Growing up I recall visiting my grandmother while she worked in the camera department at the our local K-Mart. These impromptu visits is where I received my first 'exposure' to photography (see what I did there). As I grew up I recall enjoying snapping photos of family vacations, but it never really materialized much beyond that. I didn't study anything photography related in high school or college, nor did I have any dreams or aspirations of becoming a photographer one day. It actually wasn't until my children were born that I purchased my first DSLR, my beloved Canon Rebel XS.

During the proceeding years, I resembled the paparazzi, taking photos of my kids every move trying to document as much of their early years as possible. Once they got to the age that my quest of life documentation proved to be a nuisance, the Canon Rebel found its new home atop a shelf in my closet where it remained indefinitely. It wasn't until a family vacation 8 years later in Washington D.C. that my passion for photography was reignited. I wish I had a super poetic or inspirational story as to how this occurred, but honestly, as I walked throughout the monuments and museums of D.C. I took notice of all the different camera equipment and accessories my fellow tourists possessed. I started to ponder how far camera technology had come over the years. When I returned home from this trip I began casually looking online as to the specs that some of the best cameras were shipping with these days..just out of curiosity. 


It wasn’t long after this research began that I purchased a new camera, this time a Nikon D3200 -  this was when the photography bug really grabbed ahold of me..once again. After multiple camera upgrades and the better half of the next 2 years, I came to the conclusion that landscape and outdoor photography was the genre that was most appealing to me. I dabbled in portraits and street photography - even photographed quite a few events, but found that I didn’t receive the same level of excitement and satisfaction as that of shooting the great outdoors. Shortly after this realization, I made the decision to shift my focus to landscape photography.

I’m a naturally anxious person and landscape photography provided me with a channel to encourage patience and a means to slow down. I’ll never forget the tranquil feeling I experienced during my initial attempt at landscape photography. I remember arriving early to my location, setting up my composition and waiting for the setting sun – this was the moment I began to realize what my passion was. The transition time between setting up my shot and waiting for the “good light” to arrive is still meaningful to me as it creates a captive audience within myself and provides ample time to reflect and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all. Outside of the technical and creative aspect of photography, I enjoy teaching the storytelling ability of photographs and encouraging others to not focus solely on the the end result, but to appreciate the overall photographic experience.

I began working as a freelance photographer in 2016 creating outdoor photography content for local brands and in 2018 joined the Visual Wilderness Team with some of the best landscape photographers in the world. Much of my YouTube content has been featured in publications such as PetaPixel, Fstoppers and ShutterBug Magazine.

I'm available today for hire, both nationally and internationally offering:

  • Outdoor Photography Education

  • Landscape Photography Workshops

  • Post Processing Education

  • Social Media Content Creation

So, that's how my on again-off again love affair with outdoor photography evolved. If you're interested in learning about the camera gear I use to create my landscape photography work, please visit my Gear page.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story - I greatly appreciate it! 

-Mark Denney