We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Childress and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wendy, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite quote is “Find Your Light and Share it”. This has become the motto of my ROLEmodel team. My ROLEmodel program started as a Senior Rep program in 2014, it is a group of selected high school seniors who share the hope of making the world a better place and represent my business in the community. We help eachother ‘find the light’ inside our hearts and together we ‘share it’ through community service such as volunteering, raising money and donating goods. We have worked with organizations such as Together We Rise, Casa De Amparo, Operation Hope, Threads of Hope and Rady Children’s. It has become the most fulfilling part of my business. Watching these young adults explore what they are passionate about and then using their gifts to love on their community has been such a blessing.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I think what sets me apart from others is my ability to make my clients comfortable in their own skin and in front of my lens. All too often I hear horrible stories of photo sessions gone wrong with an awkward experience. That makes me sad. I don’t take myself very seriously and have a lot of laughs with my clients. It helps them feel at ease and like we are good old friends just out taking a few photos. The result is candid and posed images that show their true joy and natural beauty. I remember when I first started out I was so nervous about how to to interact with my clients and how to keep the conversation flowing with complete strangers. But over time, it’s just become natural. I think being authentic in who you are is key to attracting your ideal clients. Working with clients who are like minded makes for an easy relationship. I have clients who have supported me since the beginning and they have become more like friends than clients.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have friends who live out of state who are always jealous of where we live. If I had one of them visit for a week we would have to hit the beaches for sure! We’d kayak through the La Jolla cove, watch the sunset at Sunset Cliffs, have a beach day at Tamarack and walk the pier in Oceanside . We’d also have to spend an afternoon downtown catching a Padre game, visit Little Italy for some dinner and have some drinks & dessert in the Gaslamp to give them the city experience. We’d definitely go for some hikes around the county and check out Torrey Pines, Potato Chip Rock and the 7 bridges hike. We love beer so we’d hit some breweries like Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill in Vista, Northern Pine in Oceanside, Mike Hess in North Park, Stone Brewing in Escondido, Coronado Brewing in Coronado, Saint Archer in Miramar & and Modern Times in Encinitas.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out to my husband and kids for supporting me through my photography journey. From going back to college as a middle aged mom to pursue photography to today, they have encouraged me to do what I’m passionate about…create memories and beautiful images for clients giving them a legacy to be proud of. It wasn’t always easy, and it disrupted our family routine some but their support kept me on my path.
Michelle Miller Photography (headshot photo)