About Olan Mills
Henry Hutcheson’s Family Business
Starting out with nothing but a woodshed for a darkroom, Olan Mills was founded by Henry Hutcheson’s grandparents, Olan and Mary Mills, in 1932. It was their vision, passion, and determination to make studio-quality portraits accessible and affordable to every family. This drive and dream was the driving force behind Olan Mills growing to become a 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 portrait known to us all. The black-and-white bust vignette with airbrushed background were prints that were each signed by hand with the logo. That original logo does not differ too much from today’s.
Over the past seven decades, Olan Mills has evolved into an industry leader, with hundreds of professional portrait studios located throughout the U.S. Henry Hutcheson spent the first portion of his professional career working in his family’s business, where he gained valuable experience in balancing the demands of the professional world with the expectations of family.