Dairy Diary

An ongoing series of portraits 2002-present

Jason N. Miller

Artist Statement

Dairy Diary is an ongoing photography series wherein I insert myself into various grocery store dairy coolers and display cases where products are housed for domestic human consumption. I photograph human subjects unaware, then approach and fill them in on my project and its goals. Ultimately, Dairy Diary is a series about a universal facet of our existence. It is a unifier that connects us all through the universal platform of a condition that on an individual basis, nevertheless, together we share. Regardless, of ethnicity or economic means, we all have to eat, and to eat we must obtain food.

Dairy Diary contains an inherent humor merged with the sincerity and sometimes-downtrodden essence of life. Often, in Dairy Diary, the human subject is dwarfed and isolated by the products, which he or she reaches for on the shelves. To me this references the metaphorical question, which asks if we, ourselves, are not becoming more and more the products.


Dairy Diary began as a C-41 film project photographed using a Contax SLR and Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm 1.4 lens. The lens carried over onto digital SLR bodies as the series progressed, thus making the entire series photographed through the same elements of glass, though imprinted using evolving technology onto swiftly developing mediums.

The early prints were made by Jason Miller in a CMYK color print lab at The University of Memphis. Light passed through the enlarger, through the negative, and  onto Fuji resin coated 11x14 inch paper. Those early prints were first exhibited in 2004 in Gallery 209 in the Communications and Fine Art Building at The University of Memphis. Now, all prints are made in the studio of the artist.


Artist & Photographer, Jason N. Miller

Special thanks to: Cedar Nordbye and his son, Elisha Gold, Elizabeth Edwards, Jada Thompson,  Justin Coulson, Karen Romine, Mari Trevelyan, Mary K VanGieson, Nan Cook, Susan Hugel, Trevious Mason, Wayne Simpkins, and all others who made this project possible.

Thanks to the folowing publishers: Art Photo Index, Billboard Art Project, Oxford American, Photo + Magazine.