Jen Magnuson Photography - Visual Stories of Outdoor Adventure

Commercial and Editorial Photographer

Elk Hunting in the Arapaho National Forest

Colorado's National Forests offer up some of the most scenic places for outdoor recreation.  And hunting on public lands can not only feed your appetite for adventure, but it can feed your family too.

As elk hunting season gets going in Colorado, I ventured out into the Arapaho National Forest with Jenn and Carson to create some stock images for Aurora Photos.  Jenn showed Carson the ropes, helping him safely load his magazines, scout for elk, and operate his bolt-action rifle.

Though everything about this hunt was staged for safety reasons, and the live ammunition was put safely back into the truck after it was done serving it's purpose as a prop, I wish Jenn and Carson luck on their real hunting season.  The burgers they made with last year's elk were amazing, and I know Hicker the Heeler is anxious to steal another one this year if he gets the opportunity!

Fly Fishing on the Colorado River

There is more to fly fishing the Colorado River than I expected.

There's an art and a science to it all, much like photography.

I woke in the pre-dawn hours to load a massive amount of gear into the car and make the Drive from Denver to Silverthorne to meet my model and continue on to our shoot location on the Colorado River.

Sarah is an accomplished snowboarder, ski instructor, backpacker, and angler.  She's an all around outdoor badass, and I learned a ton from her as I photographed her day starting as she prepared her rod and reel, carefully choosing which flies to use for the time of day and the bugs present on the river.  We hiked down to a spot she knew would have good fishing, and she told me how fly fishing was all about reading the river, the weather, the bugs, and imitating nature to fool the fish into biting.  It was fascinating to document how carefully she would read the mud on the bottom of a rock and change flies based on the different bugs that hatched into the air as the day warmed.

Even though I was working without an assistant that day, I managed to lug three cameras, eight lenses, and a strobe with a long throw reflector on the sometimes muddy hike up and down the shore.

Here are some of the highlights of the day:



Camping in the Shadow of the Tetons

Awakening in a tent at the foot of the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming, the air alive with the sent of summer giving way to autumn. . . one is torn between lingering in the cocoon of a down sleeping bag or rising to take in the day. . .

Waking in a tent in the shadow of the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming


There is nothing quite so glorious as the changing of the seasons in Jackson, Wyoming.  The air that permeates the space between summer and autumn is tinged with frost and the smell of the friction of the edges of summer's searing heat bumping up against the cool icy teeth of fall.

Breakfast cooked on a backpacking stove in the woods is better than any restaurant!

Steam rises from the pot, if only your could smell the bacon!

A little mandolin music with wilderness breakfast

A little mandolin music with wilderness breakfast

To me, there is no better time or place to retreat to the wilderness, to spend a few days living out of a tent.  It reinvigorates my creativity and passion for the outdoors when I can block off my calendar, get beyond the reach of cell signal, and just breathe.

Breakfast below the snowy Tetons is the perfect way to start a day.

It's August now, and I am looking forward to escaping into the quiet of the mountains to experience this again soon.  It's where my real work gets done.

Backpacking in the Colorado Wilderness

It has been unusually overcast and damp here in Denver for a few days. . .

and we are kind of spoiled with our 300 days of sunshine, so I am throwing it back to a more typical stretch of sunny autumn days on a backpacking trip in October.

Colorado's backcountry is so easy to access, and so infinite, that it makes shoots like this almost too easy.  It's still a feat to lug the camera gear necessary to make a shoot happen in the wilderness, but it's always worth the effort!

Mountain Biking in Golden, Colorado

Iranian Refugee looks to 2020 for Olympic Mountain Bike Dreams. . .

Thanksgiving morning, and it's still dark.  My car is loaded with cameras and lights, and I'm dressed like an alpine explorer.  I'm heading out to Golden, Colorado to meet with Sina Solouksaran, a mountain biking phenom originally from Iran.  Click his name to read about how he came to be exiled from his home country and forbidden from representing Iran on their national MTB team.  It's quite a story, and having had the opportunity to shoot with him, I can tell you that he's quite a rider too!

The trails at White Ranch were pretty deserted in the frigid pre-dawn darkness as Sina unloaded his bicycle, and I hooked up radio triggers and attached lights to clamps.  Snow flurries are falling, the wind is ripping across the ridges, and the sky beyond Denver is burning with emerging color.  It's perfect.  Here are my favorites from the morning. . .  I'll spare you the photos of the GIANT breakfast burritos we scarfed after the shoot!