Why Colorado is Emerging as the Top Creative Community

I remember a few years back thinking how I should consider relocating to LA, NYC or Miami.  Part of this thinking was driven by the number of shoots I was seeing that had the beach, or NYC as the backdrop.

Near the same time, however, a designer I was shooting for told me his PR firm recommended he use me for more of his shoots rather than his NYC photographers.  The reason given was that I brought something to the shoots his NYC photographers couldn’t…  Colorado.

Colorado was not only a welcome change of pace from the overused beach, the PR firm said… it was the qualities every American could embrace.  Breathtaking mountain vistas that could evoke rugged masculinity, feminine beauty or visions of peace, health and vitality;  quaint mountain towns loaded with charm and character, ski resorts, sand dunes, and rolling plains.  Not only was Colorado unique, it could appear to be any other location needed in a multi-location project.

About that same time I was approached by a publication in Miami who wanted me to shoot for them.  Again, part of the reason was they wanted to break up the “monotony” of the non-stop backdrop of beaches and waves.  I also did a shoot for a Canadian designer, lured to Colorado by our talent and geography.  The ad was shot among hte red rock formations of the Colorado National Monument and was so successful that a New York magazine that saw the shoot quickly flew one of their photographers out to shoot a fashion editorial in the same location.

Colorado was clearly catching on!

Add to this the wealth of creatives gathered in Colorado. According to a  study by the Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado ranks fifth in the nation in its concentration of creative talent.  It is surpassed only by New York, California, Massachusetts and Vermont.  It is also the 2nd fastest growing state in the nation due largely to its comparatively low unemployment rate and favorable cost of living index.  Colorado’s creative community, which employs 3.9 percent of the workforce making it one of the largest industries in Colorado , plays a significant role in the health of this state.

It is predicted that Colorado will soon be perceived as one of the world’s premier creative hubs.

This is no surprise.  Take one of the largest pools of exceptional creative talent, the geographical wealth, and all the infrastructure necessary to support any size production and couple that with considerably lower production costs (for example, studio rental in Denver is a fraction of what it runs in LA or NYC) and Colorado becomes the most attractive of location work destinations.

For a list of Colorado resources, visit APA Colorado, or contact me and I will be happy to help.

Colorado Photographer

A sampling of Colorado Shooting Locations - Copyright Mark Stout PHotography

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