Most Coloradans don’t live to work, they work to live. With all we can explore and experience outside our collective front door, most of us realize life’s too short to be grinding out 80-hour weeks to make someone else rich. But there still are plenty of unusual, stimulating, even lucrative jobs here that won’t keep you cooped up in some cubicle. We explore why Denverites take such a unique position on the live-work tradeoff, learn how one local twentysomething maintains her balance with a healthy dose of career ADHD, and highlight 23 Coloradans who are living the dream through their jobs. You can, too.
First, there was a busted-up 1980 Dodge Caravan that he called home. There was canned corn eaten in soul-sucking cubicles during grueling internships and magazine jobs. There were peanut-butter sandwiches on the order of 100 days straight.
That was a decade ago, when budding photographer and climbing bum Tyler Stableford put every penny into building his portfolio—an endeavor that landed him at the helm of Rock and Ice magazine and yielded a collection so vast that he’s able to shoot what he wants, when he wants, for his stock agency, Getty Images. “I make over half of my income from stock images,” says Stable- ford, whom Men’s Journal recently named one of the world’s top adventure photographers. “It gives me an amazingly flexible work schedule; essentially I can shoot whatever I want as long as I’m producing images that sell.”