We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle VanTine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There was an interesting book written many years ago called E-Myth by Michael Gerber. After a staggering statistic came out on the number of small businesses that fail by year 7, Gerber set out to find what was the cause of so many small businesses failing. The story in so many failing businesses was the same: from the exquisite chef, to the creative photographer, and the intuitive counselor: they were incredibly talented at their trade but they weren’t good at running a business. I believe that the success of my, and many brands, is that I’m able to balance a combination of two important things. On the one hand I am pushing myself as a photographer to create amazing imagery, learn breakthroughs in software, acquire knowledge of lighting techniques, and think outside of the box conceptually etc. However, if I do all this in the vacuum of my small space it will only have so much impact. While I’m pushing my art, I’m always also listening to audio books, podcasts and segments on marketing, advertising, social media, networking and small business. I realize if I kill it with the pictures, but I can’t communicate that with a broader audience I’m only going to go so far. I use tools like The Passion Planner to make daily, monthly and annual goals and The I Am Journal to focus my mind on what my mission statement is and what 3 small daily steps I will take each day toward that goal. Everyday, I wake up, exercise, write my intentions for the day, my goals for the day, and check all of them off before shutting down. At the end, I think it’s the people who can balance being excellent in their craft with being a disciplined and focused businessperson that will have the greatest success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m in the business of creating scroll-stopping images for amazing people, and amazing brands. I’m passionate about shooting images that stop the scroll, increase visibility, and bring in more clients. I work with businesses (think everything from Spartan to skin care), personal brands (architects, designers, artists, athletes and musicians). My work has been posted by Serena Williams, Ginuwine, Ulta, Fairmont Hotels, Body Glove, Spartan, Tough Mudder, Getty Images and many more. In 2019 I was written up as “Top Sports Photographers in Miami” by Peerspace. What sets me apart is that there’s only one me! Photographers seem to complain a lot about the market being oversaturated but in my opinion that’s just a push to create work that is different, better, or more unique than others. I also make my brand fun. My followers on Instagram (@MichelleVanTinePhotography) love watching my “lives” of dropping skincare into fish tanks and ripping my hair out to get the “perfect splash”. They love watching me obsessively tweak rosehip and chamomile around the products I’m shooting and sit with a helmet in fear as the #4 in the world of tennis hits a ball right past me. My brand is fun. My personality is a little cooky and people love watching the process… not to mention my soundtrack for all my stories is always on point.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I feel that there’s not a week in South Florida that doesn’t go by without discovering some new hidden treasure. Of course, there’s the usual suspects: Wynwood Walls, Juvia or Villa Azur for drinks, Lincoln Road for shopping and so on. I’m not above a good girl’s night. However, anyone who knows me, knows I love adventure. So more “Michelle” spots are Crandon Beach. If you walk about a mile away from the commercial end of the beach there’s shallow waters speckled with gorgeous pink conchs, 1-foot wide star fish, and black sea urchins. Kayaking in the Oleta river under a canopy of mangroves, and rock climbing at Project Rock are a few very-me favs. My best idea of a perfect night is grabbing my camera with a friend, going on a long walk on the beach and then shooting the sunset with a bottle of Malbec. There are so many beautiful and natural places in the area that lead to fun adventures and I’m discovering new ones every day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Passion Planner The I Am Journal
all by me!