It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Denver is a vibrant center for contemporary photographic arts. The city is a hotbed for the arts, culture, and entertainment industries, with plenty of opportunities for inspiration. Add Denver’s many architectural landmarks and the plethora of natural wonders to get lost in throughout the state of Colorado and it becomes a photographer’s dream. Here’s a look at nine up-and-coming contemporary photographers who call Denver their home base.
Blake Rubenstein of Guerilla Capturing might be one of Denver’s most unique up-and-comers. He’s taken his 17 years of high-end production experience and applied it to his love of flying drones to create incredible drone photography of breathtaking cityscapes. Rubenstein has found a unique perspective in drone photography and creates high resolution photos that capture his subjects from distinctive angles that only a drone can achieve.
Nicole Marcelli is a Denver freelance photographer who specializes in fashion and beauty photography, as well as weddings and portraits. Her work is all about capturing special moments and storytelling elements, and there’s a lovely energy and play of light in her photographs that make them quite distinctive. She has a special love for jewelry and has shot for many local jewelry designers as well.
This Denver native has turned his lifelong love of the outdoors into a stunning nature and wildlife photography portfolio. Kyle Colby’s work is inspired by the call of the wild and reflects much of what the natural environment has to offer. He’s particularly adept at capturing vibrant color palettes and long exposures that bring the natural world around him to life. His travels have taken him all over the world, though he shoots frequently around Colorado. His work has been sold at auction and even graced the cover of a book.
Colleen Kelly currently splits her time between Colorado and New York. Her photos strive to capture the real and authentic in regards to people, animals, places, and food. She’s also a writer, so story plays an important role in her photography as well. She works with a wide array of freelance clients and collaborators.
“Colorado” Josh Hicks is a Denver native who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for 10 years and has been just about everywhere in Colorado. He has a true passion for the state that is apparent in his photography, which is at once delicate and arresting. Hicks’ portfolio is diverse, with everything from landscape, portrait, still life, street shots, and abstract images, but his artistic vision is clear and consistent. He also has a large Instagram following, where he posts regularly.
Samantha Keller is a rare find in the modern photography world in that she does most of her work on film. Keller shoots 35mm, 120mm, any form of Polaroid, and digital. The results are delightfully bright and vintage-looking photos that emote lovely pastels and dreamy flashes of bright color. As a content creator for artists and brands, she’s worked with Rooster Magazine, Orenda Lou, and Urban Outfitters.
Adrian Narvaez has spent the last three years shooting for Instagram and building a large following. He moved from Colorado to Denver two years ago and has recently made the move to full-time photographer. He’s found success traveling and shooting everything from nature and vacation photography, to street photos and even the Boston Marathon, all with a refined, filtered editing style perfect for Instagram.
Luke Gottlieb, a.k.a. Victor of Valencia, is another Denver photographer who has amassed an incredible Instagram following. Gottlieb is an editorial and lifestyle portrait photographer whose work is heavily influenced by the cinematic arts. His goal is always to capture a narrative within his photographs. Gottlieb has worked with a cadre of impressive clientele, including L’Oreal, Free people, Steve Madden, and Urban Outfitters. He also works with several modeling agencies in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Brandon Reinhardt never planned to become one of Denver’s most sought-after wedding photographers. In his early 20s he’d already shot for Target, KRAVE, Daniel Wellington, and several other brands, and thought his path with commercial photography was set. Then he booked his first wedding and found his niche. Reinhardt frequently brings the beauty of Colorado into his wedding and engagement shoots.