This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting the talents, gifts and interest of Mills associates. We recognize that without the hard work and dedication of the many people who work with and for Mills Properties, we would not be where we are today. With that, we hope to extend our praise and thanks. And, we hope to help you get to know them a little bit better.
To lead, we recently interviewed Susan Bolhafner via email. Susan is the bookkeeper at Countryside Apartments in Spanish Lake, MO.
1. When did you first start doing photography?
I can remember enlarging and developing prints in our kitchen as an eight-year-old; I went to a commercial art high school in NYC, so photography and art have always been part of my life.
2. Who would you consider an influence to you?
My dad was a major influence – although he had the technical expertise but not quite the “eye.” Besides him, National Geographic and Vogue magazine were big influences, as well as motion pictures, especially black and white films.
3. What do you take pictures of and what/who inspires the things you take pictures of?
I take photos of everything. I’ve shot concrete plants, docks, soda cans, shoes, flowers, plants, people, animals, places. I’ve photographed fires and had the images published in the newspaper. My inspiration is a phrase that was sent to me via email: “Make the ordinary extraordinary.” Daily life is full of opportunities to observe and be inspired by and to share; one only needs to be ready for the opportunity.
4. What kind of photography do you look at and appreciate outside of your own work?
I’m a closet fashionista, so I look at a lot of fashion images; and travel images – there’s a challenge to make a place that’s been photographed a million times seem fresh and exciting.
5. Where would you most like to take pictures?
There’s no “one” place – every place and most things hold possibilities.
6. Where would you most like to see your pictures displayed – if you could choose any place?
I would like to see my images in offices – corporate lobbies, doctors’ offices.
7. If you could dabble in another genre of picture-taking, what would it be?
Science photography – photographing things through a microscope or in a medical setting.
8. Do you capture the stories that go along with the pictures you take or do you leave that to the people who look at them?
The stories and the emotions are for the viewer to discover.
9. For fun: Coffee or tea in the morning?
Coffee, light no sugar. Decaf only after noon.
10. Shout out for Mills Properties – What interests you most about the work that you do?
It’s amazing to work with a company that’s as forward-thinking and vibrant as Mills Properties, and to be part of an organization that’s focused on creating opportunities to be problem-solvers
11. Where can we found out more about your work?