Featured Photographer: Spanki Mills

Spanki Mills is an Austin, Texas portrait photographer who told me she "adores families and seniors!" She recently dipped into boudoir photography as well, and opened up her very own little studio in Austin.

She was one of the first photographers ever to rave about our 5x5 glass boxes, and we love her for that!

Enjoy her story.

What 3-4 main words would you use to describe your photography?

Real. Emotional. Connections. 

What's in your bag? 

  • Nikon D700 
  • 50mm 1.4 
  • 35mm 1.4
  • 85mm 1.4
  • lens baby edge 80 optic

Last place you traveled? 

I went to shoot a “Day in the Life” family session in Phoenix, AZ for a sweet family that was selling their “forever” home and moving across the US for a new adventure. This home held so many memories: they got married in this home, brought both of their babies home from the hospital to this home, and dreamed big dreams in this home. They chose me to capture their everyday life so they could always look back at where it all began for them. 

Last time you laughed? 

Just a few weekends ago some girlfriends and I planned a weekend “stay-cation”. We got a room at a fun hotel downtown and just hung out around the pool and caught up, we laughed at life and it felt so good! 

What makes you different?

This is a hard one…what makes me different? I think the one thing I have heard over and over from others I have mentored with is how simple I am. I don’t take things very serious, I am not a gear head, I just work with what I’ve got.

I try hard to not over think things such as business. For instance I don’t fret over finding the “perfect pricing”…I set my pricing and then TRY it; if I find something that isn’t working, I re-work it and move on. I’d rather invest time working IN my business not ON my business.

Same thing with equipment, when I first started I thought I had to have what was in everyone else’s “bag” to be good… but then I realized it was ME that made me good not the lens.

So one day I got a wild haircut and sold EVERYTHING I owned online, except for my camera body and one 50mm lens and told myself until I could successfully shoot and run a photography business with this lens alone I’d not buy one more piece of equipment. So 6 years later, it is still my favorite set up! 

Do you have a favorite resource for design inspiration? 

Going back to my simplicity, I love to keep it very clean and thoughtful. Most all of my design inspiration comes from Anthropologie, Free People, and similar companies. I just alter it to fit my needs.

How do you use the La Rousse glass box? 

When I shoot, I like my images to tell a story…the story of my client. Most all of my clients order wall galleries and albums, so when I give them their proofs neatly displayed on matte 5x5 paper nested in Photo Bomb's amazing glass boxes they DIE. 

You can check out Spanki's work at spankimills.com and follow her on Instagram @spankimills.


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