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Getting Into Photography in Fort Collins

snow scene at the Oval

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Fort Collins offers a plethora of different narratives. Horsetooth Reservoir and Lory State Park tell a scenic story of grandeur. During the day, Old Town tells a quaint story of the city’s rich history and roots. At night it tells a different story, illuminated, buzzing with life. Even Colorado State University’s campus has its own stories of tradition, growth and achievement.

Fort Collins not only fosters a passion for photography but also is a great place to pick up the hobby.

This is the case for sophomore visual arts major Rachel Taylor. Her passion for photography started back when she would take pictures of her younger sister and cousins with an old camera she had found collecting dust in a cabinet. The ability to create a memory with a click of a button and pass it on to future generations appealed to her and it continues to this day.

snow scene at the Oval
One of Taylors pictures taken on the CSU campus, capturing the oval in the midst of a snowfall. Photo courtesy of: Rachel Taylor

Moving up to Fort Collins only sparked her interest more.

“Horsetooth is definitely the local place to be,” Taylor said. “So is Lory State Park.”

Taylor also identifies Rocky Mountain National Park and Poudre Canyon as other great shooting locations close to Fort Collins. Rocky Mountain National Park never fails to amaze and the drive up to Poudre Canyon is littered with multiple stops worthy of a photo, or several.

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One of Taylor’s snapshots from Arapahoe Basin, good enough to make your iPhone wallpaper. Photo courtesy of: Rachel Taylor

Joining CSU’s photography club helped Taylor explore her passion even more. After joining the club, the more technical aspects of photography helped her become a better photographer.

“The photography club has taught me things that sometimes classes will not do,” Taylor said. “Working on how a shot should be taken, the settings, time of day and more.”

Taylor currently uses a Canon DSLR Rebel 6 and she says owning her own camera has improved her picture taking skills.

“I grew closer to my camera after I purchased it, and it made me a better photographer,” she said.

In Taylor’s camera bag you find two lenses for different shoots, one for portraits and one for long-range shots, as well as a tripod. According to her, it is not all the fancy equipment that makes one a good photographer.

“Your eye will tell you what does and doesn’t work,” Taylor said.

For her, photography is all about capturing the essence of a moment. Whether it be capturing a laugh, a smile, or chasing a sunset, she says photography makes her fall in love with being alive.

“I try and inspire people through my work, and teach them that they should live their best possible lives because you only get one.”

It is this feeling that makes Taylor recommend others take up photography.

“Do it! Strive to create the best possible life for yourself.”

With such a wealth of picturesque scenery available, this best life should include photography for Fort Collins residents.