Hey hey family! Welcome to the Let’s Do This podcast episode number 3! Today I am getting real about why I am SO personal in my business.

Before we roll on in to today’s episode, don’t forget to take a screenshot if you’re listening and give the Lets Do This podcast a shoutout on Instagram or facebook! Share some sunshine with more people who need it, tag me so I can see, and I’ll be so appreciative that I’ll send you allll the virtual love!

NOW. Today I’m strapping MYSELF in for the ride today  because I’m being super open, super real, and super honest about what’s gone on in my world the last few YEARS. I’m unpacking my proverbial suitcase because I want to tell you why exactly I’m so personal in my business. Speaking of suitcases, when i travel I literally never unpack for like 2 weeks after getting home because I get lazy and sleepy and procrastinate for daaays.

If you follow me on Facebook, have seen my website, or are part of the fam on instagram especially, you’ll see that I infuse a LOT of personality, soul, and personal life into my business. That’s something a lot of people still feel strongly against because they just dont get it. They think being personal is biz means sharing your dirty laundry. I’m a huge procrastinator and have a laundry basket waiting for me in the corner. Am I showing you that? Nope. I’m just being real, sharing, my heart. I know I know the actual laundry thing is jokes but I’m serious- there’s a total difference between being real and actually going too ham and revealing personal, private details meant to be kept to yourself. I fully believe you can be personal in your brand without being too much. what is “much” anyway though?

I’ve been told my whole life that I’m too much, and honestly at this point I just don’t care. The people I am too much for are not my people. I’ve actually come up against backlash through the years of people not understanding it and actually thinking I’m FAKE because I am being authentic. I take everything at face value.. Explain to me how that makes sense? I keep pushing on, doing my thing, valuing community over competition, and making a loving, safe space for people in my maddie mills photo family. It’s been so emotionally rewarding to follow my heart and throw my heart out all over the world. Ok my bad that sounds gory. Sorry for those of you listeing who have weak stomachs, oooops.

I deeply believe that if it’s the right choice for you, and if you’re comfortable, you should TOTALLY wear your heart on your sleeve and put it out there. Being real has brought me nothing but joy, the kind of couples and clients who make me ADORE my career, and true connection that goes against what the world expects of us.

Through being ME in my business- not just sharing only my wedding work- I have created a family for myself and others. And it’s real. There are umpteen reasons I am unapologetically myself and personal with maddie mills photo, and I’ve boiled it down to a few key things today. Time to tell some truth, spill some tea, and let you have a look into my mind’s inner track that drives me to be nothing but me each time I hit post. Remind me sometime to tell you of alll the times I have spilled ACTUAL tea all over myself, there’s a lot. Who else can relate to being clumsy central???

So here we go, reasons why I am SO personal in my business. Tea time people!!

#1. Because I love to connect with people. It’s that simple. These days, the world is so closed off, everyone lives behind their screens, hustles in their lives, is stuck inside their head. We are all so much more than what we present to the world- and while most people don’t do it on purpose it totally happens every day because of fear, expectation, and the trap of settling into a routine that doesn’t move you forward. I want to be a facilitator for more connection, more authenticity, more getting to know those around us (because making friends as adults is HARD), more wearing our hearts on our sleeves, more getting back to the reckless abandon we had in childhood before the world happened to us.

#2. The more my couples trust me, the better the photos and more priceless the memories. Imagine for a second- it’s your wedding day, you’re beaming with excitement, you’re ready for the forever commitment and are just waiting to say yes, you’re on cloud 9 enjoying the company of your family and friends… and your photographer’s presence is uncomfortable because you DONT KNOW THEM. If there is no trust and understanding between you and your photographer, your photos will one milllion percent reflect that, and they will look static, posed, awkward, uncomfortable, and then some. The photos will look like there was a wall between you and your photographer the whole day- which will translate into the photos of you and your spouse too. Photography should serve as a real, raw, beautiful documentation of all that took place before the lens. Authentically. Not a set-up love story where you’re left to interact how you truly are together AFTER the camera is away. Trust in your photographer is KEY. By helping my couples and clients know me and trust me, they will be more comfortable allowing me to see their hearts. And that’s when the magic happens and I can gift people their real memories looking back at them.

