T.M. Photography

Photography of Tatjanna Miller

A winters dream. Sara.

Sara has made an appearance on my blog a couple times. Once last spring as a Maid of Honor in a wedding and once during her own couples shoot this summer. During that session she had told me she would love to put on her wedding gown and play in the snow if we got any this winter.
Well it finally snowed and I asked several ladies to model for me to get a couple shots each of them. Since Sara had been waiting since this summer I decided to ask her to participate in this session so that I could get in those shots we had in mind. Here is the result. I absolutely love how graceful she presents herself even after 40 minutes in a dress in 20 degree weather and an Arctic breeze.

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Saying Thanks.

Today we not only delivered 9 meals to families here in Great Falls, but because of so many generous donations we were able to send the extras to another local business to supply dinners to more people at Christmas. Today, was so very emotional but in a good way. Each hug and smile and tear drop was a reminder of where I have been, but where we as people can go. I hope that each person who received a dinner tonight gets to enjoy it fully with smiles and family or friends. I also hope that everyone who helped with making today an incredible success has the happiest of Thanksgivings. This year, I am thankful for all of you! Without you it would have been one family, instead it was 9 (and even more at Christmas!)

Please Join me in saying thank you to these families and business’ whose donations of time,
food and monetary gifts made today and tomorrow possible.


The Romero Family
The McCall Family
The Reinsmith Family
The Giles Family
The Wright Family
The Dunlop Family
The Solley family
A & J Miller and Family
The Steele Family
The Weigand Family
The Carter Family
The Thornton Family
The Anderson Family
The Helms Family
The Olsen Family

And these local business’

Beyond Beauty
I Eat Cake
Grandma’s Pantry Homemade Soaps
VRM Financial Services LLC
Aprils Plush Puppies

PLEASE READ: I went back and forth with this, because I did not want these dinners to appear like a play to get business. But I think each of the people who did so much for our community. I want to offer you (ABOVE) a 50.00 discount off your next session. So if you are looking for portraits before January of 2014, you have only to mention this blog. Happy Holidays my friends! 

One Turkey.

This Thanksgiving was supposed to be like all the others, first have a large dinner at my home and invite all of my friend family and we would sit around the table and share small talk and after the youngest child would put a star atop the friend family tree and watch their smile light up the room. On Thanksgiving day proper we would meander over to my husbands family home and have a traditional family meal and enjoy all the smiles and laughter (and of course the little ones arguing) that come with that.
Friend family Thanksgiving has always been my way of giving back to those I love, but with all the excitement as of late, I have had no time to plan or organize a dinner at my home. So my husband suggest I donate one. Good call husband!

I posted an ad on our local online yard sale that stated I wanted to give 1 family a free Thanksgiving dinner. I immediately received emails and posts on my business page. “Oh goodness” How could I choose just one person? I decided I would draw a name from a hat (in this case randompicker.com).

Here is where the miracle comes in.
1 person left a comment on my ad. “I would like to donate a turkey as well” the post had said, and then another comment asking to donate more, and when I awoke today 5 dinners had been donated, but it didn’t stop, by 9 PM tonight 7 full meals had been donated. And I am near to tears right now.

Why should I cry over a few meals?
I have not always been so blessed in my life and indeed it was only recently that I have come into my own. About 6 years ago my family of 5 was living in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment, we had just moved in and had very little money to have a holiday with. Our old home was run down and the landlord would fix nothing. Forced into this place, all I wanted to do was to go home and for life to be what it had before. It was 4 days before thanksgiving and I was really pushing to get some clients on my schedule to get money for Thanksgiving dinner. I had stayed up all night and day with no responses. I felt hopeless. I decided to take a nap on the sofa while the kids were at school. There came a knock at my door, I opened it to find a man in biker leathers and a teenage boy at his side. He simply said my name and I replied “yes”. His serious and almost nerve wracking face opened up into a giant smile. I saw then an angel at my door, his son left for a moment and came back with a turkey and held it in front of him. I looked at the man and his son with a questioning look. He simply shook his head and said “wait”. He left for a moment and came back with two more boxes. The following week another man called my husband and told him he would like to meet with him, and that he had something for him. We met him at Wal mart and he bought Christmas dinner for us, but when we arrived back to our car, he said there was more. He walked us to a half full pickup and proceeded to pull out bag after bag of Christmas gifts for our children.

