The Mill at Vicksburg Hires Full-time Content Creator
Join us in welcoming Taylor Kallio to the team as our full-time content creator! Taylor originally began his journey with The Mill as a contractor back in 2016 demonstrating his skills and expertise in photography and videography. We are thrilled to officially bring him on board as he continues to share his creativity and talents capturing all the exciting happenings at The Mill.
We sat down with Taylor to get his thoughts on the massive restoration project that is The Mill at Vicksburg and what it has been like to witness its growth from the very beginning.
How long have you lived in the Vicksburg area?
I grew up in Portage and just recently moved to Vicksburg not too far from The Mill!
What’s your educational background?
I graduated from Portage Central High School in 2009 and then went on to graduate from Western Michigan University with a marketing degree.
Tell us about your experience with photography/videography?
I was fascinated with the notion of aerial photography when it first became more readily available to consumers around 2015 and had the big idea to start my own business. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to photography than I had imagined. From there I learned how to shoot in full manual in-ground/air camera systems. YouTube University was my best friend during this time, as well as a lot of trial and error. Now, we’re currently using multiple Blackmagic design cinema cameras and plenty of lights—and much more planning goes into our shoots.
When did you know you wanted to be a photographer/videographer? How did you feel?
Right out of college! I wanted to partner with fun brands that represent the same creative lifestyle I do, through a lens.
What was your first impression of The Mill upon hearing about it?
I wanted to learn more and be a part of the project as soon as I heard about it. Meeting Jackie on-site initially and having such a big place to fly the drone around was a dream come true.
When did you know this was a project you wanted to be a part of?
When I saw the building for the first time, I felt like I was already able to see what this place could be. Thankfully, Jackie chose me for the gig.
When did you start working on this project?
My first visit to The Mill was on December 16, 2016. Jackie had me come out to do some quick monthly aerial inspections and create short videos. See them on YouTube.
What has been your favorite memory about working with The Mill so far?
Working with everyone on the team has always been a very positive experience; everyone seems like family already. I would say my favorite memory has to be filming with the Moondoggies & Kevin Large. That week was crazy! We transformed a space in just 10 days and held a concert with over 200 people to kick off The Mill Music Residency Program. I did everything from painting, to demolition, to camera work that week.
What is your favorite video/photo you’ve shot of The Mill to date? Of any project?
That is a hard one, but I think I will have to choose a sunset shot of Downtown Vicksburg with The Mill in the background. It was a magical evening that seemed to work out just right with angles and the sun.
What are you most excited about coming into this new role and why?
I’m excited to be able to devote more of my time to the many facets of this project. It is so important, not only to the area but to the state, and it’s exciting to be a part of something this big. I’m ready to create more music content with future musicians that come to The Mill!
Do you have passions or passion projects outside of The Mill?
I love golfing, snowboarding, skateboarding and biking. I also have a few short films that will be coming out soon that I have been able to work on with friends recently.
What is your favorite piece of equipment to use when shooting? Why?
My Blackmagic camera is my favorite and is currently worth more than my car! It’s fun to say. I always have fun with creative lighting on projects, and I love my wireless fog machine.
What’s is your favorite type of video to shoot?
Commercial video is probably the most fun style to shoot because you can do creative things in the studio, on-site or really wherever. I also love to do documentary-style videos. Telling well-developed, cohesive stories will never go out of style.
What’s your favorite area inside The Mill?
The entire building is incredible, but I really love building B on the top floor of the west wing. The sawtooth windows allow for a lot of natural light. From that spot, you can see some of the more important historical building features. The roof is incredible, and the cathedral shows some interesting brick features.
What’s your favorite Old Stove beer?
It’s been a summer of juicy IPAs for me. The Twists & Turns Juicy IPA has been my favorite so far. It’s a refreshing easy-drinking summer IPA.
Looking 5 years ahead to when The Mill opens, how do you think you will feel having been a part of this project and documenting it?
It’s been a dream come true up to this point. I’m already pinching myself about the fact that I have been afforded the possibility to be a part of this project and I can’t imagine the content we will be able to produce in three years, let alone five!
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When Taylor Kallio first stepped foot on The Mill campus in December of 2016, he could already see the potential of what this massive campus could become. An experienced aerial photographer and videographer, Kallio quickly became part of The Mill family and has since devoted much of his time to bringing The Mill’s story to life through images and film.
Kallio originally began working as a contractor for The Mill where he demonstrated his skills with aerial inspections and short videos. An early fascination with aerial photography and cinematography techniques led Kallio to teach himself many skills. His training, coupled with lots of trial and error, provided the momentum to open his own business, Kalamazoo Aerial Media—later changing the name to Alterra Media. His eye for detail and breathtaking birds-eye perspectives filled this massive revitalization project with a newfound vitality. He has since filmed construction updates, produced documentaries, captured many concerts and events, and so much more.
In September of 2021, Kallio joined the team full-time. “I’m excited for the opportunity to devote more of my time to this project. It has so many facets, that getting to bring more attention to it will be such a benefit,” Kallio said. “This project is so important, not only to the surrounding area, but to the state as well, and it’s thrilling to be a part of something this big.”
Kallio graduated from Western Michigan University in 2015 with a degree in Electronic Business Marketing. Outside of his work with The Mill, he shoots short films and is an avid outdoor enthusiast who makes time to enjoy his passions for golf, biking, and snowboarding.