Fresh Air. Issue 02.

Picturing Moments With Wil Claussen

Wil Claussen never ceases to amaze us. His photos are breathtaking and makes us wish we were experiencing in person the moments he captures. Wil goes beyond just taking photos; he lives them.

1) What is it about photography that keeps you interested, it keeps pushing you to do more?

Capturing a moment that makes me feel good. No matter how many times I go back to that image, it takes me right to that place. The support from friends/family and even people I don't know has also been unreal. It's given me this hunger to get out and shoot anytime I can; to push my creativity and keep evolving.    


2) How did your love for photography start? Does this love keep evolving?

I was craving an artistic outlet and I decided drawing or painting wasn't going to be my thing, so I started looking into getting a DSLR to try out photography. I almost bought one online, but the next day I found that same model at a pawn shop for half of what I was about to pay. I thought, this must be a sign.  Fast forward a few months to when my buddy, Daryl, sold me a 50mm 1.8. As soon as I dialed that thing down and snapped a photo, I was hooked. I know my love for photography will never stop evolving though... there are too many possibilities, infinite opportunities.   


3) When taking photos outdoors what is the experience like? What's the best outdoor photoshoot you've done, and why?

Outdoor photos are my favorite because most things are unpredictable and it forces you to adapt to your surroundings. My favorite outdoor shot I"ve taken was probably on a sunrise hike at Greyrock in Fort Collins with my buds Daryl, Ben and Cole. We got up to the trailhead at 4:30am and made it to the top just in time for sunrise. It was SUPER windy but we ended up climbing to the highest point that overlooked all the mountain ranges around us. Now, I strive to capture strong feelings in my images, but this one had me choking up while I was shooting! The first snowstorm of the season was rolling in from Wyoming and we watched it consume the landscape while the sunrise turned all the clouds bright pink. I looked right and saw Ben standing there, looking over the cliff.  It was a perfect photographic moment.  It was such an inspiration for me; like I was in Lord of the Rings or something, and I wanted to portray that same vibe into how I edited the photo.   


4) What kind of moments (feelings) do you try to portray and express?

I like my images to have a mood. Sometimes it's light, sometimes it's dark, but my main desire is to portray my feelings through my editing style and hopefully spark a similar thought or feeling in the people who view them. It's quite humbling to post a photo on social media and receive multiple texts expressing how my photo made my friends feel good.   


5) Do you think your love for photography is something you'll always practice.

There isn't a doubt in my mind. 


6) What have you learned from the photography culture and other fellow artists?


I don't think I would be shooting like I am now if it wasn't for other photogs and artists I met. I mean, just looking back at the last 6 months I have come so far and it's because the folks around me have been so positive and supportive. I feel like even though we are all trying to do our thing, there is a common respect and bond to push each other upwards, with most people that is. 


7) How do you get your "fresh air", what does that mean to you?

I find fresh air in places I have never been before. That can be in a remote place here in Colorado or the other side of the world. Either way, I find experiences in those settings provide the best personal growth when pushed out of that day-to-day life we get stuck in. 


8) What would you say to somebody trying to pursue a photography career?


I'll gladly talk about my experiences but I am certainly not qualified to give career advice. 

9) Has photography changed you in any way? 


Definitely. It gives me a stronger sense of self-identity and inspiration than I have ever had before