Self Project

I’ve decided I need to start giving myself assignments to combat this horrible feeling of stagnation.  I needed something new that would respark my creative side, so I started last weekend…or maybe a weekend before that…with a “Day in the Life” project.  I’ll be the first to say that I am really bad at self portraits for a number of reasons.  However, from a whole day of shooting I came up with a few images I liked…and a few that will never see the light of day haha.

I gave serious thought to having these in color, but I changed my mind at the last moment.  I don’t feel very colorful in my life, or at least I didn’t when I took these.  It was more of a Wizard of Oz moment, going from monochrome into color.  Just simply photographing what I wanted to got my juices flowing.

self portrait series


So after finally getting myself motivated I’ve started work on another project.  I’m not sure where this one is going just yet, but I think I want to get them printed to hang.  It’s an odd series so far, and to those who aren’t in photography or retouching something totally abnormal and bizarre.

I’ve started doing a series of face masks from images I really like. It’s been interesting stripping away everything else in the photo, but leaving the skin.  When i do this while retouching I’ve always thought, “oh hey that looks kinds cool”, but never had any other use for that was produced.  I’m hoping that doing this will tell me something about my style…lighting, retouching, something.  Here’s what I have so far.

Study 1


I’ll be doing more of these as I go though old photos.  I have one in mind that I hope will turn out really cool. I guess we will see; this whole thing is an adventure after all.

A Photoshoot with Kyle

This post is a long time in the making.  Before I left Susanville, and right before Kyle had surgery on his shoulder, we did one last  photoshoot.  Well maybe not last, but the last one for a good while.  I realized that we had never done anything outside, so that needed to change, and instead of artificial light i wanted to do a lot of natural light set ups.  I loved this shoot and the images we got out of them.

KYLE PHOTO REEL 1 kyle photo reel 2 Kyle photo reel 3 kyle photo reel 5

Life Path

I’ve been having those old feelings again that what I’m doing (job wise) is not what I’m really meant to be doing.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful to have a job and a steady income that will, while only barely, pay my rent, bills, and food.  I go to work every day, do what is expected, actually use skills I was taught, but in a very big way it is the exact opposite of what I want to do.

That lofty goal that I believed in so much ever since I was a Sophomore in high school is still inside of me.  The move down to LA was to move myself closer to that goal, and now that I am here finding positions available for that exact job I find myself at a standstill.  This era of applying for jobs online has complicated matters.  Yes the job I want, the exact one is right there on your site for all to apply. Yes, I have applied.  Now what?  There is no one to contact, there is no way of knowing if my resume has made it out of the great void of the web and onto someones screen for review.  I sit. I wait. The job remains posted. I remain stagnate and stale.

That becomes the problem I must fix.

While subscribing to Out Magazine the other night I thought I’d take a gander at the Career listings for the LA area.  Well there was one; a listing for an Editor position at Out Traveler. It sounded perfect, traveling for work, photos, blogging, just experiencing new things.  Slap of reality time.  Besides this blog…and lets face it I’ve done an amazing job at keeping this thing up… I haven’t written anything of substance in years.  I also realized that while I subscribe to the full gamut of Conde Nast publishing, I was using those for photo inspiration and rarely, if ever, read the articles. It was like a very cold glass of water being thrown in my face. I know about photography, and not just photography, I know what makes a quality photograph.  I know how to conceptualize a photo from something I am given. I have a whole list of excellent, young, passionate, creative photographers and  stylists in my network.  The job of a Photo Editor for a publication just fits me.

Honestly I just went and re read the job qualification for the Out Traveler position and I’m not sure what was holding me back before.  I’m sure it was that old familiar voice of failure in the back of my head.

The Photo Editor position I mentioned above was at Disney.  Let face it, we all know I’d die of happiness if I got that job haha.


A few notes here at the end-1) I’ve left the comments open on here, but my inbox is so flooded with spam I’m thinking about turning it off.

2) Mallory and I will very shortly be starting our Food Vlog.  We are working on a name, making some videos, and different things so stay tuned.

3) @jcharlesphoto and you should find me on twitter and Instagram!

The Big Move

Well look at me go on keeping this blog updated!  I hope now that I am settled I’ll be updating more, with more interesting posts. First lets get everyone caught up on what’s been happening, in case you don’t know.

