We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Finney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what do you attribute your success to?
Definitely the people around me. I’ve been very fortunate to meet and befriend a large group of very talented and creative people who always drive me to keep going. Many of which have been very involved in my process, helping behind the scenes with hair and makeup, special fx, models, clients, and even music. And, I love supporting them as well, helping them market themselves and providing them with content for their own brands. I also love the competition created by just having these driven people in my life. When my creativity is at a low and I have no drive to create, just seeing the work that they’re all putting out makes me want to get it together and get back to work. So yeah, having that support system at my back has definitely been the fuel for my success. It really is all about who you know, in the creative space.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think something that sets me apart from others is the aesthetic of my images. You can definitely tell that I’m a kid raised in the ’90s as there’s just a hint of grunge in almost everything I do. I love images with a mood that you can feel and I refuse to put out anything that doesn’t make me feel something. I think what I’m most proud of is my growth, not just on a creative or business level, but as a person. Being in this business was scary at first, as I was pretty introverted and in many ways I still am, but I’ve learned to love and want to be around people. It’s been the toughest part of this year, having to be away from so many of the talented people out there and not getting to create with them. I can’t wait to get back out there and meet new creatives and make new forms of art. Professionally, getting to where I am today has not been easy. It still isn’t easy. Every day is a new challenge and it can be exhausting to continually put yourself out there day after day with little to no reward. But when it does work, it’s more than worth the amount of stress of searching for your next client. That determination is probably the most important thing I’ve learned from this business. It hurts to keep putting yourself out there, but you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t keep trying. When it comes to my brand, what I’d like the world to know is that I’m here for all of your crazy ideas and I want to make them a reality. If it’s absurd, weird, magical, or even a little scary, I want to make it. My favorite thing about being a photographer is making people’s imagination come to life and seeing their confidence grow.
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?
That’s a tough question in our current situation, so let’s imagine this is a better time than now. I’m definitely the kind of person that would take someone to all of my favorite food spots. Maybe start the day at Bonfire Burritos, grab a couple of Chupacabra’s and head up to Lost Lake in Nederland. It’s an easy enough hike to take someone on for an afternoon, and the payoff of seeing the lake is definitely worth it. Afterward, we could grab a dog from Biker Jim’s or a burger at Kuma’s Corner and maybe some games at 1up. Obviously, everyone needs to see Red Rocks, maybe even Maroon Bells and Bridal Veil Falls, with a stop in Breckenridge for a pizza from Downstairs at Eric’s. And who can visit Colorado without going to Fort Collins and doing some brewery tours? Finally, I’d say everyone needs to go to a Rockies game, fan of the sport or not, the atmosphere there is too good to miss.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
None other than Andy Bee (@dollface.andybee)! She was the first person to ever give me a job in this business and has supported me ever since. We’ve become quite the dynamic duo with our Conceptual Portraits and I’m always excited when she comes to me with a new idea. I always joke about being her biggest fan, but it’s definitely true. Her drive to continually learn and grow, on top of being a mom, a great friend, and a business owner always makes me think that I could be doing more.
Mike Finney – 1987 Digital