8-year-old DMV native thrives in photography career

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Sophia Young | Assistant Photo Editor

Campbell used his Instagram acount to acquire a serious clientele by the time he purchased his first camera at age 6.

Most elementary schoolers’ days are filled with attending school and spending time with friends. But for Myles “MiniShotta” Campbell, photographing events like New York Fashion Week is also a part of his schedule.

The 8-year-old professional photographer was given his first camera, a Canon Rebel SL1, from his mom, Shay Campbell, when he was just 3 years old. He said he started photographing nature, statues, buildings and moments with his friends and family simply because he enjoyed doing it.

The DMV native said he became interested in photography at the age of 2 because he wanted to capture special moments in life. He began to take pictures everywhere he went, of his family and friends, nature, architecture and anything about his surroundings that captivated him.

“When I first got into photography, I didn’t want to miss all the pictures, like the great times, the great moments,” he said. “I did not want to forget that, so I just started, I learned how to do it myself, and I knew how to do it by heart.”

Shay said she originally gave her son a hand-me-down camera because she wasn’t sure how serious he was about photography, but it didn’t take long for her to realize it was her son’s passion.

When Campbell turned 6, he purchased his first camera for himself, a Canon 80D. He raised the money for the camera by offering $20 photoshoots, which he advertised on his Instagram account.

By the time he was able to purchase his new camera, he had a serious clientele that was interested in his photography.

“People were officially booking him for shoots and he started charging $60,” Shay said.

Today, he charges $80 for a photoshoot, explaining that he started with $60 photoshoots at 6 years old, and each year, he has increased his price by $10.

“When I turn 10 it will increase to $100, and then it’s gonna stop there,” Campbell said.

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Courtesy of Shay Campbell

The young professional has a tight-knit team of three – himself, his mom and his videographer. Campbell said his mom typically helps him get his gigs, reaching out to brands and events, and that clients can also reach out through his email or his Instagram account for bookings.

“I don’t usually tell him until everything works out, so we’ve already scheduled it but I’m waiting for them to get the rest of their pieces before he does the shoot,” Shay said.

Last school year and this school year, Campbell has been attending school virtually, giving him more free time to shoot casually at his local park and around town.

Campbell also said he keeps his photography career separate from his school life and he hasn’t told his school friends about his gigs.

“If you mean my school friends, I haven’t really told them,” he said. “They don’t have a job. It’s kind of like they can’t relate.”

Campbell has attended each in-person season of New York Fashion Week since he was six, where he has photographed a multitude of celebrities, including YouTube comedian Liza Koshy, model Winnie Harlow, singer and actress Lea Michele and Instagram model Alexis Ren.

“He got invited just shy of his sixth birthday, so he was about a week into six years old when he shot New York Fashion Week for the first time,” Shay said.

He attended an event hosted by the New York City-based designer brand Alice + Olivia during last month’s Fashion Week, where he photographed stars like actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and reality star and model Nicky Hilton. Campbell also attended Rookie USA, a multi-brand event focused on footwear and apparel for kids ages four to 12 where he photographed the children of celebrities, including DJ Khaled’s son.

“It was amazing,” he said.

He said “nature, traveling, meeting famous people and awards” have been some of the happiest moments in his career so far.

He was recently invited to the 36th annual Mayor’s Art Awards, where Mayor Muriel Bowser presented community artists and creators in 14 diverse categories. Campbell received the Youth Creativity Award, a newly added category to celebrate children who are creating art in the D.C. community. He also had the opportunity to meet Bowser at the awards, which he said was “amazing.”

Campbell is now in the third grade and will turn nine in January. He said that balancing school with his photography career is not a challenge to him because he has help from his family and team.

Campbell said he has big dreams of what his photography career could become and how exciting his life could be, saying his goals are “To get famous and be rich and have some money.”

His mother seemed surprised and amused by the lavish goals.

“Well at least famous came first, this is the first time I’m hearing the rich part,” Shay said.

Through all his success, Campbell said his main goal is to “just have a little fun.”

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