Taylor Sheridan‘s on-set photographer for his hit series “Yellowstone” was as green as a new ranch hand when he first hired him to shoot for his film “Wind River.” But, Emerson Miller has grown from an amateur photographer who took one photography class in college, to a star in his own right. He favors high-contrast shots and natural light, which brings the sets in breathtaking Montana to life.
In an interview for TV Insider, Miller recently recalled his first time on the “Yellowstone” set with Sheridan–who recently announced yet another new series–and what the prolific writer/director told him. “I had a friend who was good friends with Nicole Sheridan, Taylor’s wife,” Miller explained. He was working at a car wash in Los Angeles, after moving there from Brazil. Eventually, he went to UCLA for business. “[Nicole] told me, ‘You guys are going to be best friends. You have to do something together.’”
That connection landed Miller a photography job on the “Wind River” set. “It’s insane, because I came with so much innocence,” he shared. He only picked up a camera for the first time six years ago, but his shots are impeccable; he has an eye for light and detail that rivals photographers with decades of experience.
He went on to share his first-day experience on the “Yellowstone” set, and Taylor Sheridan’s sage advice. “My first day on set, I was like, ‘Taylor, how do I do this?’ And he just said, ‘Be yourself and don’t worry.’”
“Be yourself and don’t worry”; words of wisdom from our favorite writer and director. I don’t know about you, but that’s going to be my mantra from now on.
‘Yellowstone’ Set Photographer Shares Advice from Taylor Sheridan, Plus Details Family Dynamic With Actors
Emerson Miller also spoke about his choice to focus on natural light when composing photos. “I pay a lot of attention to natural light,” he said. “You’re capturing what nature is giving to you.” And nature gave us the wonders of Montana, so why shouldn’t they be captured on film? Speaking of, Beth Dutton star Kelly Reilly recently shared her own snaps of the beautiful landscape, as well.
In addition to the landscape, Miller also shoots photos for use in press coverage. He explained that he sometimes snaps photos when they’re moving the cameras around, and will have everyone stay still for a bit so he can get the shot. He feels that they do that because he has such a great working and personal relationship with the actors.
“Because we are all friends and we’re so comfortable with each other, I feel like it resonates in the photographs,” he explained. “They all have such a deeper connection, not only to my evolution as a photographer, but to these friendships. This is a family.” It’s good to know our assumptions about the “Yellowstone” cast were correct; they do care about each other.