Colleen Miniuk Logo


Photo by Ivan Martinez


Hi! My name is Colleen Miniuk (pronounced "Min-ick." Formerly "Miniuk-Sperry"). I use pronouns she/her/hers.


I'm a Corporate-America-escapee turned full-time freelance outdoor photographer, writer, publisher, instructor, and motivational speaker, 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.


I currently reside in Chandler, Arizona, on the ancestral homelands of the Hohokam. Growing up in Ohio, Arkansas, and Illinois, I never intended to become an outdoor communicator...


In 1997, armed with a Bachelor of Business Administration-Computer Information Systems degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (GO BLUE!), I moved to Phoenix, Arizona to begin a 10-year project management career in software development at Intel Corporation.


Initially as an outlet to corporate life, I began making photographs of the Western landscapes 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, I had my first photograph published in a magazine. 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!


My publication credits include National Geographic calendars, Arizona Highways, AAA VIA, On Landscape, National Parks Traveler, Extraordinary Vision, The Smoky Mountain Journal of Photography, Smith-Southwestern calendars, and a broad variety of other publications. 


In hopes of encouraging others to enjoy the Great Outdoors, I have authored the award-winning guidebooks, Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers, A Guide to When, Where, & How (1st and 2nd editions). I also authored the instructional eBook, Seeing the Light in Outdoor Photography and acted as the publisher and editor for Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildlife, A Guide to When, Where, & How. I hope to publish my first memoir/travel adventure story, Going with the Flow, in addition to other photography-related titles, in 2021.


I have also served three times as an Artist-in-Residence with Acadia National Park (November 2010, October 2011, and January 2013) which enabled me to author the award-winning guidebook, Photographing Acadia National Park: The Essential Guide to When, Where, and How.


In celebration of the Colorado River watershed--and in hopes of encouraging all viewers to consider your own relationship with the Colorado River and other water sources where you live--16 of my photographs are featured in a solo photography exhibition "The Current Flows: Water in the Arid West." The show was curated by Jeanne Falk Adams (Ansel Adams' daughter-in-law) and is offered in conjunction with the Vital Waters photography exhibition. We produced an exhibition catalogue for show.


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 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. In 2017, I started a new brand for my women's-only photography workshops called Sheography.


In late 2019, I started the photography advice column, Dear Bubbles.


I believe learning never ends, and so I'm proud to be an active member with the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA). I have also served as the interim Executive Director during the first half of 2017 and the Secretary on the Board of Directors (from 2016-2019). I'm currently serving as the Treasurer. I've been named Outstanding Board Member four times and in 2019, I received the prestigious J. Hammond Brown Memorial Award for my dedicated service to the organization.


In addition, I am a member of Women Writing the West and am currently serving as a contributor to Nature Photographers Network.


When I'm not photographing, writing, or teaching, I probably off camping, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, making sand and snow angels, taking adult ballet lessons, playing my flute, sipping Chardonnay or gin, reading, laughing, goofing off, wandering, and life's motto is "You can sleep when you're dead." I intend to make the most of the short time I have on this Earth, helping and inspiring as many people as I can to do the same along the way...


(I promise I won't make you do a handstand or a sand angel on a workshop, but I firmly believe you should try both at least once in your life...)


To get a better idea of my approach and philosophies in my photography, writing, business, and life, check out some of the fun interviews I've done:


  1. Visual Perception and Cultivating Creativity with Brenda Petrella/Outdoor Photography Podcast:
  2. Success Insights podcast with Howard Fox:
  3. "What Else is It?" with David Johnston's The Landscape Photography Show:
  4. "All in: how to go with life's flow and live by your own rules" with Marci Nault and E2T Adventures:
  5. Outdoor Business Podcast:
  6. We Talk Photos podcast:
  7. F/Stop Collaborate and Listen podcast:
  8. Take and Talk Pics "Go 4 It" podcast (#129 in the iTunes listing):


Thanks for stopping by! I hope to cross paths with you "out there!" Until then, be well, be WILD!