Jonie Millhouse - Photographer
...everything I shot came out horrible.
I was 13 when I fell in love with cameras. I loved the shine of the metal and the knobs with their perfect markings. The glass and metal precisely wrapped in leather and rubber excited me. I could hold a camera in the store and be happy. Selling newspaper subscriptions and mowing lawns brought the $89 necessary to buy a Pentax K1000.
I also had a passion for surfing and photography always competed with surfing for my limited resources.
I hated having to wait an entire week to run back down to the local photomat booth and walk the drive-through for the weeks prints but the anticipation of opening the flap and seeing what I shot was enough to make it all worth it.
Behind that flap was the 4x6 masterpiece that only I would love. A parking block in a parking lot, a blurry scene of nothing or an unimpressive skate move by one of my friends. Most everything I shot came out horrible. I was lucky to get one good shot out of 10 rolls of film but that did not stop me. I began to make the connection between how I was shooting and what I was getting.
Back then I did not have google to look up blog posts or youtube tutorials to learn technique. It was all trial and error. As a junior in high school, I had been shooting for almost 3 years when I was allowed to take a photography class. I embraced everything my teacher said and worked to develop my craft.
In my early thirties, I learned the importance of directing. It was no longer about getting the light just right or messing with the exposures, it became about getting people to react to conversation, direction and feel an emotion. I believe if you ask for cheese you will get cheese. I try to connect with my clients and capture the feeling more than just the look. This is when the magic happens.