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Meet Celebrity Photographer Spanki Mills

Introducing Spanki Mills! Spanki’s work can be found at http://www.spankimillsphotography.com/blog/
Spanki will be providing critique as one of our October Celebrity Photographers.

What camera do you use? Favorite lens?
Canon 5D Mark II and 50mm 1.4

What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?
The one thing I used to do was frame my image in the camera. I’d crop the shot just like I wanted it in my viewfinder, then the client would want to order the image in a size that cropping constrictions wouldn’t allow… so now I always step back and know I can crop in later, allowing myself freedom in ordering.

Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?
Honest critique is helpful in so many ways, for me I tend to get stuck in a rut and miss seeing something…even the littlest of things, that can turn my image from average to stunning!

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Fun. Vibrant. Youthful.


Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Videos, magazine ads, and locations.

What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
I have a hard time with time management, but have decided if anything is going to be pushed back for the other, it will be work over family. I would rather stress a deadline when they are at school than miss out on something they have going on for work. My number one JOB is my family!

Best biz/photo advice?
Value yourself, your time, and your sanity. When starting out, price yourself a little more than you “think you are worth” because soon enough you will realize how much you are putting into it and want to raise your prices…this way they are already there!

What have you learned the hard way?
How to say NO. I had a senior in my home at midnight custom designing her graduation announcement and she ordered 25 and it hit me. I gave myself, my time, and my family away to make people happy. It is not worth it!

How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
First and foremost, I try NOT to pay attention to what others are doing…it psyches me out. I am perfectly happy in my own little world. I try to stay engaged with my clients and keep myself motivated so I give the best I have.

Where have most of your 2011 clients come from (besides WOM)?
I have worked hard to network this year with people who are in the direct circle of my “target clients”. So I’d have to say a boutique and two interior decorators got my foot in the door and word of mouth has taken over from there.

What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?
WPPI was not as much a “learning” experience, even though I did learn. It was the BEST motivation I have had. On top of also meeting people and networking with others.

What is your most popular product?
Canvas prints are still a favorite, but I sell a TON of metal prints to my seniors!

TO SIGN UP FOR SPANKI’S 4-WEEK CRITIQUE IN OCTOBER, VISIT: http://chiccritiqueforum.com/classes/spanki-mills

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our chic give-away in the previous post!

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