Thursday, September 05, 2013

Being the Boss

I really enjoy being the boss. It is a lot of work, although I can see that it would be a lot less work if I knew what I was doing and I know a lot more than I thought I did. It is fantastic and very difficult. Some things are just very time consuming. For example the thumbnails from one photographer shooting for one day, take an hour to upload. Thumbnails! 600x900 pixel photos! It is just so time consuming. So for my first school, I have about 5.5 hours of uploading, but there must have been triple that preparing the photos to be uploaded. I'm really learning a lot about the behind the scenes data manipulation stuff. I count my lucky stars that I have such a good database design background because I at least can comprehend what is happening with the computer stuff even if I haven't actually learned how to do it yet. Next year things will progress much more quickly. -Gary

Friday, August 30, 2013

I have a custom database that I use to upload photos to my website. I have around 700 photos to upload, for around 350 people and all the photos are passworded. I was at work until midnight trying to figure out why it wouldn't work. This morning I came in to work at 8:00am and in a fit of passive aggressive rage I decided that I would click enter to make a selection stick rather than double clicking or tabbing or just highlighting the selection and it worked, sort of. I've moved to the next error now. The database is looking for the photos on my local machine rather than on the network drive. I can't see where I've selected the local hard drive, and it appears that I've selected the network drive, so I guess it might be another 8 hours of head pounding desk, which doesn't leave me any time for taking a rent cheque to the landlord or opening a fricking bank account or writing pay cheques. When the database works it is a beautiful thing, when it doesn't, only the author can make heads or tails of it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Ownership

I bought the studio where I work two weeks ago. I'm really excited for this new adventure. I'm up to my neck preparing for the school season. September is booked every single day with another school. October is filling up, we have a lot of daycares and a couple of French immersion schools, as well as a few more English schools. I have two employees, four returning employees and I have to hire 2 more to be assistants. -Gary

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm waiting for the new star trek movie to start. Melanie brought me for my birthday even though she doesn't really like the star trek series. She always makes me feel great on my birthday. Thanks Melanie.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We had our Halloween potluck at work for lunch today. Mel brought Josh and Nat to join us and they were wearing their costumes.

I'm pretty excited to take Nat trick or treating tonight.


Thursday, October 11, 2012


We went to Lethbridge to have Thanksgiving at Jeff's House for the third year in a row and did another family photo. I think that this series of photos was the nicest yet.

I really enjoy having Thanksgiving at Jeff's house, although it generally means that we don't get to visit much or stay for very long. The food is really great and I absolutely love doing the family photo.


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Medicine Hat Family Photographer

I am officially open for business.  Check out to see a sample of my portfolio and price list.

I would like to make you a piece of art that will show the love you have for you family. I want to make a portrait that will hang on your wall to be seen by your family and friends for years to come.

Growing up, my family did self portraits using the camera my Dad bought during university in the late 60′s.  I’ll never forget the buzz of the timer as my Dad ran back to the family to be in the picture.  Over the years my Mother had several large prints made for our walls and the oldest has been hanging for close to 30 years!

I have been a supporting my family as a photographer since 1999, first as a photojournalist, then for the last six years as a portrait photographer and stock photographer.  I have sold close to 13,500 images for use commercially and editorially.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Josh is born!

Really great news everyone, Melanie and I had a baby on the morning of May 30th. He was 8 pounds 12 ounces.
Everything turned out fantastically and we are both very pleased.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Natalie got into the costume box and decided she wanted to wear this costume. She's been really fun the last few months.

She climbs everything, if there's something that she can't climb. When she can't climb something she pushes one of the chairs over.

Natalie loves dogs. When we're walking down the street and she sees a dog, she barks at them and she won't take her eyes off it until it goes around the corner. She even loves watching Youtube videos of dogs.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Self Portrait

Natalie loves the new water park by our house. She also loves to go to the swimming pool and going for walks. We went for a bonfire at Kin Coulee and her cousins had a little lawn chair that just made her day. She sat in it, got up, and sat down again, over and over for most of the night. It was really cute. Natalie also loves to go to her Grandma Jane's house for a visit. She's been walking Like a Boss for the last couple of weeks and has a bunch of teeth coming in. Her helmet is working really well to make her head more round yet spherical in parts.