#3. I’m with you during pivotal moments in your life. You HAVE to be comfortable with me being with you during that pivotal moment, because frankly you deserve it! Take weddings. I am with couples for HOURS on the happiest day of their life this far. Like, 10, often 12 hours. I am being given an intimate and up front look into their friends, family, and relationship. Into their lives and worlds. If I’m gonna be essentially stalking you for 10 hours, isn’t it PARAMOUNT that you like me and we actually get along?? It’s such a foreign concept sometimes but my couples don’t treat me like hired help. I am fortunate enough to be like a member of their family for the day because they know me, they know MY heart, MY story, so that they feel comfortable showing me theirs. I’m around moms and dads, nans and pops, best friends, sisterhoods. All day long. Sure, we start as strangers, but to ensure my couples’ comfort I want us to be strangers become family.

On another side of this, I also photograph boudoir. That’s a VERY personal, intimate, empowering, and initially scary moment for the people in front of my lens. In my experience, people do a boudoir session ahead of something exciting in their lives, they have been knocked down and are in need a boost, or they are finally feeling good about themselves after a hard point in their life and are trusting me to help them celebrate it. How could I ever allow people to be half petrified there in their loungewear?? People know me, they trust me, they are at ease. And that is EVERYTHING.

#4. It attracts my ideal clients. The topic of “ideal clients” is something I am going to delve deeper in for future episodes because my thoughts on that is a whooole other kettle of fish. For the purposes of today- ideal clients for me are not what you look like, who you love, or how much money you make. It’s WHO YOU ARE. My ideal clients are people who resonate with my message of love and acceptance, who are silly and adventurous, real and unapologetic, laid back but love a touch of pizazz… people who will understand my heart and allow me to understand theirs. Simple as that.

#5. I can be a voice for people who need it. Jenna Kutcher says that if you have one follower you have influence, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s the ripple effect. You touch one person’s life and they can go on to touch countless others. One small action intrinsically creates millions more that amplify forever. I am not a big influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. I don’t think I’m soooo special or all that. But I DO have a voice. And over the last year especially I have projected my voice loud and clear to reach people who might need to hear it. I have so many things on my heart, like all the time. Call me a classic gemini, but I do. And I don’t want people to go through their days feeling isolated and alone in their head. I am fortunate to have oodles of support, but sometimes no matter how much support we humans have our emotions and struggles and hardships are left to us alone, to sit stewing in our heart.

I’m very opinionated and want the best for everyone. I am very fortunate to have a platform of people who want to listen and who trust me to inspire them. That’s a huge blessing and a position I’m very proud and humbled to hold. I’ve gotten on Instagram and made posts and videos about weight loss struggles, verging on an eating disorder a couple years ago, my broken heart at various points in my life with relationships, my hearing loss story, my experience with bullying, and so much more. From those instances where I’ve gotten extremely honest and bared my soul to help others, I’ve received messages of people telling me they needed to hear those words today, that my story resonated with them, that the words reminded them to love themselves, and other amazing, kind messages of thanks. How insanely lucky am I that people listen to what I have to say and that it helps them?? I will legit cry if I talk about it too much but seriously. In many ways we are all alone at the end of the day and I want to share my real life and real struggles and real heart to help alleviate that. I want to be a light for hope and love to my little following. The quote “and though she be but little, she is feirce” couldnt apply more when talking about someone’s influence. Whether you have 200 followers, 2000 like me, or 200,000, you have the power to speak to someone’s soul, brighten their day, and change their life. I have been through some STUFF and I want to help others going through similar circumstances heal and have joy.

There you go guys… whew! 5 reasons why I am SO personal in my business… I want to facilitate connection. I want people to trust their photographer so they have the best photos. I want people to feel comfortable. It attracts my ideal clients. And I want to be a voice for people who need it. It all comes down to making people happy… which is the core of why I’m a photographer. Happiness is abundant, happiness spreads, it is easily amplified, it has SO much impact.

Maddie Mills