Olan Mills, Sr. and his wife, Mary, founded Olan Mills with little more than a woodshed darkroom in 1932. It was their vision, passion and determination to make studio-quality portraits accessible and affordable to every family that led Olan Mills to become the worldwide leader in portrait photography.
In the early years, Olan Mills was the photographer and his wife Mary did artwork on the finished prints. In 1935, Olan Mills Studios introduced the product that became the instantly recognizable style of portraits: the black and white bust-vignette with airbrushed background. Each print was hand-signed with the logo that is not too different from that which is used today.
Over the past seven decades, Olan Mills has evolved into an industry leader, with hundreds of professional portrait studios located throughout the U.S.