Couple creates art together
Ryan Summerlin December 7, 2012
Bantering back and forth, Trish and Jared McMillen retold the story of what led the couple to Park City, how they opened their first art gallery and their plans for the future.
McMillen Fine Art, a gallery featuring their collaborative photography, opened less than a month ago. Already the two seem comfortable in the space, the muted walls splashed with vibrant greens and reds of nature scenes they shot together.
"When we were dating, shooting landscapes was part of our courtship," Trish said. "In our downtime, we would go for hikes through Yellow Stone or Southern Utah, places like that. We would shoot all these landscapes and developed this huge collection."
The art on the walls comes from past trips, a collection of the American West complete with desert scenes and wild redwoods. Every detail is there: patches of light on forest floors, peeling birch bark, streaks of minerals running through rock formations. The couple would wait for hours for a single shot. Purists to the craft, they use manual cameras with film rather than anything digital, a fact they said accounts for the hyper-detail in each shot.
"Shooting this piece, it was a collaborative effort," Trish said about one particular scene, a shot of a bridge in Yellowstone National Park. "No matter who shoots it. We have a long, drawn out discussion on shutter speed, exposure time, aperture, gauging the light. That’s why we feel like every piece is collaborative."
All of the work in the gallery is specially printed with a little-known technique where lasers push ink into paper. Less than a dozen printers in the country still use the technique. Then, acrylic is poured on top of the picture, leaving a high glean to every piece.
"The ink becomes a part of the paper," Jared said, "and it makes each piece archival for hundreds of years.
"Everything is cut and polished to order it is a handcrafted piece by the end."
Coming to Park City started as a dream. They wanted to make the move ever since they spent their honeymoon in town.
"Once we were here, we knew we had to get back," Trish said. "This place is amazing."
"Since we’ve been here, we’ve seen that Park City is so supportive of small businesses," she added. "This community feels so connected. We’re both so happy to be here, to let our lives slow down a little and enjoy our work."
Trish and Jared McMillen are both photographers by trade, and it was photography that brought them together to begin with. For 14 years, the two developed their separate photography businesses. But for the past eight years, they have joined forces. Their glossy portfolio is stacked with commercial and editorial work, from USA Today to Forbes Magazine, but the long hours and constant travel were taking a toll on the couple.
"When we started working together, our business exploded," Trish said. "There were times where we were shooting six or seven days a week, back-to-back."
What originally started as photography trips where the two were getting to know each other, taking hikes together with cameras in hand, turned into what their is business today. It’s more than a collection of art; it is a time capsule of their moments together.
Both could recite the year a photo was taken, the old Volkswagen bus they drove together loaded with photography gear and any food they could scrounge up.
"It was our escape from reality," Jared said.
McMillen Fine Art
1678 West Redstone Center Drive, Suite 120