Christian Creative: Maggie Mills

August 8, 2016

Introducing to you the beautiful creative behind Maggie Mills Photography. You can see her passion behind her words and the images she produces. I am so excited for you to read a little more about Maggie today.

Tell me who are you? 

I’m Maggie, a Charlotte-based Wedding & Portrait Photographer! I graduated from App State with a degree in Commercial Photography & Spanish, and am now living in Charlotte building my business in the new Charlotte market! I am also working as a freelance commercial photo assistant during the week. I am originally from Winston-Salem, but spent 2 years in Mexico as a missionary with the Presbyterian Church to assist in the construction of a medical clinic for the indigenous people of the area. 

 I hate these kinds of questions but tell me three quirky or weird facts about yourself. 

I have seen FRIENDS an insane amount of times (it’s actually playing the background right now), I totally freak out when I see a puppy because my heart cannot handle that much cuteness all at once, and I drink an insane amount of La Croix in a day. 

When did you realize you had a passion for photography?

My parents always told me to love what you do and do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! I found photography through a whim, actually through myspace (eek awkward middle school angst), but was drawn to capturing the world around me in a new and exciting way. I started with nature photography and really struggled with the idea of portrait photography because I thought it was like the awkward yearbook photos at school. I didn’t understand the power that was in connecting with someone and capturing them through a photograph. Once I figured that out and was able to find a way to do good through my photography was when I really felt like I had found it. I was desperate to find a bigger connection to my work because of my love for service and I wanted my photography to have a bigger impact beyond just taking a pretty picture. 

Favorite trip or location visited? 

My favorite place in the world is a city in Mexico called San Cristobal de las Casas. It is about 2 hours from where we lived in Mexico, and while it is not the actual capital of the state of Chiapas, it is the cultural capital for the state. There are many indigenous groups that surround the city and they all reconvene there. It has a beautiful colonial style with narrow streets and cobblestone everywhere. It is absolutely beautiful and I love the richness of the culture and the people that make the city so unique. 

As a Christian Creative, how can you worship God through your photography? 

I love this question! I think there is a huge problem in our society with people loving themselves for who they truly are and for who God has created them to be. Societal standards of beauty have completely distracted us from our own inner beauty that is unique, powerful, and incredibly special. My hope is that through my photography I can help people see and love themselves more clearly and deeply. It is so important to allow yourself to fully open up to your photographer so that they can see and capture your true self. So that when things get hard and you begin to lose yourself in the craziness of it, all you can look back to the print on your wall and remember that on that day you felt beautiful, powerful, capable, and most importantly, like your true self! And maybe you don’t feel like that today, but on that day you did. So for her you can try. It is a small change but overtime it can change how we view and love ourselves more powerfully. 

And not just through individual portrait sessions, but also capturing the love between a couple is so important because it is a physical representation of you feel. The love in someone’s eyes is such a powerful thing that sometimes I’ve had to stop in the middle of a shoot just because I was so overwhelmed by what I was seeing. To show people the love and joy that they radiate can do incredible things for a couple in bringing them closer together and reminding them of the core of it all: love. Similarly that can serve as a reminder to them when things ultimately get rocky, that their love is bright and strong. 

My hope is that my photography can serve as reminder of what is good and true in people’s lives, and I believe that God has given me this incredible opportunity to serve people and Him through my work. He has created these things to be celebrated and cherished, and I believe He has called me to capture the beauty of the life He has so graciously given to us. 

What photo session has been your favorite so far? 

Oh wow, that’s a tough one! Interestingly enough, it hasn’t been with a couple (even though couples are my FAVORITE!) and not even in natural light. It was a shoot I did with my sister while I was in school in a studio class. Our midterm was to photograph a person in the studio using what we had learned about studio lighting. Pretty simple. So I chose to photograph my sister’s body with dramatic low-key lighting to accentuate the natural landscape of the human body. It had always been something that fascinated me. But what was so incredible about this shoot wasn’t the images themselves, even though I love them! The power that lies in the these images is the story behind them and the girl who I was photographing. 

I chose to photograph my sister’s body as art. My sister who is in recovery from an eating disorder. Her body that she has taken through hell and high water desperately trying to love and accept herself for who she is. The images I was able to produce for her are an incredible symbol of her journey of self-love and acceptance. It was an experience I will surely never forget, and one that has shaped my own views of the power of photography for those who struggle with their own acceptance. 

 What advice would you tell your 16 year old self? 

To be patient. To love. To be painfully honest with yourself. To trust the process and put in the work. It will be SO worth it, I promise. 

If you had a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be to? 

Back to Spain where I traveled abroad and to take my boyfriend with me for a trip around Europe. 

What has God been teaching you lately?

To trust Him and His plans for me. This has been a time of transition and discernment for me as I’m figuring out my next steps. I took a chance that was really scary but put my trust in God, and man has He delivered! It has been a quite an adventure so far and I’m so excited to see what’s next! 

What is your regular order at your local coffee shop? 

Iced Vanilla Latte with soy milk

If you could photography ANYONE and I mean anyone, who would you photograph?

Eeeek, I don’t know! Is it bad that I don’t have an answer for this?! I think just the most in love people I could find! In love people are my favorite because they are just so stinking happy and it always makes for the best images! 

What is your favorite Bible verse? 

Isaiah 43:1-7. It serves as an incredible reminder that we are created by a powerful God that loves us beyond measure. We are his beloved. Not to fear because we are his. Wow! 

Find Maggie's work on her blog as well as Instagram. Give her a like on Facebook too!

Thanks for reading today's Christian Creative.

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