January 23rd Mallory and I made the move from Susanville all the way down to LA…and by LA I mean Chatsworth.  We got a nice place, large with lots of light, good size kitchen, nice bedrooms and separate bathrooms. So now it’s the three of us…yes three;  Mallory, myself, and her cat Charlotte.  In a way I’m glad I waited to do this update until now, because yesterday was a big day.  So onto what has happened from January 23rd until now.

The move

I had interviewed for a job at a company called Prop Store here in Chatsworth to be the staff photographer.  About a week after we arrived I had the job and started on February 4th.  So what do I do?  I take photos of props, costumes, and other set/production material from movies, TV, and other types of productions.  The link above will give you a better idea of what it is we do.  Prop Store started in the UK and opened a branch here in LA a few years ago.  So that has been my life for the past few month, working 9-5:30 and doing some self searching haha.

Mallory came down by throwing caution to the wind and just going for it.  For the first month things were looking not so great.  While there is a way more business and opportunity in a larger city there is also just as many people who are all going for the same job.  So after a bad interview, and some “your not qualified” things where a bit frustrating.  Mallory doesn’t give up or quite though and a few weeks ago she got a call and got her first job…yes her first.  Last night she got two other called and landed two other jobs. It was a night of some celebration, dancing, and video games. (Yeah we go hard haha).

So now that all that boring stuff is out of the way onto the fun and adventures we have been having!

We try to get out as much as possible on the weekends to see the city, and everything around us.  Our first adventure Ameoba Records in Hollywood.  The store was huge!  That little adventure led us to Hollywood boulevard, where I saw the stars for the first time, and then Hollywood and Highland (where the Dolby Theater is…Think Oscars).  Hollywood and Highland is exactly what you would expect a tourist trap to be.  Lots of people, lots of people doing stuff for money, and everyone is in your way haha.

Hollywood and Highland


Our next adventure was a laid back one.  Last summer when Mallory and I came to visit Kate we ate at a delicious spot called Lemonade on Abbot Kinney.  We had a mighty craving for it so we jumped in the car and drove all the way down Topanga Canyon to the coast and then over to Abbot Kinney by Venice Beach.  The drive through the canyon was awesome.  So many interesting and unique things, that I unfortunately didn’t get to photograph…but we’ll do it again soon.  When we got to Abbot Kinney (which took us on a walk because I parked a good mile away on accident) we were famished.
LemonadeLunch at Lemonade did NOT disappoint however. Some fresh salads, a bowl of their white truffle Mac n’ Cheese, fresh lemonade, and a red velvet mini cupcake to top it off.  It was delicious, and if you are ever in the area, or around a Lemonade anywhere, you have to try it.

Our next adventure led us to a popular spot, Runyon.  We did a few of the trails, and had some amazing views of the LA skyline, the Hollywood sign, and some awesome houses.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people outdoors on a trail before haha.  We were in full cute dog overload, and hot body overload.



The next thing we did was very spontaneous, and one of the reasons I’m so glad to be here.  Dianna Agron (Quinn from Glee) along with some others started a great art site called You, Me, and Charlie.  Well YM&C sponsored a shot at the Echoplex with an up and coming band called A House for Lions.  It was a great experience and we got to hear some great artists, The Cerny Brothers, Max and the Moon, The Peach Kings, and of course the headliner A House for Lions.  Dianna even got on stage and sang a couple of song with them, and well you know me…I was dying with happiness.  Overall that night was awesome, and free.

A House for Lions


Last weekend we took a trip to a spot I’ve wanted to go to since I was in Santa Barbara, The Griffith Observatory.  Not only was the Observatory great, the drive there was even better.  My GPS took us on some odd round about way to get there, and in the process we went through Studio City, which was an experience overload haha.  We even went back the next day to go to an amazing Barns and Noble that we passed that was a converted theater.  Anyways, after driving though some amazing neighborhoods, passing the Greek Theater, finding parking, and then taking a little jaunt, we finally made it to the observatory.  Not to crowded, and some great things to see.  We are going to go back one of these nights when they have a viewing of Saturn.

Observatory We also decided to go to the beach this day…it got really overcast and cold…we did it anyways haha.

Wednesday we did what is now a highlight for my time here so far.  Back in December I bought us tickets for the Night Visions tour for Imagine Dragons.  Best show experience ever.  There was an amazing energy from the crowd, the performance was outstanding, and I’m still on a high from the experience.  If you ever get the chance to see Imagine Dragons live you have to do it. You will not be disappointed.