Here she is taking a self portrait of the two of us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren)

I just finished watching a movie called The Troll Hunter. I give it two thumbs up. It is a documentary about the Government of Norway's attempt to cover up their troll problem.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting Older

There's a sweet spot for playing basketball, where your mind and your body operate at the same speed. In high school, your body works faster than your mind. Most people just can't think fast enough to keep up with themselves. A few years later, and with experience, you start to think a little faster and your body is a little slower and you are in what I call the sweet spot for playing basketball. Your a little stronger and a little smarter and can really play. Then a few years later and a few pounds heavier your mind can think faster than your body can move. You know what you want to do and know when it should be done, but you just can't do it anymore. So you find a game with a few other people your own age and speed and start playing with them. It's fun, every once in a while you make a good play, hit a good shot and head home for the night.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas Letter 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

2010 has been a good year for us. 2009 ended with us getting married on November 7th. We went on our Honeymoon to San Diego. While there, we went to the zoo, the marina, the beach where we tried body boarding and surfing (which is a lot harder than it looks). We went to the temple, to a farmer’s market, little Italy, Disneyland, and to Tijuana. It was very enjoyable.

We decided to have a baby and in early January found out that we were going to have one in September. Later in January, Mel’s job with Dr. King ended, she temped for a week in Calgary then started her job at Redcliff Family Dental Centre working in general dentistry instead of orthodontics, which she had previously been doing.

In March, we had a mini wedding reception for Melanie’s Calgary friends. It was a very nice evening. We splurged when we were in Calgary and got a room with a king size bed and have been wanting one ever since. That month, we also decided that it would be a good idea to buy a house and started looking for our new home. We gave our baby the code name Snuffaluffagus, Snuffie for short. Gary thought the baby was going to be a girl and Melanie thought the baby was a boy. Gary was right. Snuffie was going to be a girl.

In April, we decided to go to the Regina Temple, as neither one of us had really been to Saskabush before. We enjoyed going to the Temple, walking around part of Regina near the legislative assembly building and taking some pictures, and eating some yummy ice cream. On the way home, we stopped in Moose Jaw to take pictures with the moose. We also toured around the city a little bit. We were going to go into Al Capone’s tunnels but it was sold out and a little expensive especially since we didn’t really know what was down there. We saw the Moose Jaw’s wedding cake houses and had a nice visit with the town drunk. In March and April, we looked at a few houses and finally found our house and our offer was accepted. It was in our price range, fairly new (2004), the landscaping was complete and the basement was finished. Two bedrooms up and two down and a nice size yard seemed like the perfect size for us and our growing family.

In May, we moved into the new house and had lots of help, which was very nice. We really needed it.

In June, Gary played in the Ultimate Frisbee league. We also started prenatal classes to prepare for the arrival of Snuffie. Melanie’s sister, Janice, loaned us a pair of baby name books with 49900 made up names and 100 real names to help us name the baby. We made a short list of about 30. The next day we settle on a pair of names and didn’t revisit the subject. Over the summer we really grew to love the names we chose.

In July, we went to the Canada Celebration in Kin Coulee to see the sights and
enjoy the festive community atmosphere. That evening we attended the
fireworks for the second year in a row. Mel went to the VanOrman family
reunion in July and had a nice visit with her family.

In August, we went to the Melanie’s
family reunion in Writing on Stone.
It took us a little longer to get there
as we decided to enjoy the scenic route
of getting to Writing on Stone and visit with each other a bit more (we missed our turnoff). Gary thinks that someone in Foremost should put up an arrow shaped sign with the acronym W.O.S. on it and point it in the direction of writing on stone. We had such a good time visiting, playing in the hoodoos, and floating in the river. Melanie was able to float down the river with her big belly but needed help getting off the air mattress at the end. When the weekend ended, we finished the party at Mel’s parents house and played hide and go seek, which Mel says is quite the experience, with a pregnant belly. I think Jordie out ran Mel. ha ha ha. Mel was able to spend some time with her niece Twyla and sister Leanne. We also spent a day golfing with Leanne, Kurtis, and Mel’s dad. We should of guessed it was going to be a slow golfing day when the first person in the group ahead of us accidentally threw their club into the top of a tree and lost it up there. It was pretty funny to watch it happen, but boy did we wish we were ahead of them. The next week we went to another reunion in Calgary put on by Rob and Janice who both did a spectacular job.The last weekend of August Mel had her 20th high school reunion during cornfest days. She enjoyed the get together even though few of her classmates showed up. She also did enjoy spending time with Carol’s and Gord’s children at cornfest days. Mel also started her Maternity Leave mid August, which allowed her to enjoy the rest of the summer without having to work.

In September, the baby came. September 9th at 7:06pm weighing 8lbs and 8 oz. our baby girl was born. We named her Natalie Jane. We chose Jane for her middle name so she would be named after Gary’s mom and Mel’s aunt. There were mild complications and so she stayed in the NICU for 3 days and then we came home. Mel`s parents came to help during the first week which was a real blessing.

