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Jen Magnuson Photography - Visual Stories of Outdoor Adventure

Commercial and Editorial Photographer

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!

Building on a Passion for Outdoor Adventure

I moved to Colorado after that blissfully tough time on the Appalachian Trail.  It was still summer, hot along the Front Range, and sunny with a slight chill in the mountains.  When it got too hot down in the 5,000 ft zone, we set off to visit some of our favorite spots. . . Mount Evans, Loveland Pass, Hoosier Pass. . .  I knew I needed to be shooting for my outdoor adventure portfolio.  I had even had the most amazing four hour conversation/brain picking session with one of my most admired commercial photographers, the very generous, Chip Kalback, when I was in Denver in July, so I KNEW what I needed to be doing, and I KNEW what to do with that work once I had created it.

I shot some nice nature work, some of which you can find for sale at Magnuson Photographic, where my husband, Jeff, and I sell some of our work.  I could not seem to bring myself to actually shoot for my portfolio.  I was paralyzed.  Fear of failure?  Fear of success?  The old "not good enough" belief creeping in?

I was creating a lot. . . of excuses.  I don't know who to get to model.  The weather is bad today.  It's too windy.  What if they ask for a permit, even though I'm only shooting for myself?  I need someone else to assist.  Too short notice.  The light is bad.  My batteries are all dead.  I should quit.  I suck at this.  I should just get a job.  What if I just see if I can get my medical history past a police department out here, and I go back to law enforcement.  I was really good at that.  I think I'll just concentrate on doing really awesome headshots for people!

Next thing I knew it's March, and I had shot literally two portfolio photos, both of Jeff, and both on a hike we did in September.  I finally called bullshit on myself.  I booked a date in the studio share I joined, and I packed up the car with tons of gear, clothing, Jeff's Specialized Roubaix Pro, and my photo equipment.  I was going to start with SOMETHING!

So here it is!  The beginning of my commercial outdoor adventure portfolio!  My model is a member of the winning Race Across the West 2011 Four Man Team RAAM.  He's an accomplished ultra-cyclist, and long distance backpacker.  He's my lighting assistant, my husband, and my greatest cheerleader.  I think he rocked this!

Outdoor Adventure Photography

Featuring 2011 Race Across the West Four Man Team Winner

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