You see, I have tears now because I remember the heartache of possibly telling my kids that there would be no Thanksgiving or Christmas. I remember the feeling of losing hope. But I remember as well, the strangers who to this day remain nameless, who did not forget those less fortunate. Those men, they did not just bring us food and material items, they brought us the reminder of the human spirit, the gift of hope and the promise of renewal. I promised myself, that one day, if I should ever stand tall on my own 2 feet, I would do the same.

I’ve read so much animosity in the last few months about how people just want others to carry them, or how they don’t want to help others if they can’t help themselves. But I disagree, there is much to say about the human spirit in times of need. It isn’t about giving the money or the food, it’s about lifting your fellow man from a place to where they are inspired enough to do the same for others. Love is contagious but so is anger and sorrow, I choose to spread love, I choose to be an inspiration in every way I can. I choose to take care of those around me, when they cannot care for themselves. All I gave was ONE TURKEY dinner, and yet there are now seven families fed. It’s a choice to make, if you want an amazing world, YOU have to choose to start making it that way. I’m one person, I am still not rich, though far better off then I was. I have a tight schedule, but there is always time for love.

I hope that this post will inspire others as well. You don’t have to give a turkey dinner, you could give a simple smile, or even do the things our own grandparents held as common courtesy. Hold the door open, help someone reach that top shelf, help an old lady with groceries. Give a homeless person coffee. You see, it’s not about your money, it’s about the time you take to recognize there is more behind the facade.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you to everyone who has helped achieve something so beautiful and to all of those who have done so in any manner at any time of the year. You are truly awesome. Thank YOU!

Free “Senior Formal” sessions for foster girls.

Being alone is bad enough, but add to it new rules, family trauma and the pressures of school and even work and the realization that in a few months, you will be aging out of the system. All of which can be detrimental to the self esteem and future outlook. I know first hand what being in state care is like, but, this blog isn’t about me.

Every year for the last 2 years I have been donating sessions to seniors who are in state care (foster, temporary & group homes). From the referrals I get I select the teens who are showing that they are working hard to continue to achieve their goals. Meaning good grades, excellent citizenship and/or working to save money. My goal is to alleviate some of the stresses of their senior year.

Enter an angel. Yesterday, I saw an ad on one of the yardsale sites on Facebook for prom dresses. My hope was to secure a couple of them for a few senior girls for the formal session of their senior portraits. Ms. Thibert , the lady who had posted the ad, donated all 11 dresses to my cause. Thank you Ms.Thibert, truly you are one in a million!

So, I am now looking for Juniors or Seniors who are in state care OR are very low income, who would like to participate this year and the best part you get to pick from the 11 dresses and KEEP the dress you choose!  There is a catch, these dresses were donated (though still beautiful) so the sizes are not all the same.  The sizes are Small, Medium, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 14 . So you must be able to fit one of these sizes.

What you will get with your session. Since it’s so late in the autumn we won’t be doing head shots, but you will get your formal session with a minimum of 8 images on CD or online gallery + Keep the dress. I will not be requiring you to buy the images from my studio, if you want to you may!

What I ask of you if you are chosen; To continue to follow your dreams and ambitions, make the most of life, laugh and return any good you receive in this world to someone else who needs it.

How do I choose who gets the sessions?  The potential participants will need to answer the following questions and return them to me by email; Tatjannam@gmail.com.

1. You must fit one of the dress sizes above (I wish I could have every size so it would not be a size matters kind of thing, but I didn’t get to choose)

2. Are you currently a “ward” of the state, or are you residing in foster care, a group home or temporary youth facility?

