I'm pretty sure I say this about every Artist to Know interview, but this time especially - I am SO EXCITED for you to meet this month's artist!! Maren is simply amazing. Her passion for photography and people shows in each gorgeous image she shares. I met Maren through a group called The Rising Tide Society, a community of creative business owners who value community over competition. (If you haven't heard of RTS, I highly recommend checking them out here. They also have a Facebook group you can join, click here for details). On the Rising Tide Society's Facebook page, I sent out feelers to see if any of the creative men and women in the group would want to be interviewed for this Artists to Know series. I received over 50 responses, so to keep everyone straight I started writing in my notebook details about each person and their website and what stood out to me. I starred the names of the artists I wanted to interview right away and when I got to Maren's request, this is what I wrote:
It's safe to assume two stars mean a person is extra special. I was so excited to get to interview Maren right away, the more I learned about her the more I liked her, and I'm positive you will too! So without further ado, allow me to introduce to you the sweet, genuine and talented business owner behind Maren Miller Photography:
To start off how would you describe yourself/your photography?
I love people. I love being around my friends and family, but my very favorite people to be around are my incredible husband, Jeff, and our two awesome kids, EmJ and Luke. My love of people is what got me into photography. I am a Day in the Life photographer. I capture the simple, raw, beautiful, ordinary, everyday moments. I love being able to somehow trap that little piece of time in a bottle, so it can be seen and remembered long after it’s gone.
What is the driving force behind your photography/what keeps you motivated?
My kids are definitely my little muses and such a huge source of inspiration to me. I’m also inspired by soft, buttery sunlight, milk mustaches, creative and colorful packaging on anything, God’s incredible creation, and joy. The driving force behind what I do lies in how different each and every person is – and how those differences are the incredible details that make up our own stories.
If you could tell the world one thing with your art, what would it be?
That the moments you have on a daily basis that seem so mundane or ordinary are truly the moments where life is really lived. That those moments are beautiful and they tell your very own unique and lovely story.
What is your favorite camera to use?
My Canon 5D Mark III. My current favorite lens is my 35mm/1.4.
Maren Miller Photography
Explain your “Day in the Life” package and how you came up with the idea for it.
The “Day in the Life” package is my heart and soul. It all began with my kids – I realized that the simple parts of our days were my favorite thing to capture. The details that helped tell the story of the day would always take me back to that sweet memory. Once I realized this, I did a “Day in the Life” for a friend, just to see if this could translate if I was doing it for someone else’s family. To say I fell in love doesn’t even begin to explain it. I came home that day and told my husband, “This is all I want to shoot. Ever!” The dream began there, and has been coming true ever since. The “Day in the Life” shoot is exactly that – it’s me just hanging out with a family on a typical day. We do whatever they want, however they do it, and I just capture those moments that happen so often, but at the same time, are gone so quickly.
How do you hope to see your business evolve in the future?
Right now I offer both “Day in the Life” shoots and lifestyle shoots. My biggest dream for Maren Miller Photography would be to shoot “Day in the Life” sessions exclusively. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my lifestyle clients and am so grateful for all they have trusted me with and taught me. But, my biggest passion, what makes my heart beat like crazy is capturing those everyday moments. Each story is so different and so remarkably charming.
How did you come up with a profitable price point for your photography?
This was tough. I started out cheap (I mean, seriously – my first paid shoot actually paid me double what I asked and told me not to undervalue myself), but I slowly raised my prices. Last year, I sat down with a good friend of mine who really helped me see how much work I do, that my time is valuable, and that what I help create for people truly is art. It was then that I realized that those who valued my work as art would be happy to pay for it and those who didn’t were not my ideal clients. It took a lot of truth-telling to myself about how much time I do spend shooting, editing, marketing, and doing all kinds of other not-so-fun business things.
What advice do you have for those who want to pursue a career in the arts? What do you
First, if your dreams don’t scare you a little, then I don’t think you are dreaming big enough. Second, the only person you should ever compare yourself to is you. Always try to be better than you were yesterday. Third, someone else’s success does not mean your failure. Find a community where you can challenge and encourage one another. Finally, to quote one of my favorite movies of all time (Meet the Robinsons): “Keep moving forward.”
What’s your advice on how to handle criticism?
This is a fine line to walk. Criticism can, and in my humble opinion, should, be helpful. The thing is… art is subjective. So if someone doesn’t like your work, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. However, people can also be criticizing something technical about your work. I believe that something can be learned from every piece of criticism (from something specific about your art to maybe just thickening your skin a little). I also believe that criticism should never be taken personally. Believe me when I say I know this is easier said than done because our art is a piece of who we are, but you have to learn to separate it and not allow it to affect you personally.
You raise children and pets, make time for your husband and yet still have time to create
I love this question. I feel like it’s the “What is the meaning of life?” question for creatives. For me, it’s all about being intentional. My family means the world to me, so spending true, quality time with them is at the top of my priority list. What I’ve discovered is that I can’t spend quality time trying to do more than one thing at a time – like editing and talking to my kids. It just doesn’t work. So, I try my best to be intentional. When it’s time for me to work, I do it. My husband and kids understand that if I can take that chunk of time to work, it will leave me open to hang with them when it’s time. I find that when I do that, I can then intentionally spend time with my family without thinking about all the editing I have to do or the emails I need to answer. And that allows me to actually be in the moment with them. Let me be honest here, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. But, the more I work at it, the better it gets. It really helps that I have a husband who is so supportive, encouraging, and understanding, as well as two kids who (mostly) love that their mom is a photographer and can be okay when I say it’s time for Mom to work because they know that when I say we’ll make caramel apples later, we will. Bottom line, it takes a lot of prayer, love, and grace.
Want to Learn More About Maren and The Day in the Life sessions? Click these links!
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Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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