Thursday, December 18, 2014

"It's the heart that knows the path. 
The mind is just there to organize
the steps" 
J. Brown.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“In your light I learn how to love. 
In your beauty, how to make poems. 

You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,
but sometimes I do, 
and that sight becomes this art.” 
― Rumi

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Photography is as much a journey in search of your own private truisms as it is about discovering light and composition in exquisite environments.Perhaps why I prefer those moments to be private and quite. Alone in the landscapes when the light is pure and new and you've poised yourself to be a witness to its emergence and to its dissolution calls for a certain personal honesty in those lone spaces.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Featured On Luminous Landscapes

I'm very honored to be featured on such a well-respected website as; 

This website has been an critical source of information, education and inspiration for my emerging career.  Kevin Raber has been watching my development since the very beginning so he's seen the good, the bad and the emerging. 
Kevin and Michael and Jeff have been a huge part of my development and I'm very grateful for the honor of being featured here for my work. 

Fall Color 2014 Assignment Winner Valerie Millett

Outdoor Photographer Magazine 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

"I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love." 

Charles Bukowski

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

An International Affair

Interviewed by the UK magazine: On Landscape 

"There can be many reasons why we first pick up a camera, but sooner or later it takes us on a journey. A relatively recent traveller is North American landscape photographer Valerie Millett. You should not delude yourself over her apparent speed of travel, however effective her use of social media. Behind the development in her image making lies a firm determination to better herself, and a considerable amount of hard work. She is now carefully forging a path of her own choosing, travelling at her own pace. You may have come across her blog which reveals that she is as comfortable with words as with images, however created. A mix of apt quotations and her own words tell of a developing dialogue with land and light and reveal something of the soul of this particular photographer."

Doesn't require a paid subscription, just registering to view entire article. Take a look and if you need to register to access 'Free with Sub' content this link will be helpful

However the features and images always appear at their best in the PDF which subscribers can download (soon).

This Art

“In your light I learn how to love. 
In your beauty, how to make poems. 
You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, 
but sometimes I do, 
and that sight becomes this art.” 

― Rumi

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Photographer Of The Month

I share the calendar spot-light with some of my absolute favorite photographers! 
Thank you, Aperture Academy for a thought-provoking interview and a fine platform. 
To see my name up there with the likes of  Art Wolfe, Guy Tal, David Cobb and Paul Marcellini and Stephen Oachs to name a few is just surreal. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

White Sands, New Mexico

Poetic, Delicate, Feminine and Graceful. 
I'll be back for the monsoon season. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence." 
— Henry David Thoreau

One of the most exquisite of scenes I think I've ever viewed. The perfect time of day and light created this breathtaking back-lit scene that gives way to feeling lost and small in something of a displaced  Japanese garden perhaps.  Just somewhere else bright, exotic and surreal.  Beautiful reflective canyon light bouncing off 3 canyon walls at once.  Soft and warm as the tree mimics the canyon curves perfectly. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Published: Arizona Highways Magazine

December 2014 Issue

Something wonderful this way comes…

In a letter that reads, Dear Contributor, my mind and heart fills with so so many emotions as I'm officially published in Arizona Highways Magazine for the first time. 

Monday, November 10, 2014


“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” 
― Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

“There comes a time in your life, 
when you walk away from all the drama 
and people who create it. 
You surround yourself with people who make you laugh.
 Forget the bad, and focus on the good.
 Love the people who treat you right, 
pray for the ones who don't.
 Life is too short to be anything but happy.
 Falling down is a part of life,
 getting back up is living.”  J.Harris

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

West Fork Deeply

I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” 

― William Shakespeare

Returning to the West Fork trail after the Slide Fire.
My first hike back into the Enchanted Forest since the fire. To be honest, the damage was more than I'd expected and as I hiked through my beloved trail and surveyed my old friend, I felt I was blaming myself, my kind.

