Before Anna and I even met, we both had dreams of some day moving to Colorado. It was one of those distant dreams, the kind you tell people about, the kind you so desperately want, but all too often the kind that stays forever on the horizon. We soon discovered we shared the same intense love for the outdoors, adventure, natural beauty, and the vibrant progressive culture found there. We've made a few trips out there together over the years and fell in love with it even more.
We realized that we could either always be working toward this goal, always waiting for the timing to be perfect, the bank account to be big enough, or we could make plans to make it happen; and that's what we did. While Facetiming with Anna's cousin Biz the day after Christmas of 2015, inspiration ignited. Biz lives in Boulder and was raving about how perfect of a fit and time it was for us. We sat down and looked at what it would take to make it happen and to figure out how soon we could make the move. The biggest thing holding us back was my student loans and some credit card debt. We also had the photography business and all the couples we are working with in Wisconsin to consider. I'd also be giving up my incredible full time job which has given us such amazing stability and the means to live the lifestyle we wanted while being able to slowly and organically build up the photography business.
Many people would call us crazy for giving up such a job, but I've become acutely aware that I have outgrown it. The lure of the steady paycheck is strong, but the lure of following our passions and building something for ourselves is stronger. We've decided to plunge into the unknown, relocating to Colorado to re-build our business and put our full passion into it to grow it to a point that it can support our family. We identified when it would be feasible to pay off our debts and wrap up the wedding season in Wisconsin, and decided on January 14, 2017 as our official move date.
I find it highly amusing when I look back that I went to college to get a degree, racking up a decent sized debt in the process, only to get a job and work it to the point I can pay off those debts, then to leave and build our own business. I certainly gained a ton of knowledge and experience and had a lot of fun in the process, but there comes a time when it becomes clear that following your passions is what it's all about! We firmly believe that following your passions is what ultimately leads to success and happiness.
With this move, we will also be rebranding under Castner Photography. Nate Castner Photography started when it was just me shooting. I was new to the industry and trying to figure out how to implement my vision. Once Anna started working with me, our business grew to a place I never had imagined! Being able to collaborate and work with my wife has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done! We make an incredible team that takes equal parts of our different skills combined to create something really special. I couldn't imagine shooting now without her! She has an incredible gift to connect with people and make them feel comfortable, she provides an invaluable female perspective which I certainly don't have, and her attention to detail is unsurpassed. It is truly a joy to work with her, and our business wouldn't be the same without her, so it is absolutely necessary that we go forward operating under Castner Photography.
We've set our sights on Boulder: a thriving community focused on health, wellness, activity, culture, and growth. We look forward to weekend camping trips in the Rockies, evening bike rides down mountain roads, hikes and runs through the forest, weekend ski trips to some of the best mountains in world, and climbing our brains out in Eldorado Canyon. Instead of looking forward to an annual vacation out there, we want to live where we play.
If we currently have a commitment with you (you should have already heard from us), we will certainly still be sticking to it. We do plan to be back in Wisconsin frequently to visit family and friends and shoot any events we have booked.
We'll be using this blog as a place to share our journey from both a business and a personal perspective, since they both are so intimately intertwined. If you'd like to follow along with us, please subscribe to get updates! We certainly aren't the first to make a plunge like this, but if the wisdom we've gained along the way can help just one person, it'll be all worth it!