Photo by Ivan Martinez
Hi! My name is Colleen Miniuk-Sperry (pronounced "Min-ick-Spare-ee").
I'm a Corporate-America-escapee-turned-full-time-freelance-outdoor-photographer-and-writer, supporting a wide range of assignments for editorial and commercial clients. Specializing in nature and outdoor recreation, my purpose as an outdoor communicator is to inspire and help others enjoy the Great Outdoors!
My work has been published in National Geographic calendars, Arizona Highways magazine, books, and calendars, Outdoor Photographer, AAA Highroads, AAA VIA, Extraordinary Vision, National Parks Traveler, Smith-Southwestern calendars, and a broad variety of other publications.
In November 2011, I co-authored and published the award-winning book, Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers, A Guide to When, Where, and How with my good friend and fellow photographer, Paul Gill. After selling out the 1st edition, we published the 2nd edition of this title in March 2015.
In addition, I've been selected three times as an Artist-in-Residence with Acadia National Park in Maine (November 2010, October 2011, and January 2013) which enabled me to author and publish my second award-winning guidebook, Photographing Acadia National Park: The Essential Guide to When, Where, and How in February 2014. In July 2015, I published my first instructional photography eBook titled, Seeing the Light in Outdoor Photography. My next book (due out in late 2017), Going With the Flow, will share the inspirational true story and life lessons learned from my mom and I's experience attempting to paddle the 141-mile length of Lake Powell in November 2015.
I'm just as excited to help others learn photography as I am making my own images, so I've proudly led photography workshops for my own company, CMS Photography, as well as outstanding organizations like the Arizona Highways Photography Workshops (AHPW), Moab Photography Symposium, The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Wildlife Federation's "Becoming an Outdoor Woman," Through Each Others Eyes, and for numerous private clients.
Being a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) has allowed me the opportunity for unrivaled personal growth and new friendships with like-minded and extremely talented outdoor communicators. I've served as a Board Member since September 2013 and have won numerous Excellence in Craft awards for my photography, book, and blog, as well as the prestigious 2010 President’s Choice Award, the 2013 People’s Choice Award, and the 2014 and 2015 Outstanding Board Member Award. In December 2016, I was named interim Executive Director (starting in January 2017).
Photo Courtesy of
As an Associate of Through Each Other Eyes (TEOE) from 2006-2016, I proudly participated in cultural photographic exchanges and international exhibitions with Japan, Mexico, and Canada.
Growing up in Ohio, Arkansas, and Illinois, becoming a photographer or writer never crossed my mind. In 1997, armed with a Bachelor of Business Administration-Computer Information Systems degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona to begin
a 10-year project management career at Intel Corporation. Initially as an outlet to corporate life, I began making photographs of the intriguing landscapes in the West in late 2001 during my "Introduction to Photography" class at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Two years later, I started selling my photographs at art shows across Arizona. In 2006, magazines started publishing my work. Then, in February 2007, I left the grey cubicle walls of Corporate America to pursue a full-time career in photography and writing. Now, I can't imagine life wandering without a camera or a notebook in hand!
Though I spend a significant amount of time on the road across the United States hiking, paddleboarding, camping, wandering, and wondering, I currently reside in Chandler, Arizona.
To get a better idea of my approach and philosophies in my photography, writing, business, and life, check out these two fun interviews from 2016:
- Take and Talk Pics "Go 4 It" podcast: takeandtalkpics.com/go-for-it-colleen-miniuk-sperry
- Image and Rhythm "The Creative Journey" blog: www.imageandrhythm.com/the-creative-journey-colleen-miniuk-sperry