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Denver Photographer Captures Mystery Of Doors Across The World

DENVER (CBS4) - People love doors. Caryn Cullinan might be a bit biased, but she's also someone who would know. With over 25,000 followers on Instagram and a Kickstarter page raising thousands, she's got a thing for doors.

A Texan who's called Denver home for over a decade, Cullinan is the woman behind The Door Project. It began on a trip to Italy, where there were too many beautiful doors to count, each with their own mystery.

Cullinan made it her duty to capture doors in their place and believes they can tell you a lot about where you are. She's photographed doors from 66 cities, probably more, and tries to find those that give a snapshot of the place.

"I'm inspired by people and culture when I travel, and doors are a direct reflection of that," she said.

She's amazed at the time and effort an unknown someone put into every door, often as a form of expression.

A small town in Germany maintains the traditional old town common before the war, and a door can tell you that. Doors found in the French Quarter of New Orleans have a distinct culture, and those in Barcelona are a mix of old and new.

She can't identify a single favorite door, but says "Barcelona is one of my favorite cities; it's really gritty and cool. I love Korea because my son is adopted from there."

The Door Project, int'l doors
(credit: Caryn Cullinan)

The Door Project is about culture of place, and it seems we're all curious about what lies behind each spectacular door.  Instagram followers often recognize doors Cullinan has photographed and know exactly where in the world one may be.

The Door Project, Barcelona
The door to Rita Rouge in Barcelona (credit: Caryn Cullinan)

"I think about what could be behind that door. I do my research, if it's a public place like the New York Library or a palace, I can learn the history of it," Cullinan said.

Colorado is different due to its outdoor focus. People simply enjoy spending most of their time outside, meaning doors don't get much attention. Still, Cullinan has found unique doors scattered across the state.

The Door Project, Colo doors
Left: the door to Bohemian Biergarten in Boulder. Right: The door to Chicano Humanities & Arts Council in Denver (credit: Caryn Cullinan)

Interest in doors is obvious on social media, so Cullinan is taking her project a step further and working to publish a photo book. She says, "It's perfect coffee table material, it really is."

Her Kickstarter page offers different rewards for different donations towards that photo book, something she enjoys because "you're actually buying something, not just giving money."

Though she hasn't yet planned a trip centered on door photography, "it's definitely on my radar more," Cullinan said.

Next up is Nicaragua.

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