Through the Lens and Into the Ages
Updated: Apr 13
By: Marie Miller - Chicago Fine Art Photographer
Photography has always been an intriguing and compelling medium for me. As a painter (and later a tattoo artist), I've spent much of my adolescent and adult years exploring mediums for artistic expression. Photography is one of the mediums that, for me, consistently evolved with passion and creativity. As a professional photographer and videographer, this has matured into a purpose.
Like a painting, a photograph is a still moment that can create a transcendent and deep-rooted connection with its viewer. When our eyes see a picture, we take in the shapes, tonal values, and color palette and feel an emotional response. It is often attached to our most prominent memories of those emotions. As our eyes focus on things like the subject and setting, this sympathetic association sends us on a time-warp journey. We begin writing a story and become a part of it, empathically drawing from our history. We connect.
The weight of art, its significance in society, and ability to traverse space-time and convey emotion, connecting at a core level with people, is not new to me. It has been my raison d'être. Viewing life through a lens has given me a new perspective on the artist's role as a documentarian. Creating a visual record of life's events in a way that engages and connects people to a time and place has become one of the most important aspects of my role as a Photographer and Videographer.
In the grand scheme, a day is merely a small fraction of a year, a year a fleeting moment compared to a lifetime, and a lifetime just a blink in the vast expanse of history. Over time, civilizations rise and fall, and much of their history becomes lost to the ages. However, through the painted fragments left behind by artists, we have historical breadcrumbs waiting to be discovered. These fragments depict the lives and times of people of the past, waiting for their stories to be told and, in a way, live again.
Artistic representation has been invaluable in our quest to understand our past. From cave drawings to literature, the artwork of the past provides us with a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors. Through the eyes of artists, we can see the world as it once was, learn about the people who lived before us, and discover the events that shaped history.
Looking at my daily work as a Photographer, Videographer, and Documentarian, I realize that this understanding of the importance of art in history is also essential to my profession. It has become a significant influence on my work and my life. My appreciation and admiration for Art and my role have only grown as I continue to capture and record treasured memories of our timeline. I feel privileged to be a part of interpreting and preserving the significant events of our time through the art of visual storytelling.
Being present for the most significant events in a person's lifetime deserves my total effort and intention. My goal is to capture the essence of a thousand words in one frame, committing that perfect moment into history and, thereby, us into existence.
When my clients look back on the photographs from their momentous occasions, they are instantly transported back in almost a tangible way. And when those photographs are uncovered decades, lifetimes, or eons later by another viewer, so will they.