EPISODE 01 - LET'S DO THIS - SHOW NOTES
Hey guys!! Welcome to the VERY FIRST episode of the let’s do this podcast!!
I am SO happy and grateful you’ve tuned in, and have a little favor to ask! Can you help me spread the word so I share some light today with even more people who need it? If you’re listening, take a screenshot and share it on facebook or instagram, tag me @maddie mills photo, and I’ll give you a shoutout and a massive virtual hug!!
So… you ready? Before I “formally” introduce myself, let’s flash back to when I was 13 or 14.
One day, on a day like any other, I was going to see a movie with my aunt. I don’t remember what movie, but I DO remember that I was so amped up for it that I said “Let’s Do This” suuuper emphatically and way too loud, right in the middle of the mall. My aunt cracked up laughing, everyone started at me, but I didn’t care one bit. Ever since, my aunt and I always reminisce about that story.
It seems like a really random story for me to tell you, but looking back, it’s brought me here to you today. Someway, unknowingly, with millions of little moves and ideas in between, that moment of yelling let’s do this in the avalon mall has brought me behind the mic, on the FIRST episode of the Let’s Do This Podcast.
So, hey. I’m Maddie, I’m 21, I’m a full time wedding photographer, crazy cat mom, dork on the outside, big ol hippie inside. I’m devastatingly obsessed with the Office, am a huge foodie, and I ADORE putting love into the world and sharing it all with everyone.
This didn’t happen without a LOT of life in between, so buckle up for the ride while I tell you exactly what happened.
Nearly 10 years ago, when I was 12 years old I started taking photos. Horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE, photos of plants and rocks, nails sticking out of boards, literally everything I saw. By’s, if I showed you some of that early work, you’d totally question my credibility. And I thought I was THE BOMB.
Thinking I was the bomb is ok though, because AS I spent the next few years living life as a typical teenager, going through school, overcoming challenges, making friends, learning life, being a kid... there was one constant. I believed in myself and still took those photos. I created. I failed and grew. I practiced my booty off. I went from photographing random objects, to my friends and family, to people I didn’t know. Eventually, I started calling myself a photographer.
Call me crazy, but even teenage me KNEW this is what I was meant to be doing the rest of my life. I was basically screwed. Hellooo, pigeonhole. No other job or career path would ever come to interest me, and honestly, nothing could tear me away from my seemingly insane dream of being a self employed photographer. Instead of saying I wanted to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a teacher, I wanted to own a yellow VW bus and travel the world taking photos. Ridiculous, right?
Well, the owning a VW bus thing hasn’t worked out… YET. But I DID become a self employed photographer, and I DID photograph a wedding last year with a yellow VW westfalia in it. Funny how life works out.
Before that could happen, I graduated high school, went to university, and trucked along like a good egg. Even though it was NOT for me and NOT what I wanted. I went into the business program by default, knowing that it wasn’t right but feeling like I had no other option but to go. It was ingrained in me that university is required to get ahead in life.
I suffered through anxiety, severe emotions, and for the first time in my life, I just didn’t care. I was TOTALLY apathetic. I went from being a driven, straight A student, to failing half my courses and not caring at all about what I was doing. I went from being a happy go lucky, social person to having mental health problems every day. After eventually taking time off and going back for a second try, I had a complete mental breakdown- and I don’t use that word lightly. When the dust settled, clarity washed over me, and I finally knew that I was leaving my degree. So I at the end of that semester, I left the business building and never looked back.
And guess what happened?
With relentless support, I’ve evolved Maddie Mills Photo from a hobby into a career. I went from having mental breakdowns to being set free. I have been blessed with a community, my Maddie Mills Photo Family, that allows me to be unapologetically myself. I’ve gone from sharing only my work to sharing my heart, my soul, my life. I’m lucky enough to document and share the soul of others. I am blessed to be invited into people’s lives, into their most intimate and joyful moments, to capture it all and help them remember forever.
Now, I am still that same hippie heart as when I was a teenager, chasing a crazy dream every day, except the dream is happening, growing, constantly being worked for, and I’m a different person. I have changed and learned. I’ve experienced incredible love and loss. I’ve travelled. I’ve discovered that I have unbridled passion for people and for life. I’ve struggled- and I’ll be SUPER real about that in future episodes because no one’s life is perfect, especially not mine.
When I first started out, I wanted this super glamorous, nomadic, self employed life as a photographer and dreamed about what that looked like. Let me tell you- it has NOT been glamorous but it’s been a million times better. It’s been real, and raw, and emotional, and deeply moving. It’s taught me a TON and has grown me up in ways a quote “normal life” never would have for me. Sometimes its a dream, sometimes it’s a fight, but every day I can wake up knowing I am fulfilling my purpose by bringing happiness to others.
I cannot wait to grow the Lets Do This podcast and share YOUR stories. Help you plan your weddings, help you grow your businesses, and hopefully brighten your day. People have called me inspiring, but guys all I’ve truly all I’ve ever set out to do is make people happy, share my heart, and connect with my fellow humans on a level deeper than what society expects.
If this resonates with you.. If you’re currently in a situation that you know deep in your gut isn’t what you want. I only have one thing to say. Make the change. I know it’s SO hard to concieve of doing life differently, straying from the path that’s basically been laid out for us, ignoring the big old blueprint for a comfortable life but guys... I could honestly sit here and beg with you for hours that it’s worth it.
Whether you want to stay employed by an organization and simply switch industries or switch to being self employed all together, there is NOTHING like having that fuel inside that keeps you going through every day, every struggle, through your LIFE. It’s not gonna easy,but it’s not supposed to be. It’s going to be hard, a long process, a constant challenge, but it’s going to be the most incredible journey that will ultimately reward you with the life you want.
There is so much support, so many resources, so many opportunities waiting for you to dive deep in and just go for it. Please please please don’t let your fear stop you. Everybody’s got magic inside them and yep, so do you. I’m not special. I’m just a regular woman who fought hard for what she wanted and continues to every day. I’ve got your back, I’m serious, and so does the world. Give er, you guys. Make yourselves proud.
Wow. If you’re hearing my voice blabbing at you right now it means that I published the first episode of The Let’s Do This Podcast and overcame the mount everest of doubt. It means that I have people- you guys- who are tuning in, allowing me to spill my beans. It means that you have invited me to use my passion to try and bring you joy and for that, I am literally so thankful. Thank youuuu SO MUCH for tuning in to this new adventure. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to serve you. Maddie Mills Photo would just not exist without you guys and so.. Let’s all raise our glasses, our mugs of cold coffee, our cups full of rose, and say a friggen massive CHEERS to each and every one of you listening.
Until next time, I’m Maddie, and LET’S DO THIS!