Specialty & Location: Senior/Family/Children photographer from Texas
DA: Tell us a little bit about yourself...
SM: I am a wife and momma of four (3 boys and then the girl...Lord help her). I am an artist...like the kind that is not good a math or spelling, but I can color! I am a self taught photographer that has learned the biggest mistake I have made is over-thinking the small things. After four years I am still learning how to juggle running a business and a family! I love simplicity, being real and making friends. I am me, I am just a girl named Spanki!
DA: What has been your most memorable image and why?
SM: One of my most memorable images was of my sweet sweet seniors, Griffin, a few years back in a pond at sunset. This image isn't the "most unique", nor did it push my creativity to its limits, but for me it was so different than my normal shooting style I just adored it. I am normally shooting in urban areas with tons of textures and colors, so this image stood out to me just because of the simplicity in its beauty.
DA: If you could tell photographers that are just starting out one thing you wish you had known before starting a business, what would it be and why?
SM: If I could tell new photographers that are just starting out one thing it would be to educate yourself. There aren't many real jobs you can get hired for without education. Even if that job doesn't require a college degree, they most likely will require some form of education of the business... this is no different. If you want others to take you seriously as a business owner, you have to first take yourself and your business seriously! I still believe in taking one workshop a year to make sure I stay current, continue to push myself and to simply make contacts in the industry!
DA: Where do you find inspiration?
SM: I am constantly looking around. I find inspiration everywhere but what I love best is seeing old buildings and abandoned locations to shoot...that is when my mind really starts going!
DA: How do you enjoy your images (what physical products do you make for your own home)?
SM: I am a canvas girl. I love canvas of my kiddos. However, I will say one of my most favorite displays in my home is of my Instagram images from a trip my husband and I took to Chicago printed on wood.
DA: What is the craziest job you've ever had?
SM: Before I was a photographer I was a painter. The craziest thing I did was get in a tiny cage (called a man lift), go up 2 and a half stories to an art niche, climb out of the cage to stand on a 2 ft ledge and paint above my head for 2 days. Did I mention I am afraid of heights?
DA: Did you go to school to study photography?
SM: Ha. I sooo wish I would have gone to school to study photography, but I had no clue I could. I started as a business major...what tha?? Anyone who knows me knows that is so not me! (in hindsight maybe I should have stuck that one out, it might would make the running of my business a little easier!)
To see more of Spanki's work visit her at spankimills.com
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.