique perspective of natural beauty that evokes an emotional reaction from anyone who comes across one of my pictures.

Being a self-taught photographer, the learning curve was higher for me than most. This can be attributed to my stubbornness. And one thing that I’ve learned over time is that no one is successful entirely on their own. So once I learned to let my guard down and allow myself to receive the help I desperately needed, my photography flourished.

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?
There is only one way to capture the essence of my home, and that’s through an adventurous road trip. And although the city of Denver is incredible, it’s the city’s proximity to everything else the state of Colorado has to offer that makes it truly amazing. So our first stop on the trip would be to Rocky Mountain National Park and a hike up to Sky Pond. It would be followed up with a stop at Boss Burgers & Gyros in Estes Park for the best bison burger around! We would then continue on our journey by taking one of the most beautiful scenic byways Colorado has to offer in Trail Ridge Road. We would continue down south with a stop in Twin Lakes to camp for the night and then climb Colorado’s tallest 14er the next morning in Mount Elbert. The following day would include a stop at a delightful little breakfast spot in Buena Vista called Roosters Crow Cafe. After breakfast we would head down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve and load up our backpacks to head out into the dunes for a night underneath the stars. From there we would head west towards Durango to make our way towards THE most beautiful drive in ALL of Colorado: The Million Dollar Highway. Along the way we stop off to hike to Island and Ice Lakes, continuing on to the Ouray Brewery for a much-deserved beer and some of the best rooftop views around. That evening we would dip our aching bodies in the natural springs at Orvis Hot Springs. The following day we would head out towards Telluride, but not before making the trek up to Blue Lakes, just outside of Ridgway. We would then enjoy some of the best Detroit-style pizza there is at Brown Dog Pizza before taking the trek up north and camping at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison for the night. From there we would continue north, taking the scenic drive through Colorado National Monument before hitting up Randy’s Southside Diner for a delicious brunch. Our final stop before heading back to Denver would be a wine tasting at Colterris at the Overlook in Palisade.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people to thank for the success of my brand/business. I’d like to start off by thanking my father, Rod Connolly, for giving me my very first camera and helping fulfill my dreams of becoming a real photographer. I also wouldn’t be here today without the unwavering love and support of my fiancee, Kristin Mitchell. Not only does she support me mentally and emotionally, but she embarks on all of my outdoor adventures with me! Last and certainly not least, I’d like to thank all of my friends and family who’ve purchased a print and/or calendar from me over the past few years and have helped my business thrive, during a pandemic no less!

Website: https://www.willconnollyphotography.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/happy_camper_7/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/happycamper1991

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