After 14 years in publishing and public relations, where I booked, styled, and supervised plenty of photo shoots, I decided that it was finally time to get behind the camera and capture the images I always wanted. Because of my background in interiors, decorative arts seemed like the natural place to start. While fellow photography students were focusing on trendy fashion shots along train tracks, I was shooting living rooms—and loving it. Quickly, my subject matter expanded to the sand and surf I grew up on in southern California, and to destinations such as Central America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
I’ve had the opportunity to photograph four books, including The Well-Dressed Home (Clarkson Potter) and The Accidental Photographer: Dare to Do Something Different (Bellus Press), and I’m currently at work on my fifth book. When not shooting for editorial outlets and leading hospitality clients, I photograph the catalogs for Living Spaces, and provide an exclusive collection of canvas artwork that’s available in their stores and online.
My philosophy is simple: If something wants to be photographed, I shoot it. I don't push a shot, but rather constantly have an eye out for the right light on an intriguing, poignant, or subtle subject matter. With all the beauty that God gives each day, it is a welcome challenge to create a photograph that can hold a moment. My great, great uncle, artist Francis Davis Millet, who perished on The Titanic, inspires me on a daily basis. He made a living out of what he loved - who could ask for more?
Thank you for taking a look at my work.
I hope our paths cross soon!
House Beautiful, The Beverly Hilton, C Magazine, Luxe, Coastal Living, Living Spaces Catalog, Milieu, Traditional Home, Riviera/Angeleno Interiors, Condé Nast Traveller, The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Grand Del Mar, Montage Resorts, Sea Island Resort, The Beverly Hilton, Club Monaco.
A special thanks to the amazing designers I work with:
Amy Meier Design, Bonesteel Trout Hall, Brende Home, Cari Berg Interiors, Chris Barrett Design, Eric Olsen Design, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Joan Behnke & Associates, KAA Design Group, Kim Alexandriuk Interior Design, Lucas Studio, Mary MacDonald Interiors, Michael Fullen, Molly Isaksen Interiors, Oatman Architects, Patricia Benner Landscape Design, Pepe Studio Inc., Scott Joyce Design, Studio Tim Campbell, Studio H Design, Taylor Borsari Inc., Thomas Callaway, Tim Barber Ltd., Wendi Young Interior Design, and Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design.
Millet on Millet
As I began to explore life as a photographer, I found myself being more and more inspired and motivated by my great-great uncle, Francis Davis Millet, a famed early 20th century artist who was last seen helping women and children onto lifeboats on the RMS Titanic. He is widely recognized for his popular paintings and murals of period genre scenes at major museums around the world.
Growing up, I always knew about my famous great-great uncle, but as time goes on, I am learning more and more about Uncle Frank's life and work. Having a rather amazing artist on our family tree made me curious about art and how it could ever be one's career. I dreamed about a career in the arts but never imagined I would pursue it myself someday.
Frank Millet’s artistic career has lead me to shoot in Paris, London, and the countryside of Broadway in The Cotswolds, where he and his wife Lily founded a renowned art colony. Because of his heroism on the Titanic, I think it's important to honor Frank Millet and keep his altruistic and creative spirit alive and well.
A bit about Francis Davis Millet:
Francis Davis Millet was a well-regarded American painter, sculptor and writer who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. Born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts on November 3, 1846, he was a drummer boy with the Union forces in the Civil War. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in literature in 1869, and two years later in 1871, he entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium.
Millet returned to the States in 1875, to become a correspondent for the Advertiser at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. In 1876, he painted murals at Trinity Church with John LaFarge. During the Russian Turkish War of 1877-78, Millet became a war correspondent for several newspapers both in America and England, and for which he was twice decorated for “bravery under fire” by Russian forces. Afterwards he was appointed one of the United States members to the international art jury for the Paris Exposition of 1878.
A well-regarded American Academic Classicist, Millet was close friends with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Mark Twain, both of whom were present at his 1879 marriage to Elizabeth Merrill in Paris, France; Twain was his best man. He was also acquainted with the impressionist artist John Singer Sargent, who often used Millet's daughter Kate as a model, as well as the esteemed Huxley family. Millet became a member of the Society of American Artists in 1880, and in 1885 was elected as a member of the National Academy of Design, New York and as Vice-Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee. A trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he sat on the advisory committee of the National Gallery of Art. He was the decorations director for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where he is credited with having invented the first form of spray paint.
Millet's career included work with a number of worlds' fairs, including Vienna, Chicago, Paris and Tokyo, where he made contributions as a juror, administrator, mural painter/decorator, or adviser. A firm believer in the decorative arts—Millet's works can be seen at Trinity Church, Boston; the Bank of Pittsburgh; the capitol at St. Paul, Minn.; the old Hudson Court House, New York; Essex County Court House, Newark; the Customs House, Baltimore; and the Federal Building, Cleveland—his pictures are in many public collections, among them being "A Cosy Corner" in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and "Between Two Fires" in the Tate Gallery, London.
Photo by Dan Shea (my husband!)