Finding Solace in Colorado's Wilderness

Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer

I Left My Heart in The Colorado Wilderness

I know I’m not the first person to say or believe it, but Colorado serves an immeasurable magnetism. It’s been years of my constant visitation every summer, soaking up the wild, lush mountains and evergreen landscapes. I have good fortune with my family being born and raised in Grand Junction, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Denver, so my time is often spent with excellent company. Each time I am invited, I make it a goal to explore one spot I haven't yet seen, to ride the wave of spontaneity and learn yet another fact about our nation's most exquisite state. If you ever find yourself en route to Colorado, there is only one thing I can tell you from the heart: search with an open mind and if you cannot do so… this place will do it for you.

My most recent visitation stemmed from my friend’s invitation to our first ever Red Rocks concert. We drool over local cider and excellent live music from our favorite bands, so I couldn't pass up that opportunity. We drove nearly 14 hours straight from Phoenix, Arizona to Denver and crashed at our other friend’s quaint apartment in Capitol Hill. Our days were numbered by the hikes we took outside the city’s corridors and soaked every last minute of our time in the fresh, summer air. And sure... we snuck inside a bar or movie theatre every now and then — you have to do “all the things”, so they say.

One of the reasons why I keep going back is that I’ll never know what I’ll find (nor will I ever be able to predict weather conditions, which is half the fun!). From day trips to the northern mountainscapes to stellar backpacking locations across the state line, there’s room for all levels of leisure. Some days I felt weak, so we’d hop around the hot springs in Glenwood, and other days we’d feel up to roaming the entirety of a 10-mile hiking trail. Never rush the process, though. You can always return, always come back and seek the path less traveled. It’s best to wholly enjoy one thing than to run around in circles aiming to experience everything.

Highway Wildflowers

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Like A Little Bud

Reyce and I rummaged through bright yellow wildflowers off of some random highway back to Phoenix from New Mexico. This as the only cluster out of this year's entire season, musta been a hell of a dry one. Captured on 35mm film, as always.

 

Film Series: Vol. 6

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Good Livin'

Yet another film series to gander. I'm still so impressed by my dinky 35mm's capabilities to capture such bright, sharp images. I love opening my packets of scans, little pockets off infinite small memories to share. 

Above are snippets of Joshua Tree National Park, portrait series with Kayla, Monument Valley, and various desert scenery. Can't wait to share more.

Summer Nights

A Desert Oasis, Waterhole, and Burnt Marshmallows

People often complain about how Arizona is too "lame" or "boring" or "ugly". Like, excuse me? Not only are those words personally offensive to me since this state is my home and I'll defend it to my grave, but such negative accusations are simply not true. Look at this place. It's MAGIC. Arizona is rich with cultural landmarks and saturated beyond belief with exquisite surprises, such as this oasis located quite literally in the middle of nowhere.

Being a photographer means having the chance to explore areas around my home that would be cool for shoots. I've been in contact with some super kick-ass brands lately that have been dying to get a feel for the desert's tasteful beauty. Naturally, I explore uncharted areas of the Salt River, swashbuckle through the Verde Creek, and hunt for waterfalls. Instead of hiring models with zero outdoor experience -- I gather my best friends and set out on the road hunting for the best spots at sunset. These are the moments I live for. Work days like these are what me so excited to get up in the morning. 

I LOVE THIS PLACE.

Featuring Compas Life and Keep it Wild and Arizona Hiker's Guide.