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Meet Janet Milhomme of Fine Art Photographer in Woodland Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Milhomme.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Janet. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a fine art photographer, and my work is influenced by my experiences as a journalist. Learning photography was a pragmatic decision I made in my early days as a freelance writer when I needed photos for my articles. I bought a Canon, taught myself the basics, and with time and experimentation, I developed my skills. For over a decade I embarked on a wonderful, tough, adventurous journey.

To meet my financial needs, I worked intervals as a technical writer and editor. After each gig, I set off on my travels. I spent many months in Europe and in southern Africa, and six months in West Africa as a stringer for an international press service and as a special correspondent for magazines and newspapers. My articles and photographs were published internationally, and I wrote many local Southern California stories as well.

Eventually, the responsibilities of life and family inserted themselves. I took a full-time job and did very little photography for several years. I assumed that that part of my life was over. Then one day a friend approached me about exhibiting in his gallery. I was surprised, as I had never thought of my photos as gallery material. I printed and framed some images and they were so well received that I entered them in a call for art.

One show led to another. I began to study books on fine art photography and to shoot in my own environment, and to exhibit those works as well. Gradually, I exhibited more and a gallery offered me representation.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Life isn’t easy and the road is never smooth. But that’s what is so thrilling about it. You never know what’s around the next corner. There’s so much I could talk about—the physical and psychological challenges of photographing in some really harsh environments, the struggle to eke out a living as an artist, the balancing acts and compromises we all face in life. Being an artist is feeling the pulse of life in some enhanced way, I think. But it’s tough, too, in any of the arts. My first and biggest challenge has always been to make good, consistent, identifiable work.

The second is to have the courage to submit and present it. Acceptances and rewards are thrilling. Rejections are painful and disheartening. In our connected world, there are many opportunities but there is also so much competition, on local, national and international levels. Trying to succeed as an artist can be stressful. I couldn’t do it without the support of the amazing L.A. art community. I find L.A. artists to be warm, encouraging, and supportive. When I attend openings and I see them, I’m elated. I’m happy when they succeed because in some way it lifts us all up.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Currently, I’m very fortunate to have new representation and to be exhibiting my work in national and international exhibitions. I had two solo shows last year, and so far this year I’ve exhibited in 11 venues from New York to Oregon, and many in Southern California.

In September I’ll have work in the Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography in Barcelona, Spain. I have a variety of portfolios, including architectural, pop, documentary and conceptual images. My goal is to create works that express my passions and, hopefully, to inspire passion in others. For example, one of my current projects, “Vanishing Oasis,” explores the environmental disaster unfolding at the Salton Sea, and its effect upon nature and the surrounding communities.

What were you like growing up?
I haven’t changed much from the child or young adult I was. I’ve always had a wide range of interests. I have a quiet, curious, intellectual side that loves philosophy, music, literature and science. And I have a reckless, adventurous side of me that has found its expression in sports and adventure travel.

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