MJ Gautrau

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I am MJ, a senior Psychology and Human Development & Family Relations double major from Durango Colorado! I like hiking, running, cooking (then eating) vegan food, and photography. Music is my oxygen–you’ll normally find me humming along to a bop by Oh Wonder or Florence + The Machine. I like dogs and people.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Many come to mind and I’m sure my sisters could think of many more. Recently I was photographing a wedding on a beautiful beach in southern Maine. The lighting was perfect for my last few portrait shots of the bride. I was so focused on getting the perfect shot that I was not aware of my surroundings. So when I kneeled down in about three inches of water we all had a good laugh. That was, until, a wave brought the water back in and soaked me to my shoulders. Their natural laughing faces made for some awesome photos and I had to buy a new outfit before the reception.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Vegan Mac and cheese.
If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
How do I choose!? I would very much like to see Alaska, Austria, Norway, Vietnam or Switzerland. Really anywhere with a beautiful, mountainous backdrop. Mountains feel like home!
Your favorite quote…. 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”― Ira Glass

Outreach Assistant
Degrees awarded 
Currently working towards two B.A.s; Psychology, and Human Development & Family Relations