My journey to become a professional photographer took an indirect route. You can say that I took the “really” long way around.
I always wanted to be a professional photographer. As a kid, my mother bought me a Canon AE-1 Program and my life changed. As a teenager, I dreamt of shooting for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I even nearly attended the Brooks Institute in California, at the time one of the best art schools on the west coast. But instead I went to another college on a different coast, had a very successful career, and fell in love and raised a beautiful family.
I nearly got back into photography when my eldest reached high school. I played football myself, and I was very involved in sports with my children. Both of my daughters competed at a high level in volleyball, and video documentation became a crucial tool. When you are recruiting to play in college, most coaches want live video rather than action shots. So I sold all of my SLR gear and invested in HD video. I guess it payed off, my daughter played NAIA on a volleyball scholarship, and I helped about a dozen other young women achieve their dream to play college athletics.
Then the tipping point finally arrived. At an art fair with my youngest daughter, she bought a print for twenty dollars from a photographer. I looked at her smiling at her photo and instantly I knew. I could do that too. M5 Foto was born.
M5 represents the five of us: my wife, my son, and my two daughters. The whole family participates in our shows and they each influence me in different ways. From the subjects of my shots to the locations I set up to shoot, it is all a family affair. M5, the five Millers.
I believe everyone has a unique visual style. Some photographers love black and white, some are good at taking pictures of people, and others do weddings or events. My forte has always been the outdoors. Ansel Adams has always been an inspiration and a model for which to strive.
I still love to experiment, always trying different angles or times of day for my shots. When I complete an image, I always ask myself if I would hang it in my house. I’m impulsive, in the best way, open to trying anything. You never know when the best moment might pass you by. If I’ve learned anything on this amazing journey, I’m done letting that happen.
I now get to share with my family that joy of hearing someone stop at our booth and comment to their father, mother, or whomever, on how they love one of my prints. Just like I did with my daughter.
Thank you for stopping by my website. I hope to see you at a show one day. I might not have snapped those bikini-clad beach shots for that famous magazine (yet) but here I am over twenty-five years later, finally living that original dream. And I have my family to thank.
Ron Miller, Photographer