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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Oh, our dear Miss Anna.
I have known her for five years, which puts her age then at 10. Her mother pulled me aside as we walked into a Kroger, me with a very fresh pixy, and her inquiring where I got my hair done. People ask stylists this question all the time, and my answer quickly diverts them:
"Actually, I am a hairstylist!" I exclaim with a smile.
No, I did not cut my hair like this. Yes, the person who did cut it had 7 years more experience, and was Vidal Sassoon trained. But, "Actually, I am a hairstylist" diverts them every time. And with this diversion I got one of my favorite, most consistently encouraging clients, and her sweet daughter.
This is Crystal, and if you are familiar with the blog you have seen her before. Crystal is usually cute, sweet, and full of sunshine. However this afternoon we made her moody and sultry- a little less California, and a bit more NYC. We love giving women the opportunity to show their extraordinary.
Here is Crystal, kindergarten teacher by day, and someone perfectly transformed by night.
Just consider this our flashback episode for our adventures so far in The Miller. In monochrome if you will.
There is so much to be said for the opportunity that Rachel and I find presented to us in this mystical place, one that we shall not rest our laurels in. So we invite you to look through this Miller review and then contact us at the bottom for your opportunity to take part in this exclusive backdrop of beauty.
Senior portraiture has evolved and devolved since my moments in front of the camera in 1996. From glaring props, arty silhouettes, and girls in tall grass and floral crowns; senior portraits are now whatever a 17 year old wishes them to be. In this case, we simply did what we do. No pom poms or drapes; just a girl in her youth. Flawless skin, radiant hair, and an exceptional location were the only "props" in play. We desire a result that will not mortify as a #tbt in 15 years. We desire images of the abiding beauty we will carry to generations that follow.