“The reggae/rock genre has been encouraging of my [photography] efforts, and my level of comfort with many bands has reached the point where I consider many my big brothers. My time with them has enabled me to build a hearty
photography portfolio, which has led to other artistic opportunities including a spot on the Warped Tour (2011-2013)”. – Taylor Miller
I am a firm believer that everything in this life happens for a reason. Including the series of events or people that lead you to particular experiences and relationships. After high school, I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I ski bummed at the resort for several years. I was on a fast track towards becoming a backcountry guide- earning avalanche training certification and wilderness EMT accreditation. I was familiarizing myself with gnarly terrain in the Teton Range, as well as up in Alaska near Valdez and Girdwood. But when I skied into a tree in 2010, breaking my collarbone and tearing my shoulder, it was life’s nudge to begin a different journey.
Prior to submitting a photography portfolio to the University of Arizona’s fine arts program, I only dabbled in snapping athletes and beautiful terrain. But once accepted to the program, I realized this was a calling to better explore life behind the lens. It was a chance to better visualize the nuances and minutia in my everyday surroundings and travels. I began to gravitate towards plight (homelessness, depravity) as well as dilapidation (rust, rot etc.) as an effort to capture the peripherals so often overlooked. Since a very young age, my enduring passion has been writing, specifically poetry, and coupling my new images with words quickly became an obsession.
It was by pure chance that the friend-of-a-friend caught wind of my novice photography work, and asked if I would snap a show he was promoting. I made the trek up to Flagstaff, Arizona as a favor to his hard work (and the foreign concept of complimentary tickets for the show). Colie Buddz, New Kingston and the Holdup were playing that night….and what could be more exciting than shooting music you enjoy? I was nervous as hell- unsure what my boundaries where about the stage, though I was set on working at certain angles. Perhaps this night was not my best work, since I barely understood concert lighting and movement at the time.
But what it taught me was how to be more courageous and assertive with my creative vision. Over the next couple years, I was relentless with contacting tour managers, promoters and musicians directly in order to obtain photo passes. I would drive all around the West, primarily Arizona and California, to work the shows gratis. Many crew members began to take notice of my drive and honest spirit. I was granted the amazing opportunities to photograph promotional work (group compositions for posters, album covers etc.) as well as join bands on short tours to document the process.
I seek to grab moments sometimes unseen….soundchecks, sidestage/backstage vantages, musician exchanges and the like. Rather than succumbing to stereotypical views, I will contort my frame or muscle through awkward encounters in order to share how I see the world. The reggae/rock genre has been so encouraging of my efforts, and my level of comfort with so many bands has reached the point where I consider many my big brothers. My time with them has enabled me to build a hearty photography portfolio, which has led to other artistic opportunities including a spot on the Warped Tour (2011-2013). Warped Tour has opened the flood gates for a plethora of new relationships and photographic subjects in the punk/rock scenes.
I have no intention of slowing down with concert photography though I am exceptionally busy completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts and will be applying to graduate programs in the coming months. I am looking forward to another extremely exciting summer on the road and all of the new friendships that will come out of the whirlwind.
Visit Taylor’s blog at: lesproblemes.blogspot.com