The fire damage is quite evident and although the colors were beautiful and for the most part this area of the forest was not totally destroyed, I couldn't help but feel a bit of the loss. The creek is changed, the flow, the crossings, the color and sounds. The low water level has completely changed the cove. The images I've taken over the years here are of scenes that no longer exists.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hiking The Upper Blue Hills

“When I think of the wisest people I know, they share one defining trait: curiosity. They turn away from the minutiae of their lives-and focus on the world around them. They are motivated by the desire to explore the unfamiliar. They are drawn toward what they don't understand.” 
― Dani Shapiro

“Hope is a waking dream.” 
― Aristotle

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Love the world and yourself in it, 
move through it as though it offers no resistance,
 as though the world is your natural element." 
— Audrey Niffenegger

Upper Calf Creek Falls, Utah

Saturday, October 11, 2014

“She called herself an angel, 
and wandered the world from girlhood till death. 
She lived every kind of life and dreamt every kind of dream. 
She was wild in her wandering, a drop of free water. She believed only in her life, and only in her dreams. She called herself an angel, and her god was Beauty.” 

― Roman Payne

Monday, October 06, 2014


"It’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it might come to pass." 
Jim Carrey

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they're falling like
they're falling in love with the ground.” 
― Andrea Gibson

Sunday, October 05, 2014


The Grand Canyon

“Beautiful doesn't begin to describe it. A flower is beautiful. But this is beautiful the way that a person is beautiful- terrifying with its jagged edges, yet seductive with its crevices that hide so many secrets.” 

― Jeri Smith-Ready

Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom 5.6 and Photoshop 
Sharpening was applied with High Pass and Overlay filters.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"She gets goosebumps from tiny, perfect things.  Seeing the stars.  Fruit trees in bloom.  The scent of dinner from a neighbors house, a phone call at the right time, a bar of exotic chocolate.  She keeps a list in her wallet of the gorgeous parts of the everyday:  maple leaves, new perfume, slow-cooked
tomato sauce. 
 She adds to it all the time. 
 She is rich with wonder.
She lies awake and listens to what her heart has to say, 
hears it declare that this is the beginning of her own new year."
Excerpt from "I am her" 

Colorado Color

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"Everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart, 
and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart."
Jim Carrey


Monday, September 01, 2014


“Your heart influences your art.” 
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

Two years ago last May, I had purchased my first full-frame sensor camera, a used Canon 5D Mark II.  A few months after that I bought my first Canon L series lens, a 24-105mm. It's the only lens I own that I bought new.  I still use the same gear today.  I was so excited about the camera but it took a awhile to collect the cash. In the meantime, I'd read the entire David Busch manual on the camera before I ever even touched it. 

Monday, August 25, 2014


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 
― Maya Angelou

The Blue Lakes Trail, Colorado

For almost a year I prepared for a hike and to photograph at a location I'd seen in a magazine awhile back.  I purposely wanted to do the hike during the monsoon to insure some dramatic skies or at least hope for them.   The surgeon I work for had also planned in advance an extreme backpacking trip out of the county so I had enough time to reserve a cabin in the area for several days in case I needed the extra time.  During the months that lead up to the hike I had plenty of time to study about the trek, terrain, wildlife and angles to consider with the photography.  Probably the most prepared I've ever been for a hiking/photography endeavor or so I thought. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Field Of Dreams

“Every day brings us a chance to start over. We all have those stand down moments when we need to clear the way for truth and transformation. Sometimes those are painful moments. Though it’s hard to imagine, when you lose what you thought was a valued relationship, when the job that defined you for twenty years is gone, when the people you counted on turn their backs on you; you may actually be taking a step forward on the path to your truest desires and ultimately to your destiny. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Come over the hills and far with me
And be my love in the rain." 
— Robert Frost

There is a certain melancholic sleepiness I'm drawn to within the scenes of the American countryside. Laced eloquently with small man-made structures amid rolling green pastures , majestic mountain ranges dwarfed by the brooding heavens. Where the frailties of man mingle with the exquisite beauty of nature.

