A Sad Day Remembered

  Posted in Tree Art on

  by KMills

I was just sitting at my computer thinking about all the shoots that I have completed over my career as a professional photographer. I decided to flip through my Aperture album. Sometimes I like to reflect on my work. I guess you could say that it helps provide stimulation for my next project.

I came upon this photo that I snapped of a broken tree on my property.

Unfortunately, one of my favorite places of inspiration fell victim to a nasty ice storm last winter. I was almost remorseful when I picked up the phone and called the crew at a local tree service company. A part of me felt glad that they had “tree care” in their name as silly as that sounds.

Since I couldn’t seem to just let the old girl go, I decided to keep the main trunk intact and turned the rest into some amazing firewood. I guess I have this vision of using it for a table or a coffee table in my head. The thing about being an artist is that we generally have a lot of friends who are artists. My buddy is an amazing woodworker and craftsmen. After a few years of seasoning and drying, I’m going to have him craft something for me out of my former friend.



It’s always been my grand plan to open a gallery. I keep dreaming that one day it will actually happen. I just need to keep taking active steps. I think it would be really cool to display some of my photography of the tree on a table made with the same tree. Another cool idea that I have is to have some frames made out of the extra wood. I’ll use those frames to exhibit a print of the tree. I feel like it adds another dynamic to the conversation.

If anything, maybe the fact that the tree will live on and bring joy to others in their home makes it easier for me to cope. I simply couldn’t see myself burning the wood. There is such a finality with that, almost like a cremation. I know that carbon is the essence of life and the ashes from the tree could be returned to the soil as fertilizer, but I just want something as a remembrance.

I have to say that I’m dreading this coming winter in Iowa. Actually, I can’t believe that I even survived the winter of 2013. Thank God for Amana furnaces! Every time I gaze out the window I expect to see my fallen friend. It still saddens me that she’s gone.


Has It Seriously Been Almost A Month?

  Posted in Random Thoughts on

  by KMills

It’s just hard to believe how quickly time flies by.  Especially when you have kids.  Why is it that time seems to go faster when you get older?  I mean, I can’t be the only one to have that thought, right?


Anyway, I figured I better hop online and get some content up for my site.  The kiddos are in bed, the dog has been walked, and my wife fell asleep watching some reality TV show (musta been real exciting!).  So, I find myself with a quiet house, a true rarity these days.


Things have been hectic to say the least.  Wedding season is in full swing now.  I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is going from shoot to shoot capturing some truly cherished moments.  I’m a true softie at heart and I still get a little choked up at weddings, even if I don’t personally know my clients.  I guess seeing the true expression of love and that gleam in the eyes of the happy couple takes me back to my own wedding day.


Nights have been filled with post-production video/photo editing and color correction.  I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with editing, but as any good photographer will tell you, editing is where the true magic of photography happens.


Editing doesn’t need to be a boring, mindless task.  I typically crank up some Hendrix (in my headphones, of course) and jam out while I mess with filters, contrast and brightness to name a few.  Some of my best work has been brought forth while immersing myself in Purple Haze and that’s not intended to be a pot reference for all you people residing in Colorado or Washington!


While it seems somewhat odd for me to go over my next topic (since I own professional-grade camera bodies and lenses), the iPhone has become so ubiquitous over the last several years that I feel some simple pointers can truly help the average person capture some amazing moments.


Without further ado I give you the top 10 iPhone photos tips (credit to Emil Pakarklis at iphonephotographyschool.com for coming up with such a concise list).


1. Keep your photos simple

Too much detail can be distracting and it is important to remember that all you need for a great photo is one interesting subject. Use empty space in the frame to draw more attention to your subject matter.



2. Take your picture from a low angle

Get creative and shoot from a lower perspective.  You don’t always need to pull out your phone and snap a pic from chest height.  Make things more interesting and give the viewer a new way to view the world.



3. Use shadows to your advantage

Shadows can be more interesting that the subject of your photos, especially when the sun it low.  Use the small windows of opportunity shortly after sunrise and before sunset to create stunning images.




Hello There and Welcome!

  Posted in Welcome on

  by KMills

Hey there, I’m Kevin. I’m a professional photographer with too much time on my hands.

Just wanted to drop a line and say hello. Sometimes I like to just get my thoughts down as a way of de-stressing my life. I’m kinda new to the whole blog thing, but I am going to give the ol’ college try. I figured I’d share some things with others and maybe be a source of inspiration or a sounding board for what it’s worth. Check back every so often to see there there is anything new. I promise I’ll try to keep it interesting…