Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Gutersohn Adams.
Rebecca, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I sometimes think photography found me. It served, perhaps, to rescue a part of me that had been missing. I am a Colorado native, which seems to be a shrinking population. I have spent 28 years self employed and servings as a neuromuscular therapist in private practice. Essentially, I take care of people all day while I help run multiple businesses with my husband. This includes our own gym, so needless to say, we are busy people. Sometimes it feels too busy actually, so photography brings me back to the present and grounds me in the miracle of creation.
My love for photography was fostered from a young age. I had old film cameras and loved the idea and creativity of photography. In 2013, I took the leap and I bought a second hand DLSR from a client who was upgrading her gear. I didn’t even know how to use it, but I wanted to learn.
Having grown up with Cherry Creek State Park literally in my backyard, we always had wildlife near our house growing up. Back then, we would go explore and that taught me to watch for anything that moved in the grass or trees. I have always loved wildlife. I didn’t realize how often I spotted wildlife until I started capturing things with my used camera. I began to realize that people didn’t notice what was right in their back yards. When I started this journey, I would do a long loop around and through Fort Collins on my way home to see what I could find.
Just one year later, I signed up for a nine day class in Yellowstone with a photographer and naturalist so that I could learn the area and grow in the knowledge of my gear. The park was huge and I felt drawn there. Part of the adventure of this class was renting a huge lens, tripod, and shooting in raw/manual. These were all things I had never done. There was a huge learning curve to just jump right into but I’m so thankful I did. This was the extent of my formal education with photography, and I was hooked. I couldn’t quit looking for things to photograph. When I returned from Yellowstone, I decided to print a handful of canvas prints for our gym walls. When they arrived, they were swept up by clients and friends who really loved them. They never even made it to our walls, and I was shocked and thrilled! Things slowly grew from there and I was given a gallery in a large retail store. My photo adventures even though they are spread out began to fill my heart with such joy. Sharing the images began to become a profitable hobby and then a business.
I was asked to photograph people and loved it, but animals and nature have a special place in my heart. We are so very blessed to live on such an amazing planet with the blessings of creation that surround us. I think the reason I have grown as a creative, is the desire to share the beauty my heart feels when I see the worlds beauty and sometimes, brokenness. Photography is something that I will never be done learning and it brings challenges and rewards. I never forget that it’s a privilege to do this as part of my job and when my art pieces find a new home it is an honor knowing they bring someone joy!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think the art world is ever easy, but I believe it is worth it. The photography world is very competitive and I think its value is largely misunderstood. I find myself constantly learning and trying to improve my business in spite of the difficulty.
The cost of producing this work is hard to measure and cost so much more than I expected to maintain. I really love when people want me to capture their important life moments or I get to go chase bears in Alaska. I think the hardest part of this industry is attaching a fair monetary value to your work or knowing what it really cost you to produce.
When it comes right down to it, this job is still work and a lot of trial and error. I think the hardest thing in the creative industry is finding where you fit and trusting yourself. Don’t be tempted into comparing yourself to all the amazing artists out there. It’s tricky in the art world to find and develop the right support system and partnerships and I am still trying to build mine. In many aspects of my business, I have to have the courage to ask for help and support. I love sharing my work but struggle sharing myself and my heart in the craft, so I am working on that.
There have been easy parts to my journey because I had the trained eye to see nature and wildlife from the time I was little. I think of it as a gift that was hiding for a long time. I think others have blessed my socks off giving me a chance, an opportunity and investing in me. My artwork is a way of sharing my dream along the way. So has it all been easy, no way, but worth it as I continue on this journey and find my way.
Please tell us more about your work.
Well, I feel a little rare in the industry as I haven’t picked my specialty as others have encouraged me to do. I like that I am still finding my way in this process and I literally shoot it all. I shoot wildlife, people, styled, landscapes, and architecture. I love the art of photography and want to continue to learn more of the aspects of the art.
I am proud to be showing my work in galleries, businesses, magazines and getting published has really encouraged me. This year I was honored to be published with National Geographic for a couple of different things. It is an honor I never dreamed would happen and a beautiful surprise. I have worked with three local publications and Alaska Magazine as well and look forward to more of that kind of work in the future.
I really enjoy producing gallery art and have been very blessed to sell my work in small and large formats. I have six and nine foot pieces in clients homes. It is thrilling when a new piece goes to a new home and the owner hangs it in a special place. I can ask people what they are hoping for, deliver a gallery to explore and help to create a space that will fill them with joy. I like helping them imagine what a space could become.
Last but not least, I think giving back, it is as important as anything else and time and talent sometimes are more in my reach then money. I regularly donate my works to different non-profit benefits. I also serve non-profits by taking images for them. One of them that my friend recently started is a chapter here in Northern Colorado and it is called My Happy Place Fort Collins. They do room makeovers for critically or chronically ill children here in Fort Collins. I go in and take pictures of these amazing children and their rooms and then get to be there to photograph the experience of them seeing their new rooms when they are complete. A new place of rest, recovery and joy as so many of them are so sick, they spend a large portion of their time in the bedroom.
Gratitude is the heart of this journey as I grow in my craft. One of my favorite things about what I do is meeting amazing people. I have been blessed to meet and established some wonderful friendship all over the map that I never would have been able to make without the journey of photography. I am proud that I’ve been brave enough to follow this crazy dream.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Wow this is a hard question, I really love the journey I am on and I think there are very few things I would have done differently. I have grown along the way. I would have gotten a little more education in the field if I knew this is where the road would take me. The thing that I love about this industry is you could learn new things forever. So I have lots of things I can grow in and I will continue to go after the things that challenge me.
I would have liked to have had a bit more start-up income, I would have hired someone who rocks the paper and computer side of this industry and tried to stick a little bit more to being just a creative.
One other thing I would have looked into is a great mentor I am lucky that I have found a great group of ladies in an online community that have gone out of their way to support one another and that has been a great support for questions and community along the way.
Lastly, I think I have learned to go for my dreams in bigger ways then I would have imagined, to take risks and reach into places that make me uncomfortable. This is the places we grow the most in life. If you would have told me five years ago that I would be getting on little tiny airplanes in the co-pilot seat and going to remote places of Alaska to shoot photos of bears, I would have called you crazy.
Trusting in yourself, and the character of our creator, is one of the hardest lessons out there. To trust we can reach deeper then we thought possible. Life lessons will always find you, you might as well choose where you are going to meet them. Make it an adventure.
- *Small Photography Packages starting at $350 *Weddings start at $1000
- *Fine Art products in Print, Metal, Wood, Canvas and Novelty Prices Vary
- *Work includes Wildlife, Landscapes, People and Events Prices Vary
- Website: https://coloradobornimages.mypixieset.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coloradobornimages/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoBornImages/
Image of me: Megan Small
All Other ImagesTaken By:
Rebecca Gutersohn Adams
Colorado Born Images