Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Just over a year ago I drafted a list of my 11 creative goals for 2011. I shared them online in hopes of making myself more accountable. In all honestly, I did review them a couple of times during 2011. However, reading them appears to be just about the only thing I accomplished [that’s not entirely true, but still]. The previous exercise was inspired by the endeavors of two photographer friends/colleagues. Well, one of them recently decided to publish a retrospect of sorts based on her goals and related accomplishments. Now, I feel compelled to do the same. Without further ado here are the results:

ONE  Practice patience. Stop trying to force images. Accomplished, partially. I now consider this one a life-long goal for image making and human existence in general. I will share that I often [but not always] found myself pausing during assignments, pausing to look, think and consider what kind of photograph I wanted to make. The photograph below was made while on assignment in Moorhead, Minn., for Minnesota Public Radio News as part of ongoing coverage of the lockout of union workers at American Crystal Sugar Co. facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa.

Union worker lockout at Amercian Crystal Sugar Co.'s Moorhead, Minnesota plant

TWO  Exhibit my work. Accomplished! This goal was by far my most successful of the year. I had photographs exhibited in both “Woman As Photographer” and “Where In The World” at the Mpls Photo Center. A small selection of aerials of 2011 flooding were included in an interactive display as part of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum’s “The Raging Red and Mighty Mississippi” exhibit. And most importantly, I collaborated with the lovely and talented Britta Trystad [pictured on the left below] to create “Parallels: A Curious Pairing of Photographs“. Parallels was on display for the month of August at DK Custom Framing @ Gallery 14 in downtown Fargo. Thanks to Mr. Dave Arntson for the photograph below.

Parallels: A Curious Pairing of Photographs

THREE  Attend a documentary-based workshop. Fail. My intention was to attend the Mountain Workshops in Kentucky. However, cost, distance and time away from home just started to feel like too much. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. I haven’t given up on attending this – or another similar workshop – in 2012, but I need to do a better job of planning to make it happen. I did attend a one-day workshop for creative entrepreneurs in Minneapolis in early October. My attendance at Giant Steps was made possibly by a scholarship sponsored by Springboard for the Arts. The photograph below was created through a window at the Guthrie Theater, which hosted the workshop.

View from the Guthrie Theater

FOUR  Knit a scarf and a pair of socks. Fail. I got as far as partially knitting a scarf with the most beautiful purple yarn, but those efforts were short lived. While the scarf remains unfinished, the socks are a mere dream.

FIVE  Build a searchable image archive online. Fail. The only thing that needs to happen is for me to make the time to sort, caption and upload files to my PhotoShelter account. Every year I tell myself I need to do this, usually a few months before spring flooding arrives in the Red River Valley. Watch for this goal to return on my 2012 list.

SIX  Experiment with video and share the results. Fail. My poor 5D Mark II has never even had its video capabilities turned on. How sad is that!?

SEVEN  Pursue and publish a personal project. Fail. Of all my failed goals this one is the most troubling to me. I had a solid concept in The Bottom Line and did pursue it to a point, but then spring flooding [and an abundance of assignment work] hit. Shortly thereafter, I struggled to get caught up on work tasks that were ignored during the flood. Then, my family purchased a new house and moved across town. After that, I’m sure there was something else that came up and kept coming up. Clearly, I did not make this goal or project – which remains a concept only at this point – a priority.

EIGHT  Volunteer to photograph for NILMDTS. Fail. I did attend a training workshop and activate my status as a volunteer. However, I have not been able to take on any actual sessions for the organizations [primarily due to scheduling conflicts].

NINE  Contact photo editors at 11 national publications. Fail. I sent a couple of emails, but that’s about it. On the plus side, I did work with several new publications in 2011 [Midwest Living, High Country News and Indian Country Today Media Network] and organizations [The Humane Society of the United States, West Central Initiative and Leadership Education at Duke Divinity]. Another goal to repeat in 2012.

TEN  Design a set of postcards and thank you cards. Fail. I did create a postcard to serve as our family’s seasonal greeting card [see below]. We mailed it in an envelope because I wanted to use two photographs and not give up space to mailing information and a stamp. The printing and paper quality were excellent so this is another goal that might come back around. Thanks to Britta Trystad for photographing our little family.