Robert Frost's "Road less traveled" seen in the foreground

Friday, August 15, 2014

“Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost.” 
― Erol Ozan

The Scenic Roads
Indian Route 60, Arizona 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Life's A Journal

 Amidst the sterility of the surgical environment, the antiseptic trays, cold mayo stand set ups and the endless gloving and de-gloving sometimes the human element is over-shadowed by volume and simply referred to as a case. 
In my particular niche of surgery (I work as a surgical technician)  the case if often referred to as a body part.  The nose in 5, or the eyelid in 6.  I drive in dark morning hours, greeted by security in a high-rise setting deep in the city. Many times while setting up a case I have stared out the window to view the downtown city lights twinkling as the concrete jungle prepares for a new day. I think of where I want to explore next and how I'd rather have my tripod in my hand and my hiking shoes on.  I count myself as very fortunate to have been gainfully employed in a medical specially that funds my gear, explorations and gives me the room and time to roam the American Southwest. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Fields of Gold

"You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold

So she took her love for to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold"


Wednesday, August 06, 2014


I had a couple of hours to come up with a bio and photo of myself for a photography project I was working on.  To be truthful, I knew I had to do it but procrastinated hugely.   I was actually on my way out to hike with my dog and had to turn around when I got a email  to "get it done" today.

Even though at one point in my years as a California beach girl, I did print work. I was never prepared for the industry.  I'd been "scouted" one day at a gym and didn't give it much thought.  A "particular" shot went viral on AOL and driving one day in my car, I actually heard the local DJ's talking about my photo, I became suspiciously fearful of attention.

 I loved the photography but after a while, the act of having the camera pointed at me created a full-blown phobia. I have no idea why, I just know the anxiety it produced. If you want to get rid of me, you'll never have to insult me, just aim a camera at me and  I'm gone.

  How do you explain such a fear.  At a breakfast meeting with a group of photographers, one literally sat across the table and aimed his camera at me while I tried to eat.  I left.  I now found myself avoid meetings, meet-ups, anything like that, and yes, I know it's my loss.  I'm trying to work through it. 

After delving into a crash course in self-portraiture this weekend, I realized the whole time, my heart was pounding!  I'd get the camera in focus and my face wouldn't be. I'd get my face in focus and my tripod wouldn't be. I had  a tough time with focus and this is what I got!! . I know I had this naive notion that as my photography was getting more and more exposure, I could still live in an anonymous role as just the person behind the camera or  behind the pen. My theories were starting to break apart, into reality. Especially with the advent of social media, obscurity is an obscure notion.  Recognition happens, albeit uncomfortably. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Before All Else: Love

" But before all else, a work of art is the creation of love. Love for the subject first and for the medium second.... Love is the general criterion by which the rare photograph is judged. It must contain it to be not less than the best of which the photographer is capable" 
Eliot Porter 

If there is ever a place that fully delights all my sensibilities, the hiker, the painter and the photographer and more, it is
 The Painted Desert.

It conjures up memories of those narrated Walt Disney nature movies, that little rock collection my mother bought for me at the Grand Canyon which held a little vial of layered and colored sand. It delights every bit of the artist within when I see pastel layers now brought into full chromic saturation by the summer rain. The colors seem to run as they do on a sheet of pre-moistened warm Arches, down slopes, into crevices creating patterns and mingling with the next hue in fine outstretched fingers. Sweeping lines and soft muted domes like a field of sweet ice-cream cones rolling on forever. In my compositional thought processes I make no distinction between photos or paintings, paint or pixels. 

It's all art to me. 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Around me were the echoing dunes, 
beyond me and through me
This is where I feel you close
where I remember you most
The cold and ever moving creek nestled in 
among the supai sandstone in muted echoes 
We two will pass through death as ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me

Friday, August 01, 2014


It all started with a co-worker's sick dog. We'd chat in wee dark morning hours over a cup of coffee before surgery about the prognosis and progress of her long time best friend who eventually passed. Then we'd avoid such tender conversations before long days and sterile environments but it lingered and drifted into my own world and thoughts of my own best friend. 

Around that time, I started to feel bad for my pal who often spent most of her days without any company and had come to rely of me to make the most of what hours of day were left by the time I got home.  Many times, I walked past her,  putting myself first. I would change and head to the gym or jump on the computer but then all that changed. 

I came home one day and we just stared at each other.  I couldn't pretend to not understand.  I couldn't put myself first anymore. Where was I going anyway?  I'd come home in a hurry, rush here, rush there. I had important emails to write and people to contact and get back with.  An interview to complete and people to meet and calls to make. Then one day, I just didn't care anymore. One day, I cared more about a sad dog, grabbed a leash and headed to the park.