It’s not a snap

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Kittredge woman on reality show pitting photographers against one another

By Vicky Gits

A Kittredge woman who dreams of being a full-time professional photographer is a contestant on a locally produced reality show testing six budding photographers in various artistic challenges.

The new show, “Shoot! A Colorado Photographer's Reality,” airs at 7:30 p.m. on Colorado Public Television KBDI Channel 12 on six consecutive Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 21. For details, visit www.shootcolorado.com. Past episodes of “Shoot!” are available for viewing on the website.

Katy Moses, 35, found out about the show through one of the photo groups she belongs to.

“I applied and forgot about it, thinking, ‘What are the chances?’ ” she said.

Moses works as an interior designer in Golden during the day. Although she loves her job, her real passion is photography, according to her bio at www.shootcolorado.com.

Moses and her husband, Jay Huggins, a software programmer, are co-owners of Cocopa furniture studio in Evergreen and have a 7-month-old daughter. Moses graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in fine arts. Her photography business, Katy Moses Photos, is mostly a weekend and evening pursuit (visit www.katymosesphotos.com).

Moses is not even that familiar with the reality-show format, since she watches practically nothing on television, she said.

In each episode of “Shoot,” six photographers are given the same assignment and a day to complete it while being trailed the whole time by a video crew. The contestants have to find out what the clients want, and their work is partially judged on how well they meet the client's parameters, as well as technical aspects and marketability.

The show was conceived by Bradley Wicks, a photographer who, along with co-producer Chad Bardone, is a big fan of reality shows.

"We took pieces from many shows," Wicks said. " 'The Apprentice' is a good example. 'America's Next Top Model.' 'I want To Be a Design Star.' We took the best from the best," he said.

"The difference is we never have any intention of diminishing anybody's integrity or sensibility. It's a competition. There's a winner and a loser."

Most reality shows don't feature mentors, but “Shoot!” does.

"We set up the challenges to be rather difficult, and they are not up to professional levels. They need to have a little guidance to be able to pull it off," Wicks explained.

Photographer-contestants go on assignments with a more experienced photographer who acts as a mentor and gives advice. At the end of the day, each contestant e-mails one best photo to the producers. The next day three judges get together, critique the photos and decide who is to be eliminated.

In picking contestants out of 200 applicants, the producers were looking for people who were not total professionals and not complete beginners.

"We were looking for personality. This is television. You gotta have personality. We put them in front of a camera to see how well they did," Wicks said.

The winner is to be announced Oct. 26 at the end of the six-week contest. At stake is a package of photo equipment and other benefits worth $10,000.

Although the winner is known to the contestants at this point because the shooting phase is over, Moses can't reveal the outcome while the show is still on the air. All she could say about the assignments was that they involved sports teams, shops and area businesses.

“It was pretty tough. It's not like you're in a race. You get the assignment and do your thing. You do what you know how to do,” Moses said.

But is it really reality or is it more staged?

“Pretty much everything at the shoot is real. They never told us what to say. They might help us a little bit, but they never put words in our mouths,” Moses said.

The experience was “definitely fun,” she said. Even though the criticism could be tough to take at times.

"I think a lot of people will find out it's not as easy as it is intended to be," Wicks observed. "One contestant even said if they had seen the show before this, they probably wouldn't have become a photographer. Anyone has the desire to be a photographer is going to get a sense of the kind of work and dedication required."

Contact Vicky Gits at 303-350-1042 or Vicky@evergreenco.com.