Ace Fanning is the owner/founder of Ace Fanning Photography in Phoenix, Arizona.
From Ace himself:
BIRTH GIVEN NAME. IT’S NOT A NICKNAME AND IT’S NOT SHORT FOR ANYTHING. IT’S JUST ME.
I AM DEFINITELY NOT THE COOLEST GUY YOU WILL EVER MEET…
BUT THAT DOESN’T PHASE ME THE TINIEST BIT. I LOVE BEING AT HOME.
I’VE NEVER SUCCESSFULLY PARTICIPATED IN A CONVERSATION ABOUT SPORTS, NOR COULD I TELL YOU WHAT CHANNEL ESPN IS EVEN ON. BUT I CAN TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT DRAMA WENT DOWN ON ANY REAL HOUSEWIVES REUNION SPECIAL. I DON’T LIKE EXERCISE AND I REALLY DON’T LIKE EATING HEALTHY. MY PERSONAL STYLE CAN BE DESCRIBED AS AMUSEMENT PARK COMFORTABLE. AND BEST OF ALL, I AM MARRIED TO MY HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART AND BEST FRIEND OF OVER 11 YEARS.
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On this episode Skyler talks with Ace Fanning, owner of Ace Fanning Photography. Topics include building a business for the right reasons, learning along the way, photography tips at any level and so much more.
Learn more about Ace:
Owner/Founder of Ace Fanning Photography
What’s your favorite movie? JUNO
Do you have any upcoming events/products launching that you would like to promote?
I don’t really like to promote anything– I never like to seem sales-y, but I am hosting this cool new photography workshop experience called, Workshop on Wheels— It’s a workshop that takes place in a 15 passenger van while we drive from Phoenix to Carlsbad. It’s pretty cool.
Hometown, if not Arizona when did you move here? Phoenix, AZ
What was the first job you ever held?: I’ve only ever had one job. I worked at the front desk of a chiropractor’s office for a few years in college and it was the best and worst experience to ever happen to me. I learned quickly that I don’t want to work for someone else and I don’t like for my days to feel predictable.
Favorite AZ restaurant, venue, or activity and why? All I do is eat, but anytime someone comes from out of town, I make them go to Don Rubens Mexican Food at 43rd Ave + Cactus. (I also found this place from my previous job– so that was another bonus too)
Who is someone that has had a major impact in the person you are today? My wife. She’s taken me from being a complete mess and monster into someone who really tries his best to do his best and help others do their best. She’s a saint and I do not deserve her.
What is your most memorable mistake you have made in your business or career? LETTING OTHER PEOPLE DICTATE MY BUSINESS. I used to let clients tell me how I should do things and I used to let family and friends tell me what to do– and the second I stopped listening to everyone else– my business nearly doubled that year.
The biggest obstacle you’ve overcome: Self-doubt. Still not sure if I’ve completely overcome it– I doubt and question myself all the time– but I’ve learned to lean into it more than become paralyzed by it. And if I’m honest– some self-doubt and questioning is good for growth.
Someone who inspires you and why? Grandma Sue. She’s actually my wife’s grandma– and we just got back from visiting her in Denver. And while maybe Grandma Sue won’t be remembered by hundreds of people, and she doesn’t have any sort of body of work to remember her when she’s gone– she is the MOST positive person I know. A few years back she had to move into assisted living and now she just moved into a memory care place– and I know she isn’t crazy about any of it, and she’d rather just be in her old house– she doesn’t tell you that. You take her to Costco and she finds beauty in the frozen food section. You take her to a doctors appointment and she about trips you when she stops to smell and look at the flowers. We drop her back off at her place at the end of the day– and even though we didn’t do anything exciting– she is thankful for such an “amazing” day. I don’t have that outlook on life– and I want to. I get so consumed by the dumbest shit that means nothing and I have never once stopped to look at flowers. She’s pretty cool.
Favorite quote? This quote is probably lame to a lot of people, but I cried for a good while when I first heard it. And I am reluctantly going to share the source, even though that will make it even less meaningful to people. “It’s like the sky is blue, right? But when there are clouds, you think it’s gray. But, really, it’s still blue. It hasn’t changed. It’s just covered with gray clouds passing by. And your clouds will pass by.” – Suzanne (Crazy Eyes) from Orange is the New Black.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do? If you are looking to do photography to make extra income– good luck. If its nothing more than a “business” to you– good luck. Photography is my passion first, business second– and if I ever have it any other way, I would not be able to do what I do. This industry takes a lot out of you– and if you’re just doing it to grow your bank account– its not the right balance of give and take. For me, this industry takes a lot from me– and while it grows my bank account– it feeds my soul. I’ve never been so passionate about anything in my entire life and this business, with the exception of my wife, has done more for me than anyone I have ever met.