The view through my lens is my window to the world, the print on the wall is my notebook and each person that comes before my camera allows me to take a small peak at the miracle that is life. I have been a professional photographer for over 30 years and have a masters degree from the Professional Photographers of America. Neil and I are teachers and mentors to other photographers. Why do I do this? Because there is something inexpressible within me, a need to say something that there are no words for. I hope that some of what I leave behind causes people to notice, to feel more deeply what they already know to be true … to feel slightly more of whoever they are. – Miriam Haugen
It is only natural that I am a photographer. I grew up in a family of avid amateur photographers, learning to develop film and make my own black and white prints at the age of 12. I still have the camera that my dad bought me, a Yashica twin lens reflex that takes 120 roll film.
A love of music led me to the small university town of Monmouth, Oregon to become a classical guitar major. There I met Neil in Basic Musicianship class. Love blossomed. Before long we were sharing a passion for photography, as well.
With access to cameras and a darkroom, Neil was soon finding any excuse to view the world through a camera lens. Photography, clearly was a calling for both of us and we opened a portrait studio in 1977. We learned from every source we could, reading, taking classes from some of the best photographers and business people in the country, entering print competitions, and enrolling in the most effective university of all, SHKU (School of Hard Knocks University). Being run of the mill or merely competent was never enough. We had to be the best we could. Over time, Neil and I both earned our Master of Photography degrees from the Professional Photographers of America and began consulting and teaching others.