Doug Miller Honored For His Photography Of Laguna People And Community


Co-founder/Director THE MY HERO Project

[email protected]



LAGUNA BEACH, CA - 1/03/15 - Since 2013, Southern California photographer Doug Miller has been creating a digital archive of his historical Laguna Beach photos, which were taken from 1971 to the present.  This effort to digitize Doug Miller's 350,000 photos was launched with support from The Laguna Beach Community Foundation and The MY HERO Project.  

Photographer Doug Miller discusses his work with Laguna Beach residents
Photographer Doug Miller discusses his work with Laguna Beach residents
MY HERO Director and Co-founder Jeanne Meyers, a friend of Miller’s, was aware of his collection and wanted to help preserve the photographs as a service to the local community.  Miller has been honored by the MY HERO Project for his heroic career as an artist, musician and a Renaissance man.  His photos have been displayed over the years at the annual Laguna Hero Festival and Miller has helped the MYHERO Media Arts team create video tributes to local heroes including James Dilley and other environmental activists and artists.

The MY HERO Project received grants from the Laguna Beach Community Foundation and the Massen Greene Foundation to support MY HERO's media arts education projects and the Laguna Hero Festival.  Meyers allocated some of these funds to purchase a digital scanner and a hard drive for Miller to help with the archiving process.   MY HERO Media Arts Educator, Anabelle Vo provided mentoring to help Miller save his images for posterity.  Over the last year and a half, Miller has categorized and uploaded approximately 10,000 of the 350,000 photos. 

Miller’s photos chronicle the early days of the Sawdust Festival, the forming of the Greenbelt Coaltions, and portraits of locals in the Laguna Beach area.  Miller, along with friends, family and local artists, have been sharing this treasure of local history with the local community via Facebook and other social media outlets.  
Miller and Laguna native Mimi Turnbull Black
Miller and Laguna native Mimi Turnbull Black
Laguna native Jason Blalock, a Northern California cinematographer, contacted Miller and spent five days with the artist in the beach community.  The result of their time together is the beautiful short film, "Sawdust and Sand: The Photographs of Doug Miller".
In the film, Blalock uses Miller's photographs to depict the changing character of the beach town since the early 1970s.  Interviews with supporters of Miller’s work attest to the importance of his contributions to the community in showing its evolution from an artsy/hippie community to an upscale coastal city.  
The Laguna Art Museum held a preview screening of "Sawdust and Sand" on December 18, 2014.  
"Sawdust and Sand" was inspired by this documentation of the years and years of Doug Miller's recording of the individuals and families who form the fabric of Laguna Beach,” said Laguna resident Mimi Turnbull Black.  “Some of our favorite photographs that we have of our family were taken by Doug.  He's not just documented my life and family but everyone's." 
After the screening, Doug regaled the audience with his jokes and stories, just as he would on the streets of Laguna.  The MY HERO Project is grateful to Doug and Becky Miller for contributing their time and talents to the MY HERO Project since the organization's inception.
An eager crowd awaits the screening of
An eager crowd awaits the screening of "Sawdust and Sand"
The Laguna Beach community is delighted to have Doug Miller as its unofficial historian through his photography and art.  For more information about his work, visit MY HERO's Doug Miller page.  Be sure to check out some of the illustrated stories he has created for The MY HERO Project.
A poem from Virginia Mason
Doug Miller posted photos
on Facebook
my three girls
boyfriend, David
could not help but smile
through my tears
what a time in my life
many years ago
I am still enriched
reliving as though
stop gapped photography
reopened what is in
my memory file
another new year
to make memorable
thank you, Doug
beautiful children
beautiful boyfriend
beautiful life

Page created on 1/5/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 7/10/2017 4:40:59 PM