Straight out of the gate, Keetch Miller fueled her passion and dirtied her hands in the dark room. She played with chemicals, pushed film, made pinhole cameras out of anything and everything. With the enlarger, she created giant negatives, added texture to prints with spray paint and made positive and negative images. Finding the raw beauty in flaws was (then) and is (now) her artistic signature.
“Getting down to the core and grime and pulling beauty out of that. And that is what I strive for now when I’m photographing families. Life with kids is tough and exhausting, chaotic and full of movement, but there is always love that is at the core, and that is beautiful. And it’s that deep love that I try to uncover in my family sessions and in my personal work.” ~ Keetch Miller
While Keetch grew up artistically in the dark room and laid the groundwork for the photographer she would be, there wasn’t money out of college for film or darkroom rentals. Additionally, this was the dawn of the digital photography and she was decidedly uninterested.
“I felt like I had worked hard to make photography fit into what my definition of art was, and digital seemed so far removed from anything artistic or meaningful. So I pretty much stopped taking photos.” ~ Keetch Miller
Three years, two daughters and enough time to warm to the changes in the photography universe, Keetch picked up a digital camera, a hand-me-down Canon 7D. Charged by an urgency to document the lives of her growing girls, she plunged into the business of family portraits in Brooklyn, New York.
“Most importantly, I was creating again, which is almost as necessary to me as breathing.” ~ Keetch Miller
“Lightroom is my new darkroom, and I think it plays a big role in me accepting and ultimately falling in love with digital photography. I would get so excited to go off to my darkroom in college and see what I could create from the rolls of film I had shot, and now I get excited when I sit down at my desk to a set of photos that I’m still getting to know, and I’m ready to make them beautiful in my new ‘darkroom’.” ~ Keetch Miller
“When I’m taking the photos, I know I’m seeing the scene totally differently than my clients are, and it’s always a surprise to them when they see the final result, because that’s when they can finally see the beauty of the place the way I was seeing it. I like variety. I need some city, some urban grunge, but I also need some trees, and water, and nature. My hope is that because I’m always shooting in different places, that I will never get bored or tired of what I’m looking at, and then end up missing the raw beauty that is always there, because that’s what I want to uncover and show to people.” ~ Keetch Miller
Keetch is pleased as punch with how her business has developed since opening shop three years ago. In a city as diverse in people and landscapes as New York City, her clients introduce her to countless pockets of grit and glamor by choosing their shoot locations. Her website offers a virtual tour of families around the city. A graffiti-laden wall, electrical wires and pot holes make for a fabulous and curious combination for a family portrait, as much as the deep greens and lush foliage of a botanical garden. It all works and Keetch embraces every bit of it with unstoppable vim and vigor.