Thursday, February 2, 2012
Jeanne and Dolph Miller
"While we live and work together, we are not crowding one another."
TYLER It didn’t take long for Dolph and Jeanne Miller to make a connection after meeting at a church function more than 16 years ago.
Art had long been a large part of Dolph’s life: He received a degree from Louisiana Tech in advertising/graphic design and later went on to work as an art director and own an agency. It was during college that he first became interested in photography.
“As a designer/art director, it is important to understand what can and cannot be done photographically and how to work with photographers to produce a finished product as originally conceived,” he said. “In short, photo direction is a big part of art direction. My experience conceptualizing and directing photo projects enhanced my interest in my own personal photography.”
In the early 1990’s, he began exploring the works of other photographers by examining the technical and motivational side of their works.
“Then I wanted to meet and learn directly from the photographers I felt were on paths similar to mine,” he added. “Interestingly, my path in photography has been parallel to my spiritual path. As my interest in photography was beginning to take direction, I was also led to further explore my spiritual path.”
It was his spiritual path that led him to Jeanne. After attending Our Lady of the Lake University with a Master’s Degree in social work, she built a successful career as a psychotherapist. Her work eventually took her to Tyler where she met Dolph and went on to become an author and photography enthusiast.
“We both love to visit museums, and we started going to them early in our relationship,” said Jeanne.
“Jeanne would join me as I explored the work of other photographers and began to share my interest,” added Dolph. “As I became more involved in photographing, and digital technology began to become more available, Jeanne started to photograph and now she is unstoppable!”
With Dolph as her biggest supporter, Jeanne has grown as a photographer.
“I started as a novice not knowing anything about the camera or any of the software to digitally develop the photograph,” she admitted. “I knew nothing about printing, or even which paper was best to print on. Dolph has been patient and an excellent teacher.”
Today, the two work closely, exploring their interests and photography.
“We office together so that we can share printers and other equipment as needed,” said Jeanne. “Being in the same office gives us an opportunity to discuss any aspect of photography.”
“I think it is always helpful to have an artistic cohort to learn from and to share ideas with,” added Dolph. “It is also important to have individual private time and space. Jeanne is fantastic about understanding these needs, so while we live and work together, we are not crowding one another. I think we are fortunate in this way. She has her pattern of work and I have mine. Her reasons for photographing are not the same as mine. We both get something different out of the process, and therefore, have something to share.”
In their spare time, they enjoy each other’s company, traveling to various locations and events.
“We enjoy visiting the work of other photographers in shows, galleries and museums,” said Dolph. “Workshops take us to interesting places where we are with other photographers.”
And while their love of the arts was not why they chose to marry, they both agreed that it has greatly complemented their relationship.
“The neatest thing is the sharing of something we both enjoy and watching the other grow in photography and personally,” said Dolph.
“I admire Dolph’s insights and creative eye,” added Jeanne. “His photographs capture the light in a most inspiring way. I love the way he uses color to create a special mood. Dolph’s ability to see design and then photograph it seems like second nature for him.”
“Over the last several years, photography has become a larger part of our lives, but we both have different reasons, approaches and methods for our creative expression,” said Dolph. “It is fun to observe the different vision Jeanne expresses. We photograph together and are often standing in front of the same scene but come away with completely different images. So, though we share the same artistic tools, our expression is individual.”
“Jeanne sees and processes differently than I do. We are able to point things out that the other might have missed. We have our vision expanded by the other. Having the same interest, but different perspectives, expands our experiences and learning. So far, it has worked very well for us.”
Married for the last 16 years, the couple has supported and encouraged each other as their interests expanded. Dolph recently began sharing his work publicly. His photographic works have been featured at juried shows and local events. He also teaches various levels of photography to groups and private individuals. Jeanne’s art has been displayed in juried shows as well. She has works at Harvard University’s Three Columns Gallery in Cambridge, MA. She has written several books, many of which feature her photographs in conjunction with her other interests, such as the study of dreams.
It’s been quite the journey for the pair since first meeting all those years ago.
“The years following have been an incredible adventure in seeing through the lenses of the camera the beautiful and mysterious world that God has made,” said Jeanne. “Every photograph tells a story of the place where the photograph was taken.”
“Photographing this beautiful world with Dolph has become a spiritual experience. We have a mutual reverence for the beauty and wonder of the earth.”
“I enjoy her ability to have fun with her photography,” Dolph said. “Jeanne is smart, fun, talented and a great life partner.”
“I would never have begun the adventure of photography had it not been for the support of Dolph’s teaching and for his belief in my ability,” Jeanne added. “He is my best encourager and critic.”