Our family

ELEVEN  Create images that rely on emotion. Accomplished, sort of. I thought it was emotion I wanted to capture, but after looking at images from 2011 I realized it’s really more about reaction and interaction. This could be one person interacting to another or it could be how a person or object relates to a particular place or scene. Like goal No. 1, I think this endeavor is more of an ongoing effort. The photograph below was created in recent weeks for Minnesota Public Radio News during a Kurdish language class in Moorhead.

Kurdish Class

That’s the official [and rather lengthy] year-end report on my 11 creative goals for 2011. I’ll be back with a list of a dozen goals for 2012 next week.

Happy New Year. – Ann

Minneapolis, Minnesota

My intention with this online journal was to primarily provide a home to share photographs and other creative work. Yet, increasingly I find myself wanting to share observations, considerations and thoughts about photography, media and much more. That said, I’ve been too busy lately [both at work and at home]. I’m craving pause and time for not just reflection, but to craft a plan for the coming months. It seems I’ve cast my net too wide and far.

I’m headed back to Minneapolis this afternoon. I say “back” because this will be my third trip to the Twin Cities in less than two months. Appropriately, the photographs above and below were created in and around the Guthrie Theater in early October. More on that adventure another time.

Best, Ann

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bras On Broadway Preview

The 6th annual Bras On Broadway is just around the corner. That means a couple of things.

First, I have one week [as in seven days] to deliver my framed contribution to this very fabulous and important art auction. [The big event is set for Thursday, Oct. 27, but all art is due next week.] Back to that deadline in a moment.

Secondly [and more importantly], tickets [$75 per person] are now available for purchase online. There are lots of ways to get involved and help raise money, support and awareness for breast cancer and those impacted by it. Heaps of information [and a few fun photographs from past events] are online here. [An online gallery of my photographs from the 2010 event is available for viewing here.]

Now, about the submission deadline and personal predicament. This year marks my second time contributing a non-wearable piece of art for auction. I had big plans for last year’s piece, but they didn’t pan out exactly as planned. You can read the more detailed story about the creation of “You Make My Heart Sink” here.

My intention for this year’s auction was to plan ahead so I wouldn’t be left scrambling. Yet, here I am scrambling and asking for help. I spent the past couple of days on the road for an editorial assignment. Before leaving town I gave myself the task of photographing any objects, places or situations that resembled the female breast. I figure the found object approach worked last year so why not try repeating it. Contributing artists [those working with the non-wearable form] aren’t bound to contribute a piece that connects with the whole breast or bra theme. However, I really appreciate the process of creating something new that deals with a predetermined set of parameters.

So, here are three photographs – all were created over the past 48 hours – for your consideration. I’m intending to select one of these images [matted and framed, of course] for the Bras On Broadway art auction. The question now is which one should I pick? In the interest of time [mine and yours], let’s call them A [an artful brick wall], B [object in field] and C [red circles with wire]. I picked up a pair of acorns to photograph as option D. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Thanks for your help. – Ann

P.S. A list of participating artists is available online here. I’m reasonably certain that most of the photographs on the page were created by yours truly at last year’s event.

Bras On Broadway Preview

Bras On Broadway Preview

Hello. Hello!

MusingsFebruary 28th, 2011

New pastors, small churches

For some silly reason I expected January and February to be quiet months in terms of both client and assignment work. However, that simply hasn’t been the case.

I’ve been happily shooting assignments with ecce yoga, Outdoor Design & Living Guide, Minnesota Public Radio News, The Village Family Magazine, Faith and Leadership and others.

Being busy is good, but I don’t want to neglect posting images. For now, I’ll say a simple “hello” and share an image from a recent assignment in Sisseton, S.D.

Best, Ann

Ann Arbor Miller's Goals for 2011

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. However, I have come to accept that anything I do to make myself more accountable – whether to others or myself – is a useful thing to do.

So, I’ve written down my creative goals for the year and am sharing them here. They are listed in no particular order. Thanks to photographer friends Britta Trygstad [you can read Britta’s creative goals here] and Rob Tannenbaum for inspiring this endeavor.

Here’s to a fabulous 2011. Best, Ann