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...
...and that's ok. Sometimes Rachel get's a bee in her bonnet to shoot a non-commissioned session. She got a new bit of makeup, a new hairstyle she wants to try out, a new dress she found, or maybe someone from church who's hair she's been eyeballin' or face she want's to try that new makeup on. This photo session with Susannah would nicely fit into several of those categories. But as you may know from the previous blog post, I often don't like to repeat myself when it comes to a session, so what do I do when I have my pick of locations for a session with a client who is along for the ride? Well duh, how about behind the Big Lots and Home Depot parking lot? Isn't that what you were thinking?!?
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.
So this is a little quick blog as my mind attempts to wrap itself around the next couple of blogs which will be a bit more, well, personal with just a hint of NSFW-ness. But we are here, in the now, and that now to be honest is quite cold. As I write this at 5:00a this morning, I am thinking about the my last two winters which at times would involve getting up this early, packing a lunch, eating a large breakfast, drinking copious amount of coffee, and then layer upon thermal layer of clothes to survive the day as I climbed in and out of 5-20 foot deep trenches which were invariably 5-10* cooler than the topside all while doing my best not to get in the way of the men who were actually working in this environment day in/day out.
For those of you in the know, it is Championship Sunday as I write this and one of the biggest story lines of the playoffs has been Le'Veon Bell and his unique running style. If you happen to be around the t.v. while the Steelers are on today, take a listen and see if you can count the number of times you here the word "patience" in reference to Mr. Bell. Please don't make a drinking game out of it, because with Phil Simm's behind the mic, it will be every other word out of his mouth when the Steelers have the ball and you would be well on your way to being toasted by the end of the 1st quarter. But outside of that digression, Mr. Bell truly does have a unique way of running with patience and if I may be so bold, I am going to use him and his style as my segue into this lovely Senior Session with Katie.
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.
There are only two days of March left, and wedding season is in full swing.
Formal hairstyling isn't for everyone, and I used to be terrified of it. Seven and a half years ago I worked in a large spa/salon in the Augusta area, where many a girl would schedule her whole wedding preparations. Unknowingly, 4 of those formal styles would end up on my book. The impending doom of such a Saturday would beat upon me all week long. I woke up with severe anxiety on said morning, stuffing bites of chicken biscuit into a stomach filled to the brim with butterflies. I would stand behind a girl with a comb, bobby pins and a prayer, struggling to knot up loose tendrils into some sort of configuration. Standing back from my creation, I scrutinized: "it's up."
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.