Travel Photographer Kristin Griffith Draws Inspiration From Adventure
You can find art all over town — not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.
When Kristin Griffith and her husband recently decided to leave Griffith’s hometown in Utah, they made a list of the places they liked, and started looking for jobs in those destinations. Booming Denver is where the duo landed. And Griffith brought a new career with her.
Griffith had studied psychology and was a high school guidance counselor for a year. “It wasn’t a good fit for me,” she admits. After leaving that job, she was looking for a hobby and decided to try her hand at photography. She got her first pro camera – a Nikon D90 – as a gift, and started doing portraits. When she realized she had a knack for it, she upgraded her professional gear and started photographing weddings.
Griffith spent the next six years working as a wedding photographer; when she started getting burned out on that, she took a trip to Ghana in 2013 to serve in an orphanage for the summer. It was during that time that Griffith hatched a new plan: “I started thinking about transitioning to fine art photography,” she says.
“Photographing in Ghana gave my work a more real feel," she explains. "There’s a lot of struggle but also a lot of joy there, and my photography became a lot more meaningful to me through that.
“I’ve always had a love for travel, and every chance I get to travel, I take it,” Griffith continues. Going overseas isn’t too complicated: Griffith’s husband is originally from France, and that’s been another good excuse to hop the Atlantic.
But she likes traveling in Colorado, too. Griffith enjoys exploring the mountains – she did five 14ers this summer – and she captures all of her adventures in photographs.
Before long, Griffith realized she had morphed into a travel and adventure photographer. Working with landscapes after specializing in weddings and portraits has been "very different,” she says. "Weddings are more detail-oriented, and they’re about telling their wedding story day.” With landscapes, though, Griffith has the freedom to capture what she wants people to see and feel, and to tell a story all her own.
Griffith has also gotten into humanitarian photography work via Hello Ghana, a Denver-based nonprofit, and one of her long-term goals is to work with other nonprofits, and to “get into other cultures,” she says. “It’s tricky capturing other cultures without exploiting struggles, giving them a voice that’s true, and not just one that appeals to Americans.”
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