Denver Bar Association
September 2012
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Denver Lawyers’ Arts and Literature Contest: Photography Winner Trey Rogers


rey Rogers is a partner with Rothgerber, Johnson & Lyons, focusing his practice on litigation, government relations and campaign finance, and election law practice. He is the former chief counsel for Gov. Bill Ritter. As a teen, Rogers was a photographer for his high school newspaper and considered pursuing a career in photojournalism. He eventually moved on to other hobbies and didn’t pick up a camera for about 15 years, but his interest was reinvigorated with the birth of his son. Rogers says, “I’ve always been interested in photographing natural subjects, especially fleeting moments—a sunset or a flitting bird. I enjoy trying to capture a little of the beauty that is so abundant in our state and then looking back on my photographs later, or sharing them with others.”


Q&A with Photography Winner Trey Rogers

Tell us more about your work. What was the inspiration? What techniques did you draw on? What do you like about this work?

I took photo in Denver a couple of years ago.  I used a 105-mm macro lens, which resulted in a very narrow depth of field.  The narrow depth of field caused everything behind the flower pedal to blur to a soft green background and made the subject stand out.  With the macro lens, I was able to get close, fill the frame with the flower and ladybug and capture the beauty and detail of a very small subject—beauty and detail that is easy to miss from our usual perspective. 

How did you become interested in art? What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

I've always been interested in photographing natural subjects, especially fleeting moments—a sunset or a flitting bird. I enjoy trying to capture a little of the beauty that is so abundant in our state and then looking back on my photographs later, or sharing them with others.  

 Why did you become a lawyer? What do you enjoy most about the profession?

I really enjoy the intellectual challenge of practicing law—not just the challenge of crafting a strong argument or understanding a complex legal concept, but the challenge of engaging with people on what are sometimes difficult or contentious issues.

Art and lawyering seem to draw on very different skills and different parts of the brain. How do you think being a lawyer helps your art, or vice versa?

 I'm not sure photography and practicing law are so different.  In the same way that it is rewarding to capture a technically difficult photograph, it is rewarding to take on a tough matter for a client and obtain a good outcome.

Tell us briefly about your background as an artist and as an attorney.

 I was very interested in photography in my teen years. In fact, when I was a photographer for my high school newspaper I briefly thought I might pursue a career in photojournalism.  I eventually moved on to other hobbies and probably didn't pick up a camera for about 15 years.  That changed when my son was born—we all love taking pictures of our kids, right? I quickly learned that photography had changed.  Film was out and digital was in! No more expensive film or developing costs! Easy editing on the computer! I was hooked again and haven't put the camera down since.   

 I started as a litigator at Rothgerber, Johnson & Lyons in 1997. Over time, I added government relations and campaign finance and election law to my practice.  That led to my representation of Bill Ritter's gubernatorial campaign in 1996. That led, in turn, to three years as his chief legal counsel.  When Governor Ritter decided that he would not run for re-election, I decided it was time to return to private practice.  I have been back at RJ&L since March 2010, where I have continued my litigation, government relations, and campaign finance and election law practice. A substantial part of my work now involves representing governmental entities in complex litigated matters. 

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