3. If no, Are you classified in Montana as low income (under 10,000 single or 25,000 family of 4 a year)

4. What are your goals for after you graduate?

5. What kind of grades are you getting?

6. Describe a typical day in the life of you.

7.If you could have only 2 wishes what would they be?

8. your name:

9 your school:

10. Favorite subject:

11. your age:

 

 

Please fill out the questionnaire and return it to me! I will decide soon who I will choose and you will get an email or call from me.

 

PLEASE ONLY APPLY IF YOU TRULY MEET THE CRITERIA!
And please, share this on Facebook ! There are some girls somewhere whom this would make incredibly happy! Thanks!!!

 

 

 

 

Brandon + Rachel = One “Wild” Wedding

Last October I met with Brandon and Rachel for the first time over coffee to discuss wedding photography. Right off the bat I liked them. Rachel knew what she wanted and I instantly admired that trait. Speed ahead almost a year and it’s their big day. My lighting assistant, Second shooter and I find ourselves driving down a beautiful tree lined dirt road, with hints of autumn licking the ends of once emerald leaves.
We soon find the lodge and the bride and are instantly struck by the calm of the atmosphere, The bride, we find calmly having her nails done, no rushing or frustration adding to the beauty of their day.  A thunderstorm moved in but to lightning and thunder, Rachel and Brandon paid no mind. They said I do in front of their beloved friends and family and an old aspen stand. Even the rain seemed to have the respect to wait for the couple to leave the alter. The perfect beginning to a happy ever after.
Congratulations Brandon and Rachel and our wishes to you for a long and fruitful future together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honesty.

There comes a time in our lives (sometimes often, sometimes occasionally) that we look around, look deep into our thoughts and realize we have been caught up in the waves and pulled down by the undertow.  My life, has been a series of unfortunate events, that has put me right in line for the almost perfect moments I have been living. But through these moments, I have forgotten to be honest with myself. I have forgotten to remember why I love this job so much.
I look at others and think, my work is inferior that I could only hope to strive to be as original and as beautiful as some of those who live their days out in glowing popularity. I have become frustrated and ignorant to my own desires, in which my work had always been based on. And so I try to be more like them, more conformed and mainstream, when that is completely NOT who I am. And my passion for the job has faltered because of it.
But I am thankful, thankful that I have realized it before, my work did more then falter, I realized it before it fell flat. I live my life for the moment, for the beauty I perceive in my own mind of that moment. I’ve not been the type to tell a client how to pose, how to jump, how to act happy for my lens, Yet, I have found myself doing exactly that.

But as most things in life that I ponder upon, I have found resolution. I have spent to long worrying about what the other photographers will think, or who will notice my work, how many prints I can sell (though that does help to keep a business productive and running!) hehe. or who is who in local photographers or who is not, how much so and so is charging! It’s all incredibly ridiculous and doesn’t really do anything for my own self-esteem. I suppose this means changes in how I do business are coming.  Don’t worry I won’t be leaving this business, but I will be revamping my business.

I was once told by another photographer that we are not artists, we are business people. I beg to differ, I AM an artist and it is because that I have forgotten that, that I had forgotten my way. Well, my path is perfectly clear now, my work will again be what I meant it to be (though with the experience I have gained, I do hope it will be much better )

So what is it I meant my work to be? Art, my clients were never meant to get JUST a family portrait, they were meant to get memories and emotions. That first kiss will never again be a standard kiss again, it will be that unique moment in time when love was sealed forever.
I will remain consistent for those clients who have booked me for this year and those who have booked for next year. They have paid for what they have seen in the months past. But in the coming months, look for changes (it will not be over night).

There will be some other changes as well, and while I am here, being honest, I will touch on them. But first I want to say thank you to those of you close to me and those clients as well, who have taken me and my business seriously, those of you who have believed in me, thank you, just, Thank you.