In October, aunt Karen and Jenny Fleming hosted a baby shower for Mel and Nat. We went Halloween trick or treating in Dunmore with Carol, Kenzie, Jordie, and Jaron. It has been one of Mel’s favorite Halloweens. Mel and Nat went to Calgary for their second baby shower, this time with Calgary friends. Needless to say Natalie has lots of clothes that are very cute.

In November, we had Natalie’s baby blessing on our first anniversary and Mel’s mom’s birthday. Mel and Nat went on a scrapbooking retreat in Kelowna. It was Natalie’s first plane ride, which she slept through all but the last 10 minutes of it. For fun we went to an Adult learning Continuing education class to learn how to make crepes in Taber, we had a very enjoyable time. We had crepes with asparagus and ham, chicken and mushrooms, and dessert crepes with lemon and sugar, nutella and bananas, apples and brie cheese, and apricot jam. It was all yummy.

We have enjoyed a lot of our Sundays with Gord, Carol and their family throughout the year. We have enjoyed the meals, the games, and the friendships. We have also enjoyed going to the movies with Quinton, Braedon, Kenzie, and Jordie.

Natalie gets to spend lots of time with Gary’s parents although we’re sure that they would like to see her a little more than they do. We also try to make sure she gets to visit Mel’s parents even though it isn’t as often. As you can see, we are very blessed and have had a very good year.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Gary and Melanie

Monday, December 06, 2010

New Video of Natalie

I made a new video of Natalie for everyone to see. She is such a good baby, she sleeps most of the night and is very happy.

Natalie 3 Months from Gary Milner on Vimeo.


Monday, November 08, 2010

First Anniversary

We just celebrated our first anniversary. This is a slideshow that I made for our party in Calgary. I'm not sure if I showed it to anyone else.

Be prepared, the slides go by about twice as fast as they should, because I packed in too many for the length of the song.

The last year has been fantastic.


Friday, September 10, 2010

September 9th, The Best Day of My Life

Yesterday was the greatest day of my entire life. This is Natalie. In this picture she is 3 minutes old.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School

The summer went very well. It was relaxing, but as always it would be nice to have two more weeks of it.

We finished our first school of the season the other day. It went very well, it was probably the smoothest first two days of shooting in the 4 years that I've been doing school photography. It seems crazy that I am starting my 5th year here. It sort of boggles my mind. I'm really enjoying my work. I am very glad to be back in the schools photographing again.

Melanie is doing very well, and the baby is coming along just fine. It is hard to believe that she will be here is about two more weeks. The baby's room is ready. Melanie did a fantastic job decorating it. I have to say that she will have the nicest room in the whole house when she gets here. I'm so excited for her to be here. I've been waiting 10 years for this day to finally arrive and while I know that the last two weeks will go by extremely fast, I can't help feeling that time is going by very slowly.

As I wrote in my last post, my istock photos are doing very well. This year I'm averaging $540 a month on it, and the summer is traditionally the slowest part of the year so things will probably be getting better for the last few months of the year. By the end of September I will probably have eclipsed my total from last year. I didn't get as much shooting in as I would have liked to over the summer, but I'm sure that I'll figure something out this fall. I imagine that I will be taking lots of pictures of the new baby.


Monday, June 28, 2010

10000 Reasons to Kiss a Moose

Today I finally hit 10,000 downloads on I've been a member since March 2006 and let me tell you that 10,000 came a lot quicker than I would have guessed.

With those downloads comes my gold canister on istock which means that I will be getting a larger commission on my photo sales now and that I will be able to upload more photos at a time. Of the two, the money is the important one, I haven't been able to upload my limit since I hit silver and now there is practically no chance of doing it now that I'm a gold.

When I started uploading, the top levels seemed so far away, it didn't really seem possible that I could do it this quickly. Now it seems that I will make it to diamond in not much longer, with some work I'll be at the top level very quickly and with no more work, it is only a matter of time.

I'm still only making about a tenth of what I would like to be making, or maybe I should say a tenth of the amount I would feel comfortable quitting my day job with. I guess I should look at it from the perspective of that I'm making enough to take 2 months off next summer. Although I'll probably do neither of those two things even if I do make enough money to do that.

The reality of it is though, that a few times in the past, money I've made from istock has kept me out of trouble. When I got my appendix out, for example, I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent or eat because of the time I had to take off work. But with those handy istock payments coming in I was just fine. There have been other moments, but that was the biggest one for me.

I'm really happy with how it is working out so far.