Today we’d like to introduce you to Mia Shaw.
Hi Mia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up with a mom who loved to savor every moment when it comes to birthdays, graduations and sports. I now am the exact same way and I would say that is the reason that I fell in love with photography. I had the joy to capture moments that someday I might want to look back on and remember all of the happy times. I was in fifth grade when I started using my mom’s camera. I would go out and take pictures of the neighborhood kids and we would have styled shoots. I know it sounds crazy that my mom would trust me with her expensive camera. I remember the first time I uploaded them, my mom told me how good they were. So it skyrocketed from there. I continued to use her camera more than she ever used it and set up photoshoots for all of my friends. I moved to St. Louis in 2014 and continued to do photoshoots whenever I could. In 2016, for my 16th birthday my parents bought me my very own camera. Two months later, I put an ad on multiple Facebook sites explaining I was a new photographer and ready to book. That is where it all started. I began to make all of my social media accounts and began booking by word of mouth.
At 16 years old, I was growing a business I never thought I could. Everything took off from there, I learned how to shoot manual, open a website, grow my content to as far as I could. My mom constantly supported me along the way, she was my assistant from the get go. She has watched my business grow from helping me get clients to being my personal assistant at weddings. I am currently 20 years old, I have bookings almost every week and I have finally bought my pride and possession, a new camera that I used my life savings on. It was worth it in every way because I have been able to enter the bridal world and that is the most exciting and nerve-racking thing I have done. I love that people trust me to capture their memories and instill faith in me that I will do a good job. My favorite memory has been working with a local bridal boutique to get to showcase all of my talents in a commercial shoot. I can’t wait to see where my business takes me in the future. Within a few short years and being 20 years old, I am so proud of my accomplishments and thankful for everyone who has been by my side.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Photography is not an easy career. The field is full of amazing photographers who you are always being compared to. I always try to stay true to myself and find what fits my photography. Photography is difficult to master and I still have so much more to learn but that is why it is amazing to find other photographers in the area who are willing to help you learn and show you the ropes. Photography has always been my happy place and especially when I have struggled with my mental health having an eating disorder and depression. Mental health has always been my number one priority so photography has had to take a back burner at times and then I have to learn how to promote myself and get back out there. I think that many fail to realize how much one’s mental health has on their business and I have found out that when I am my happiest, it shines through my images and I am so proud of that.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in the digital world. Since I am 20 years old, technology is something that I live and breathe. Marketing is mainly done through social media and the web and that is how I reach out to so many of my clients. Although word of mouth is great, my portfolio shines through my social media pages. My Instagram @shotsbymcshaw is my canvas and I post what I want the world to see. I am proud of how far my business has come through social media because a client can look at it and say I want a shoot just like the one on this post. I also am beyond proud of my business when it comes to timing, I strive to get all the pictures back to the client in a timely manor so they can admire the precious moments they have shared with me. My best friend is Shilee, she and I became super close in high school and she would always model for me. Within the past few years, she has grown to have over 1.8 million followers on TikTok and showcased many of my photos which has always helped me to reach people all over the world. Social media is something that sets me apart from other photographers because that is something I live for. Along with that, I try to personalize my experience so that my clients feel as comfortable with me as possible. I enjoy hearing their stories because it fuels my passion even more. It puts purpose behind my photos. My clients come first and no matter what, I am there for them. Whether that means I am putting boutonnieres on before the wedding ceremony or holding the back of a wedding dress, I am there for my clients no matter what. They support me, so therefore I support them and would do anything to make their moments shine.
What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lesson I have learned along the way is to always make sure I am having fun and staying happy. As I mentioned previously, mental health matters no matter what but especially when it has been a huge struggle in the past. Photography is my biggest passion in life but I have to always keep in mind that it should always stay fun. Life shouldn’t be where a person works their whole life and isn’t happy with what they are doing, which is why I am so happy I have found photography. Photography combines work and fun into one and I am so blessed to have the ability to combine the two. My passion is getting to share my pictures with others in hopes to inspire them and help them to keep their memories alive. Life is too short not to live it the fullest of our abilities, which is why each moment is precious and I love being able to capture each and everyone from weddings, to senior photos, to engagements, my job is the greatest gift I have ever received. I never feel like I am working when doing photoshoots because I am constantly inspired and even more ready for the next.
- 45 minute session (Senior, families, engagements), $125 for one location, multiple outfit changes, 30 or more edited photos and all rights received
- Wedding packages start at $600 for four hours
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://mcshawphotography.wixsite.com/mysite
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shotsbymcshaw/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Photographer/MCShaw-Photography-114437557023115/