This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Beth Miller of E. Miller Photo located in Salem, Oregon.
Please tell us about yourself. I am Oregon born and raised, and married my high school sweetheart. We have been married 14 years and have two kids – Winn who is 11 and Audrey who is 9, as well as a German Shepard, Sadie. and 2 cats. I love basketball and have assistant coached a high school varsity girls team for 8 years, and also love to read.
How long have you been a photographer? Umm, forever really. As a kid I loved photography and often played with some old cameras my mom had. But I have been officially in business 4 years with several years of working up to being official before that.
Describe your area of expertise. Seniors are my favorite, but I also really love the work I do with children’s clothing boutiques and I work with families as well.
How did you come to specialize in working with high school seniors and children? The seniors, I just have pursued. As for the children’s clothing boutiques, when my daughter was 3, I bought a dress from a website that had a princess page you could send pictures in to. So I did, they emailed me and said they loved the picture and would I like to work with them. It started out I got a discount for shots of what I bought for my daughter. As she grew and as my own skills grew, the arrangement we had changed into them sending the samples to me pre-season for photographs of the whole clothing line.
What gear do you use? I am a Canon girl. Right now in my Kelly Moore bag is a Canon 5d Mark II and I mostly use an 85mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.4, but also have a 70-200 L and a 24-105L, speedlite and canon 5d classic.
If you could only use one lens, which one would it be? The 50m 1.4 hands down.
Are you considering any new gear purchases this year? I sort of would like to try a 105mm lens, and the 50 1.2. I am actually pretty happy with my set up right now though and not majorly dying for anything.
Do you work on location, in studio, or both? I am really drawn to shooting on location. It helps set the whole mood and I really draw inspiration from nature.
PC or Mac? Mac all the way
Tell us about your image processing style and what software you use. I use photoshop CS6 and really like a warm, dreamy shot. But I do a lot of clean edits too – especially for the boutiques.
If you could choose anyone to do a photo shoot of you and your family, who would you choose? Hmm, that’s hard. On my short list would be Leah Profancik, Rebekah Albaugh, or any of the wonderful 4tlof girls!
What is the most memorable moment of your career? I guess I have two. One when I was in the middle of a session with a senior girl, and she said “I actually feel pretty” THAT is why I do this. Second and less serious is I was given the opportunity to fly to NYC for Children’s Boutique market fall buying with one of the stores I have done work with. That was such a fun and awesome experience.
What inspires you as a photographer? This is such a hard question. I can’t really say that one thing inspires me – it’s more like a mood or a zone I get in. When the light is right, the subject is right and the setting is right everything just works, and I come away with such a high.
If you were not a photographer, then… I would be a mom. Really that is my first job!
What does photography mean to you? Photography is my heart and soul being poured out I guess, would be the best way to explain it. There are times where I feel like I am going to shrivel up and wilt away if I don’t capture someone.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Starbucks. Right now I am on a salted carmel mocha frappuccino kick.
My weakness is… I am utterly forgetful.
My strength is… I am kind and giving.
What do you do when you first wake up? I wish I was still asleep – ha! Actually I usually grab my iPhone which is my alarm and check my email and surf Facebook.
Finish this quote: When it rains… it both depresses me and makes me happy. Being a born and raised Oregonian I actually love the rain. But some days, when I really want to get out and shoot and it’s been raining non stop for 2 weeks, it gets really depressing.
Who do you love? Jesus, first and foremost, then my husband and kids and family and friends.
Tattoos… nope, I want one but am too chicken.
What’s on your iPod? A big mix – some classic country, like Chris LeDoux and George Straight, a bit of pop mostly for when I am working out, and mostly Christian, Toby Mac, Jeremy Camp, Thousand Foot Crutch, are some of my favorites.
My friends say… That I have a great smile and am the most selfless person they know.
Travel dreams… I love to travel, and have a long list of places I would love to go including Europe, especially Italy and Ireland, and Australia are top of my list. I also really want to see the Grand Canyon, Moab, Mt Rushmore and Boston in the fall (HA!) actually Boston any time.
Thanks so much, Beth, for taking the time to share a little about yourself and your beautiful images. It’s been great getting to know you better.