Aaron Millar grew up in his own little piece of paradise. Raised on a 10-acre hobby farm in Columbia Valley, Aaron enjoyed a life close to nature. As a young boy, he delighted in acres of open space with its visual delights and beautiful blue skies. In the summer, the air was fresh and sweet while birds sang, the bees hummed and insects crawled lazily along. The forest at the rear of the family property was an endless source of discovery and pleasure both in summer and winter. This unspoiled, natural environment was pure magic and Aaron recalls the time that he spent there with great fondness.
While there was plenty of time to enjoy this haven of beautiful landscapes and friendly farm animals, Aaron was quite familiar with the meaning of hard work. “We had horses, chickens, sheep, goats and cows, when I was younger, so there was always someone who needed to be fed,” he said. The family also had countless, beloved pussy cats which is still the case today. Then there was the usual menagerie of wild animals that often stopped by for a visit or just to grab a bit of food. There was the raccoon that walked into the house, the possums that made their home in the barn, one of which he cradled, the endless tom cats that had nowhere else to go, the stray dogs, the squirrels, birds and sometimes wandering horses. Aaron, and his younger sister Christine, spent many a day on horseback which was a collective familial passion. They also enjoyed camping throughout British Columbia; a natural fit given their love of the outdoors.
On the Millar farm, there was always something to be done. After the animals were fed, there were other chores. After all, there was plenty of grass to be mowed, firewood to be cut and stacked and a whole host of other duties that come with living in a rural setting. Ever the enterprising family, they established Aaron Millar a market garden. “We developed the garden around the time that eco-tourism began to take off. Basically, we grew the vegetables and customers would come to the farm and pick whatever they wanted. We did this for six years and the kids were still quite little but they helped out a lot. Aaron would weed the garden and at times when we had a whole lot of customers on the property, if I was busy with a customer, he would help the other customers,” said his mother, Louise.
A bright student, Aaron naturally excelled in school. He loved to read, especially sci-fi and fantasy books. He was always kind and caring and to this day, those that know him best admit that he is an extremely considerate, thoughtful and helpful young man.
While in high school, Aaron had a keen interest in animation but that interest soon shifted to drafting. At around this same time, he also began to develop an interest in photography, something that has become his passion.
He enrolled in UCFV’s Civil and Architectural Drafting & Design program and upon receiving his certificate, began working for Craven, Huston, Powers, a multi-disciplinary practice offering a wide range of services in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and project management. “The firm is experienced in the design and construction of residential, institutional and landscape architectural projects. I work on drafting designs and I also do site inspections. Basically, I have to make sure that the client is conforming to design; I check for any deficiencies and ensure that there are no building code violations. I need to get a sense on the progress of the project and I’ll meet with the trades. As part of the visual inspections, I take a lot of pictures. These certainly help with the report that I put together and then pass on to the architects for review. A copy of the report is also sent to the client, the contractor and the city,” he methodically explained.
He dedicates most of his spare time to photography. “I recently took a workshop that was given by Graham Osborne and it was fantastic. I mainly do digital photography although I do have film cameras. What I’d like is my own dark room,” he admitted with a chuckle. He went on to explain the dynamics of developing pictures which I found quite interesting, having done some work in a dark room myself. ”My only challenge is to avoid buying so many gadgets for the cameras,” he added with a hearty laugh.
Aaron has taken literally thousands upon thousands of pictures, all of them focused on nature and landscape scenes. He enjoys hiking, a long distance if he has to, to capture the perfect shot and at times takes a risk or two, having gone so far as to slide onto a pile of logs over a lake. “I try and capture what I see and how I feel and sometimes it takes many, many tries to capture that feeling,” he said. Aside from his cameras, Aaron spends a lot of his time in front of a computer. AutoCAD (software application for computer-aided design) taught me to hate the computer. I do like using it when pictures are involved though,” he laughed.