I want to introduce you all to the ever so talented and inspiring Fi Mims.
This amazing woman is a photographer from Melbourne who believes that life is the most precious gift and should be celebrated. She feels that photography is her way of celebrating life through images and absolutely loves doing that for others too. She is here to share her passion for family, love and business and infuse those philosophies into creating magical photos for you.
We talk to Fi about the journey, what inspires her, her beliefs and life outside of work…
SSC: So lets begin with a little bit about you, who is Fi? How would you describe yourself in three words and what gets you up in the morning?
Fi: Hmm… I’m a photographer, a mother, a wife, a friend. Three words that come to mind are “lover of life” – although life can be tough I think it is the most incredible journey, and I really try to go out every day with the aim to be grateful and make the most of what it gives me. What gets me up in the morning? I’m a night owl so the only thing that gets me up in the morning is my kids, coffee and a shower, and usually in that order!
SSC: Can you share with us your story; how did you come to launch your photography business, what have you learnt along the way and has this always been a dream of yours?
Fi: I spent many years looking at photographs thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to create images for a living. But it took me a long time to believe it was a dream I could turn into a reality. To cut a long story short, in my early 20s a friend finally encouraged me to do a short course, which turned into a 12 month part time course, which turned into a part-time job for a wedding photographer, which I eventually gave up to go full-time in my own business. That was over 10 years ago and it’s been an awesome journey ever since!
What I love most about my job is that I never stop learning. What are some of my biggest take-outs running a photography business? I have learnt that to run a successful business it’s important to have a plan, to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, to surround yourself with people who inspire you, to believe in yourself, and to do what lights you up. That and about a million other things, but that will do for now.
SSC: What is your favourite part of being a photographer? What is it about photography that inspires you, motivates you and lights you up?
Fi: So many things! Probably what I love most is the people that I meet through my work. Also that I get to push myself creatively and try new things. That the work I do is valued by people; my family photography creates memories that are treasured for many years, and my branding photography helps empower women to go out and do what they love.
I love that – no matter how hard my days get – I always want to go to work. There’s nothing else I would rather do.
SSC: “I believe life is the most precious gift and it should be celebrated. Photography is my way of celebrating life through images” Can you explain this a little further and why this means so much to you?
Fi: I just believe that life is an incredible gift. We are here for a short time, and I think that we need to be constantly reminded of the things that really matter – family, friends, self-love, kindness, work that is meaningful and that brings us joy. I try to imbed those principles in my work every day. I believe photography is a beautiful reminder of what we hold most precious in life, and that’s what I try to capture when I pick up my camera.
SSC: What things have you got in place to be able to find balance within your life? Being a mum of young twins and running a successful business, how do you take time for you and connect back?
Fi: I’m going to be honest and admit this is really hard. As a mum, a wife and a business owner I find it really difficult to fit everything in. I don’t ever feel like I manage all things well at the one time and my friends probably suffer the most; it is a constant juggle and most days I feel guilty about something that I haven’t done or someone that I haven’t called.
That said, I pick up my kids up from school most days. As a result I’m always rushing to fit everything into my working hours, but I’m so grateful to have that flexibility which means I can be there for them. I also try to stay off email as much as possible on weekends. It can be hard to do as a business owner, but in a world where we all feel like we can’t switch off I think it’s really important to disconnect regularly – if people want to work with you they will be willing to wait a couple of days.
I also try to get out to a dance class for some fun and exercise when I can, and as a family we escape out of town as much as possible. I’m blessed to have a very relaxed husband who is always encouraging me to get away from my computer – without him I would probably work way too much!
SSC: What are your top 3 tips for any budding photographers out there? Are there any words of advice that you wish you knew before heading into this career?
1. Get as much experience as you can before starting your own business.
2. Make sure you have a business plan, because knowing how to run a business is more important than being a good photographer.
3. Surround yourself with people that believe in and inspire you.
SSC: What does the word empower mean to you? And how does its meaning inspire you within your own life, business and every day?
Fi: For me the word empower is closely linked to confidence. I know that when I am feeling confident I am at my best, and my work is very much about empowering women in particular to feel more confident and empowered in their own lives.
SSC: What can we expect to see in the future for you and your business? Do you have any other hopes and dreams for the future that you can share with us?
Fi: I just want to be doing more of the what I am now, but bigger and better! I am about to launch video for my clients which I’m very excited about. I have plans to create online courses that complement my photo sessions. And in May this year I launched a free online branding magazine called SHINE, designed to help women build a business they love. The response to Issue One has been great and I’m currently working on Issue Two. That’s been so exciting and I love having a platform to share my clients with a wider audience – because I meet so many amazing women in my work! If anyone would like to check out SHINE they can access their free copy at the following link: http://business.fimimsphotography.com.au/shine-magazine/