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Portrait of Colorado landscape photographer Justin Key

I’ve never felt as much purpose in life as I did the first time I held a camera. As a kid, it was easy to trade obsessions at the drop of a hat but photography always stuck with me. As soon as I bought my first camera, I started to see the world in compositions. My dad had to turn the car around and pull over to the side of the road so I could take my first picture. It didn't take long for my parents to realize the camera would be holding us up from then on.


Green Bay, Wisconsin is where I was born and raised and will forever be the place I call home. I grew up with family vacations every summer that opened my eyes to all the corners of our nation. Every year we traveled to a new location where we’d take in all we could before coming home. Those trips helped shape my idea of a vacation to be more about exploration than relaxation.


I developed my photographic skills at the University of Northern Michigan where I graduated with a degree in photography. During my time in school, Marquette, Michigan became a year-round playground for my camera and me. Even in the dead of winter, I was crawling around frozen Lake Superior, diving in ice caves and sitting on the edge of ice floats.


Now in Denver, Colorado, photography has taken me all over the world. My affinity for travel stems from a desire to explore new areas and immerse myself in unfamiliar customs. The camera helps me get lost in new locations. By restricting my view through the frame of the lens, I’m able to find the details that define a place. Looking at my photographs, I can return to that moment and lose myself all over again. To help give the viewer insight into my experience, each one of my photographs shares a title with a song that embodies my memory.


My eye is drawn to textures and enjoys emphasizing the details that make landscapes dynamic. I believe the beauty of the natural world should remain untouched so I refrain from extensive editing in my work. Through my photography, I hope to encourage others to explore this world and find beauty everywhere they look.

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