This week in The Miller brings us a bit of color and texture shot from the roof, focusing on the surrounding environment of buildings and skyline of downtown Augusta and it's unique mix of brick, sculpture, peeling paint, and rust. We follow that up with a little tour back inside featuring some of the unique fixtures and textures of The Miller, also the ubiquitous front stairwell and finishing with some sunset shots from the roof. This volume's portrait session is a Senior Session featuring Emily introducing the back alley and the room under the secret yellow room room and getting her own time on the roof while joining the "just like a tree stand" club when presented with the many ladders on the roof.
Welcome to Volume 3 of my Miller time. In this episode we continue on from the previous volume and continue to explore the projector room, the ever-present front stairwell, add in a new addition in the under the secret yellow room room, and finally start the love affair with roof shots of the city skyline with the always evocative Lamar Building. We finish with a gorgeous set of photos from our session with Kristen, who pushed us to match the beauty and grace she brought to the table that day. We hope you enjoy!
pb | rb
Welcome to volume 2 of my year at The Miller and thank you for showing up. I introduce a few new rooms (hello projector and uh, lady's bathroom ante-room...) and their treasures as well as establishing some returns from earlier. Here's looking at you , front door, phones and stairwell. The projector room was awesome and I would have loved to shoot there more, but shortly after my photo shoot with Ashley as you will see below, the lock was changed and I was unable gain access to the room. Oh, and for the record, it was not because I did anything, but there were quite a few copies made of the key from other people, so I think the powers that be wanted to limit access where possible.
In mid 2013 the opportunity to photograph in The Miller Theater presented itself. A friend/mentor of mine had access and wanted to know if I would want to take a look. Not really knowing anything about the building or it's history, I said sure and we met a few days later downtown. For that meeting, I brought nothing but myself, no camera. Long story short, at the end of that tour I got a key, had access to The Miller anytime I felt like it, and knew I would not enter the dressing rooms downstairs alone for fear of "her." Whether she still haunts it after the remodel...
On windy days such as been the case the first two days of this years Master's, it can make me somewhat wistful when it comes to the idea of a photography studio. Through the years I have come across several spaces that have suddenly come available, or in terms of downtown Augusta, spaces that have been vacant for many years, and stood outside of the door, checked every window, checked certain apps on my phone to see when and where the sun rises or sets in relation to those windows and dreamt of what could be. Enterprise Mill, the White building, that secret room in the Miller Theatre, large, small, and everything in between. I think Rachel has heard the phrase "I think I found it" so many times, well, at this point it has gone beyond any sort of response, even the "yes dear."
Alright, so my last post caught us up with Sommer during our photo session in the winter, yet was full of witty repartee about the weather turning towards summer (seemingly) and yet as I write this post at 2a on March 14, a few days after we just "sprung" forward and the temp yesterday was a lovely 36° as I trudged through the forest scouting locations for future shoots. Future shoots in warmer weather if I had my druthers. But not too warm, too soon as you all know how lovely the heat and humidity have fun with us here in Augusta during the summer months.
It is hard to imagine that a month ago when we had the opportunity to work with Sommer again (first session here) that we were freezing our butt's off for this shoot. Now, here we are and the weather this week is averaging mid-60's, with mid 70's and a smattering of 80's are predicted for next week. And we are not even out of February yet, go figure.
It's been awhile since I have found myself sitting here having the opportunity to share what has been going on in our little corner of the world and it is good to be back. While Rachel has dropped in every now and then to let you know what has been happening, it's time that I step up to the plate as Rachel's plate overfloweth. She has been absolutely bringing it over the last several months, working at the salon, redesigning her website which includes a new clothing shop, continuing to pioneer the wedding hair/makeup market here in Augusta as well as being an extraordinary mother/daughter/sister/wife/friend for all of those that have the privilege. And from time to time, being my willing subject in front of the camera.
Twenty years ago I entered my senior year in high school. I had just come home from a summer in Ecuador, and I had shoulder length blonde hair that I was devising a plan to cut into a pixy (do I sleep with gum? Do I just lie? My parents would never let me do it). I had gained a solid 10 or 15 lbs. that summer to add to the several I already possessed overweight. Heroin chic I was not, but maybe I could go skater/raver/punk. The girls at school already didn't quite get me, so who would care?
That year I clad myself in funky vintage sweaters and JNCO. I lied to cut off my hair, and desperately searched out an identity that wasn't entirely centered on singing. I didn't think I was able to be who I desperately wanted to be, so I had to find an alternative.
This is my friend, Cara, and we share a small plot of land in the back of a salon in Evans, GA.
I asked her to shoot with us as a part of a photo project we are working on, as she is one of the prettiest people I know.
In looking over these images, in speaking with other stylists, and in having experience in several other salons; I am reminded of just how great I have it. 9-5 salon life can be brutal, and yet this group of girls make it bearable, and sometimes sublime.
I had barely spoken to her before, but I was desperate to set up a shoot with her. I pass her often in church, a place that is one of her favorites. Her usual attire begins with a t-shirt and a loose bun, ready to hit the volleyball court or wrestle a gaggle of 3 year olds.
Upon asking her to shoot, it didn't occur to me that she had never modeled before. Meters tall, porcelain skin, and hair for days; in a model-starved town like Augusta, I assumed she was inundated with requests.
Regardless of her future in the fashion industry, we thoroughly value our time with this understated beauty.
At times when you meet someone it may be hard to know where your relationship may go. Jessica and I met almost 8 years ago during my Starbucks District Manager days, and it did not have an auspicious beginning. Not to denigrate anyone, but let's just say the leadership around the store was a bit immature and led to some humorous (and not so humorous) moments.
One such moment occurred when I was called in to talk with a young woman who refused to remove her custom nail manicure: a "no-no" in the food service industry. As is usually the case in these moments, simple communication was at the core of the problem. With that connection I discovered a passion of Jessica's, America's Next Top Model.
Rachel and I love are jobs for a multitude of reasons, many of which we have expressed in previous posts here on the blog. One reason, while not explicitly stated yet we hope has come across in our words, is that we get to work with and spend time with some pretty awesome people who come from a myriad of backgrounds. Compound this with the fact that Augusta is not known for it's always pleasant weather and my penchant to disregard said conditions (much to Rachel's hair and make-up artistry chagrin), we would like to introduce you to Kallen, our latest senior portrait session and young woman extraordinaire.