Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Winslow.
Hi Mike, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
After graduating high school in 1972 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I went to work as a laborer at a plumbing company and gained some experience around and on heavy equipment. I took that skill set and went to work building and maintaining roads along the right-of-way for the Union Pacific Railroad. Later I went into train service as a brakeman. I walked away from that in 1979 to study theology and, in 1982, started Eagle Maintenance Window Cleaning in Laramie, Wyoming, 40 years ago. I brought the window cleaning to St. Louis in 1984 and sold it in 2006. However, I still have one or two good clients that have been with me for 20 years, and you might find me with a squeegee in my hand. I think that’s part of what keeps me young. And it was in 2006 that I met Caren Libby in a social setting, and she inspired me to upgrade my camera from a Coolpix to a full-featured entry-level camera, so I chose a Canon Rebel. Through Meetup and Facebook, I found plenty of opportunities to use my camera in all kinds of settings and plenty of folks willing to share their knowledge. In 2009 I was contracted to photograph the Pronto Fashion Show in the Lumiere Hotel in St. Louis. I was in a little over my head I think I used that Canon Rebel from 2006 through 2017, shooting anything from fashion, portrait, commercial, and landscape until I could upgrade to a Canon 6D. Nowadays, I lug around 2 Canon 5D Mark 4s, which are heavy. It was January 2019 when I decided to do the photography in earnest. Just over a year later, you know what came along. I was blessed my partner didn’t miss a day of work due to the pandemic. Patty kept us afloat while I remodeled our upstairs, took more online photography courses, started my website, and honed my processes. Presently I would describe myself as a boutique freelance photographer. I have a signature-style headshot product that business professionals gravitate toward. All the rest of my work is unique and built around the client’s intent. I don’t offer sports, weddings, real estate, or children’s photography.
I seem to have found a “lane” in the following styles of photography:
• Business Professional Head Shots
• Staff or team photos for agencies or professional practices
• Family Portraits
• Environmental (out of the studio)
- Events including corporate holiday parties, fund raisers, golf tourneys, galas
- Business branding – individual and team images, about town or in the office
- Images for website or social media
• Boudoir, Glamour, and Maternity
• Heirloom and Luxury Photo Albums
• Eye Catching and Inspirational Art
• Custom Branded Greeting Cards
And since no story would be replete without some compelling reason (other than putting food on the table) for choosing this vocation – mine can be simply stated in one word, legacy. I know every time I deliver a finished project, my work will survive me and most likely my subject. My legacy is the watermark on that print. My client gets to enjoy the work now, and their legacy is a tangible page in their life story that can be displayed on a wall, in an album, or stored in a dusty box in the basement waiting for someone to discover sometime in the future.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Life is and always has been a struggle for all of us. The key is to be grateful when the seas are calm and not feel singled out when the storms come. And they will.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My clients would probably describe me a “laid back,” which helps them get comfortable in front of my camera. My post processes allow me to deliver the work in a very timely manner.
We all have different ways of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is very broad. Relative to an individual client, seeing their face or reading their remarks when I deliver their work. Success in life? The ability to reflect and conclude it was a life well lived.
- Website: WWW.MikeWinslow.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mike_winslow_photographer/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.winslow.photography
My headshot by the amazing Nick Roach.