Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Mills.
Hi Erica, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Born & raised in Raleigh, NC, I have always been creative! Growing up, I enjoyed singing, dancing, and writing poetry! I have always been a people person & thrived to help others, even at a young age! My first job was in childcare, and little did I know that would continue for 18 years! I tried pursuing many careers after high school! I went to Meredith College where I majored & obtained a BA in Psychology, in hopes of becoming a family counselor! It wasn’t until I graduated that I decided to try something similar but different! I continued working in childcare while attending online school for Addiction & Recovery Counseling! Upon achieving my Masters, I still struggled with being able to find a job in the field due to a lack of experience. I became so frustrated and discouraged. How could someone have such a passion to help others but not have a chance to do so? How could I get experience if no one was willing to give it to me?! It was during this time I struggled with what I was called to do. I wanted my own identity and to discover who I was meant to be!
I began to grow interest in taking pictures when my MIL gave my husband one of her old cameras! I decided to start using it as a hobby, to capture things in nature. Upon having my son, I couldn’t stop taking pictures! My passion for photography began to grow! After a few years of practice, I decided to upgrade to a newer, more modern camera! I bought a Nikon d3400! I fell in love! I was able to load my images directly to my phone, which was so convenient and fun! I began playing around with simple editing features from phone apps and wanted to learn more and more about what photography was all about! I took an introduction class with a local & very successful photographer, who taught me how to shoot in manual mode! I continued to practice and finally felt comfortable enough to start charging for my sessions! I began charging small fees to shoot for friends and families! Fortunately, my career in childcare paid off in regards to learning how to interact and engage with children and families! I was also able to do some training with a photography company that came to do the Fall & Spring photos at one of the childcare centers I worked at! I then decided to invest in what I now use on a daily basis, my Nikon d810! I have been doing photography for roughly three years! I NOW understand that these previous years, jobs, & experiences have all been stepping stones to achieve my true dream of being a successful photographer! I am so grateful for the patience I have endured in waiting for everything to unfold as it was meant to be!
My portfolio now consists of children & families, parties & events, pets, weddings, boudoir, maternity, engagement, newborns, and more! I have learned how far believing in yourself will take you & with that, there are NO LIMITS! I have had wonderful friends and family that support & believe in me, which has helped me believe in myself! I am so happy with where I’m at and wouldn’t change a thing! Although lots of photographers pick a particular focus, I’m still enjoying a little of it all! I also love doing street photography! As a Christian, I know in my heart that God blessed me with my talent and for that, I thank Him daily! I know I’m on the path for a successful career because I know what’s he’s blessed me with and I have chosen to use it!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing worth having comes easy! Everything takes work! If it’s something you truly love and want, you will do what it takes to achieve it! I struggled with finding my purpose in life! I thought at an early age I wanted to be a counselor! I loved helping people and still do! I racked up thousands of dollars in student loans and still have a large amount due. It’s so easy to focus on where you aren’t instead of realizing where you’re going! I finally have reached the point in my life where I can thrive because I know what I enjoy doing, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to continue to do it! Learning is growing. Growing is learning! Although I’m not the counselor I thought I’d eventually be, I am still able to fulfill that desire to help others through everyday life!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I currently photograph the following sessions: children, families, pets, newborns, engagements, weddings, maternity, boudoir, and more! I love & want to try all types of photography! My favorite moments to capture are children & pets. I love candid shots! I think my strongest characteristic in photography is my ability to ‘time’ shots well, along with my creative eye! I love capturing candid moments… pure raw emotion! I’m most proud of my self-driven desire to learn, grow, and succeed! I am extremely proud of how much I have learned on my own and how I have directed myself to improve and grow in my photography career! What sets me apart from other photographers is my continuous effort to give 110%! I take what I do very seriously and always thrive to go the extra mile!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
It is true when they say you can do anything you put your mind to! When you have a true passion and desire, you will do any and everything it takes to succeed! Believe in yourself and prepare to fly! Nothing is impossible!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @erica_mills.jpeg
- Facebook: @MillsMoments.2Remember