Imagine DragonsThis is a video of them performing Radioactive at the show.  The video doesn’t do the experience justice.  I felt it to my core.

Time for some Cinema

Let’s talk about some of these movies coming out, and some of them that already came out.

1) The most recent movie I saw was Wreck it Ralph.  LOVED IT.  I really enjoy a good Disney animated movie, with a good plot that I got lost in and did not see the twist at the end…even though they practically told you what was going to happen haha.  And while the movie was great, let’s talk about the short at the beginning, “Paperman”. HOLY WOW!  This was one of the best shorts I have seen.  I loved the animation, the black and white with a dash of red, and the overall content of this short.  I would buy the DVD just for the short haha.  If you haven’t seen this movie go see it, you don’t need kids to do it.

Disney promo posters for Wreck it Ralph and Paperman

I’m itching to see both Cloud Atlas and Lincoln more then anything.  I’m not a Twilight fan at all, so these two movies are going to be getting my money in the next few days for sure.  Every time i see Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, I am just floored by what they were able to create.

Cloud Atlas Poster

Lincoln Movie Poster

Next month has two movies I want to see so bad it almost hurts; The Hobbit, and Les Miserables.

The Hobbit Movie Poster

Les Miserable Movie Poster

Les Miserables Movie Poster













I’m also super excited for next years movie line up. Oz The Great and Powerful, Struck by Lightning, Iron Man 3, Star Trek, The Hangover Pt.3, Man of Steel, World War Z, The Mortal Instruments, Ender’s Game,  Thor 2, Catching Fire, and part 2 to The Hobbit.

Struck by Lightning

Oz the Great and Powerful Poster


So with all that retouching i’ve been on a few music sprees on iTunes.  Currently obsessed with Pinks song Try.  The song is amazing, but have you seen the video yet? Well check it out!

Also the new albums from Mumford and Sons, The Killers, Lana Del Ray, Mika….so many good ones came out and I have been on music overload.  One of my favorite new finds is Walk the Moon and their song Anna Sun.  That was on repeat for a good while haha.

While we were doing Kyle’s younger brother Lane’s Senior photos he had me listen to G-eazy, and not i’m hooked on him.  If you haven’t heard his music first listen to it (I recommend Marilyn) then go look up a photo of him on google and be blown away haha.

Of course I have also been buying the Glee songs now that it’s back from the stupid month long break.  However, I’m not feeling a lot of the songs this season so far, but that’s for another post at another time.

While I haven’t watched American Idol in quite a few seasons, and X-Factor is less then awesome, I am very hooked on The Voice.  They have some great talent this season, and I am loving the voice of Cody Belew, so check out some of his covers.

Some Recent Work

So other then Seniors I have been working on two other shoots.  One of Kyle (the one I lost when my computer crashed), and one of Tawni.  Both of these shoots were me just doing whatever.  Kyle is an awesome guy i’ve used for modeling a few times, and will hopefully use again before I move to LA.

©Justin Miller

The other shoot was with one of my best friend’s sister Tawni.  I got to do some conceptual stuff with Tawni, and once again got to work with Amanda on hair and makeup. (On a side note Amanda just got engaged! CONGRATS!).

©Justin Miller

©Justin Miller

©Justin Miller

©Justin Miller

©Justin Miller

October- The Month of the Senior Photo Shoot

I know, it’s almost the end of November (how is next week Thanksgiving?!), but I am still finishing everything from October that has spilled over into November and all the other stuff that came with November.

Right after Mitch and Shaylee’s wonderful wedding came the onslaught of Seniors needing their photos done for the yearbook.  It was an exciting few week of shooting some amazing people.  Honestly i love this years group of Seniors i was able to photograph.

©Justin Miller

And that’s what has consumed my life for the last two months.

Lost week has turned into a lost 2 months

I promised myself i wouldn’t let this happen, and I have :-(.  As September came to a close with that wedding, October quickly filled up with appointments, and I am only now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have one more senior to finish retouching, a graduating college student to retouch, and a dancer that I will be photographing this weekend.  However, I do have a little bit of free time so I will be updating before the week is over.  There is so much to post about, and I think the best way to go about it is to do them all in separate posts…it’s gonna get crazy kids! haha.

A lost week

The last two weeks have been super busy.  Last weekend I photographed a wedding, and I’ve been booking clients for October.  Sorry for the absent time.  Here is a photoset from the wedding though, and I plan on doing a Glee recap a bit later!

©Justin Miller