Recently, I was approached by a person who expected me to shoot their relations event for free. I had recently had a lot of my gear stolen and had been reduced to rentals and borrowing while the insurance was being sorted. Which means I was paying for gear out of my pocket, I countered the person with that reasoning and was brushed off completely, not even willing to pay for the rentals. It hasn’t been the first time either and since I am being honest, I will say, it very much makes me feel like I am not running a business.

A little about me, I have 3 children in my home, who go to school, use electricity, eat food, like heat and so forth and there’s taxes just like everyone else. When I go to work, I buy clothes to make me look professional, (dry cleaning can be pricey for a person who works in rivers, mud, lays on sidewalks and so forth :).  )   What I’m getting at is Photography may be my love, but it is also my career, my it pays the bills, it is my job.

That being said (or ranted) I will be doing very few free sessions from here on out. I will still do a few free senior sessions for Foster Kids, but that is done through their probation officer, Social worker or counselor. I will only be doing 2 gift certificates for silent auctions.
Starting in 2013 I will only shoot 4-5 weddings a year, and they will not be cheap but I promise your images won’t be either.
I guess that’s it. I remember where I was supposed to be going now. And it’s time to start doing what I really love! I hope that those of you who have grown with me, continue to do so and to those who have been loyal, I will always remain loyal to you and will be rewarding with that. And Thank you again so much for encouraging me.

 

 

 

A Little Family = Big Personalities!

The more opportunities I get to work with kids and their families, the more I love it. No holds bar, just raw honest, personalities. With children, you remember that crying is ok, laughing is necessary and being yourself is just like honesty, It’s the best policy.
Thank goodness for this family, not only are they a perfectly cute “unit” they were abounding with personality, the girls with their curiosity and mom and dad completely encouraging it, was a breath of fresh air!

Thank you Jessica and Sean for letting me hang out with you guys! 🙂

A Moment.

While this page is for my professional work, I by no means stop “the photography” when the sessions are wrapped up. It is my love, my passion and I enjoy every moment of it. Here is my travel/personal blog. Feel free to follow me there as well.

A Moment..

Jack + Vandra, A love story.

Did you ever wonder if fairy tales really do exist? If you wish up on that star will your knight on his white horse appear? Are there really happy endings? As a photographer, I know they do. I see it in a Mother to be’s glow, Later I see it in their childs’ eyes. I’ve seen it on the smile of a new bride and in that first kiss and I really believe you could tell me no different, because I’ve seen it.

So, I had these friends, they didn’t know each other but I knew both of them. Both, kind and gentle souls, the kind you are drawn to for the simple act of knowing that they are not the kinds to their back on you and you would never think of wronging them either.  It was an autumn evening and Vandra and a few others friends decided to go explore Karaoke. I’m so glad we did, that’s when I saw Jack,  totally excited to see him I introduced him to my friends and gave him a lift home.  I’m not sure I know what love at first sight looks like, but that may have been it. But with just a few more meetings it seemed the two were inseparable. And then he proposed. And while there is so much more then my words could ever, ever describe. I was able to join my two friends as they said I do. P.S. Have I mentioned they are having a baby? Yeah, Happy endings (or beginnings)  They do exist…I have the pictures to prove it!

Cupcakes and cuties Raffle Winners.

First, I want to say thank you to all who participated! You are awesome and every dime is getting me closer to my goal of 1800.00 to help in Guatemala!  Each of you are helping me, help someone who really needs it!  Our total raised thus far is 224.00! While some may not think that is much, I see that as steps forward! Thank you!!

The First place winner of a Baby gift set and full session is
Sara O. of Great Falls, Montana! Congratulations Sara!

And The second place winner for the mini Session is
Mandy L. of El Paso, Texas!

Thank you Ladies!

If you would like to follow my personal adventures and journeys or keep up with my fundraising to Guatemala please join me at . onceiwandered.wordpress.com