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Conversations with the Inspiring Emerald Boes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emerald Boes.

So, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I picked up my first camera when I was 12 years old, and I haven’t put it down since. I began by taking photos of my friends for fun. It developed into Emerald Boes Photography, which I founded in 2009 when I was 14 years old.

My journey into conceptual and dark art photography really began in college. I attended Metropolitan State University of Denver, graduating in 2016 with a degree in Fine Art Photography. In my second year, I studied abroad in Italy where I took film photographs and used collage to recreate my nightmares.

Currently, I am a full-time professional photographer where I work with various models and clients. My latest venture is HORRID Magazine, a dark art photography and creative writing zine. Since its creation in July 2018, it has become an international publication!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We’ve all heard the term “starving artist” and part of that does ring true. Being a freelance artist can be very stressful. I have no set salary or schedule. Sometimes I work 80 hour work weeks.

However, working for yourself can also be very freeing. I get to choose the people I work with, for example. Also, it allows me certain freedoms that a 9-5 wouldn’t. Since graduation, I have traveled to 14 different countries because I can make my own schedule! I’ve met some of my closest friends through photoshoots. I’ve struggled, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your work as a freelance photographer and about your zine. What else should we know?
Being a freelance photographer, I have worked with clients from brands of alcohol to yoga studios, to high fashion models, and more!

But my specialty is dark art photography. My work contains psychological themes and often opens up discussion of taboo themes such as nightmares, mental illness, depression, and bereavement. My zine, HORRID Mag, is the culmination of all of my work in this specialty.

When I started shooting dark art with other people, I was opened to the realization that this was bigger than me. Each person would come to me with a story and a feeling that they couldn’t shake. Photography has become more than just a personal therapy, but my way to help other people.

HORRID was created for this reason, to further this discussion and collaboration. There are dark themed magazines, but HORRID is really one of a kind.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
For young women starting their journey, my advice would be to stay true to yourself and your art. In a world of social media, it’s so easy to see someone succeeding and want to change to be like them. But there is a power in being 100% yourself and that’s something no one else can do!


  • Emerald Boes Photography offers creative sessions for $150.
  • HORRID Magazine can be subscribed to at for $5 a month for a physical copy!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Image 1 – Vyla Vaudette Image 2 – Kirstin Gumucio and Miette Hope Image 3 – Katha Pajavaara Image 4 – Alisha Light and Lucia Escalante

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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