Hi! My name is Megan and this is my FIRST. BLOG. EVER. So bear with me as I butcher proper spelling and misuse commas! This may not be a grammatically correct story, but, I like to think it is an interesting one! After all, it explains how I ended up here…typing.. this.. sentence. But really! I held my first DSLR in December of 2009! Here we are almost 10 years later! So what the heck has happened along the way?
Well, keep reading…
2009-I was 18 years old. I had fallin in love with photography and didn’t know it yet, but isn’t that how a lot of love stories begin 😉 I didn’t realize how much I loved photography at this age until years later when I would look back at my life so far. It was like an unfinished puzzle and I was finally putting the pieces together only to find a complete image of me. I recently looked back through an old high school yearbook only to stumble across messages such as, “you always had a camera” and “thanks to you we always had group pix!” Looking back, I was really just being ME. I had no intention of being a photographer or acting like one. I truly loved capturing moments.
2012-I was 21 years old. At this age I was just breaking out of my shell. I was learning how to network and create opportunities for myself. This was a time when the website (not an app) “Meet Up” was very popular for photographers to collaborate with other vendors such as hair, make-up artists and models. They would all come together for a themed shoot and develop their portfolios. It was awesome! I would attend the free meet ups or the low costing groups but let’s be honest, the really cool themed sets charged photographers due to location fees and also because some of the vendors such as the professional hair and makeup artists needed to be paid. I NEEDED to get in on some of these photoshoots. *Pause* (Some back story) After attending a few meetups I started to network with the other photographers. There was a time when one of the models did not show up but there were 5 photographers ready to shoot and despite being extremely shy and a little insecure I was convinced to “model”. I did it. I felt uncomfortable, the pictures exist somewhere, who knows! (Ok, fast forward). Anyways! In order to get into the high costing sets as a photographer I began to model for only a portion of the time in order to get in the door for FREE as a photographer! Long story short, create opportunities for yourself.
By doing this exact thing I gained SO MUCH!
I could write another paragraph OR I can list all of the awesome things I gained from this experience—>
- Stepped out of my comfort zone = always a win in order to grow as a person!
- Got to work one on one with photographers and observe how they work with models ALSO from a “model” perspective
- Got to develop a cool portfolio as a newbie
- Got to work with other vendors such as Hair/MUA
- Gained hands on experience how people feel when I have my camera in their face
- I can relate to the discomfort that may come from having your photo taken and the value of taking a break
- Learned about posing and how to better communicate with clients
- Met great photographers who each had unique qualities
- Due to networking I was able to book a few jobs as a second shooter for my FIRST 5 WEDDINGS.
That alone was worth it, I got my first taste of wedding photography and I became obsessed.
So! Modeling- not my thing. BUT I hustled my way into some pretty cool photoshoots with a lot of talented artists. I was the youngest photographer in the group and was privileged to have had the experiences.
2016-I was 25 years old. Graduated college with a Bachelors in Science. What about Photography? Well… This one might have earned it’s OWN blog post. But for the sake of not leaving this spot empty…
Between age 21 and 25, life happened. Did I still take pictures? Absolutely! But I spent a lot of time confused on what my future was going to look like and what career path I would take. I did not know what to do in order to have a stable income and create a life as a photographer. Because of that I never considered it something I could ever do full-time not because I didn’t want to but because I didn’t know it was an option. I only knew of people who did photography as a hobby or as a side gig so that is all I thought it ever could be. Depressing, right! Yes and no. At the end of the day I am an optimistic person and as cool as it would be to say I have been a successful photographer since I was 18 years old I would not have learned all of the amazing and valuable things I have learned by STRUGGLING, feeling confused, dreaming of my future, and to have been hustling to reach a goal that was constantly evolving.
I consider myself the ultimate multitasker and with that comes many interests. Over time I became fascinated with motor development and I found myself working in a physical therapy clinic (Another topic that has earned an entire blog! Hint* It’s where I met my hubs 😉 ). I went on to study Kinesiology at Cal State San Bernardino where I also decided to complete my teaching credential. For my first year of teaching I worked in a middle school teaching PE in addition to having the opportunity to teach an elective which SUPRISE just happened to be Photography!!!!! (*me realizing I have an endless supply of blog topics*). I currently work as an Elementary PE teacher helping students of various abilities gain motor development via physical activity AKA super fun games. Teaching has influenced me as a photographer in many ways. I am constantly adapting to new situations and personalities. My creativity has never been tested more than it has when working with a kindergarten class! And most of all, working with children has been a humbling experience, their imaginations are limitless and their little hearts are so pure. I leave each day inspired to invest more into my own dreams which includes helping young creatives reach theirs.
2018-I am 26 years old. As of this moment my dream is to build not only a successful photography business but an entire brand, nay, EMPIRE. I say this because my dream is constantly being added to! Yes. I consider myself a dreamer, but I’m also a doer. And I prefer to type it Do-er because “doer” looks SO weird. Anyways, back to my empire! The short version of this dream of mine consists of capturing amazing love stories all over the world and to help guide young creative dreamers to reach their goals as well. The name of my company is Four Percent Photography, but it is about way more than images and it is WAY more than just another company. Four Percent Photography IS a dream supporting, memory making, passion filled, creativity exploding EMPIRE and I am the passionate soul behind all of it.
2020- I am 28 years old. I’m sorry- what?! 28 years old?! oh my goodness. Here I am with a 6 month old baby in the middle of a pandemic trying to strengthen the foundation of my business to work SMARTER not harder. Why? Because that Mom life is taking over all the “spare time” I once had dedicated to emails, editing & client communication. So from this point out I am establishing systems to do the work for me and WOW what a relief that this is even an option.
I always saw motherhood in my future but I never saw my life without a career path. I am one of those “you can have your cake and eat it too” kind of people. I am blessed with a hard working husband who gave me the privilege to quit my teaching job to stay home with our babygirl AND work on my photography business. MOM first 100% but being able to fulfill my passion for photography, education, and supporting the creative youth truly adds so much joy to my life and helps me maintain my own identity. This is where I am at right now. Full time mama- wifey- wedding photography- I provide educational resources and portfolio building opportunities to photographers- I also have an established foundation that sponsors students by providing them with photography equipment and resources they need to be successful with photography as their career choice and greatest passion.
We’re in a weird time- It’s April 8th, 2020 and we have all been practicing “social distancing”, as well as being quarantined in our homes hoarding toilet paper and Clorox wipes. I pray every day for the families effected by this horrific virus, I pray to maintain the safety and health of my own little family and loved ones. I pray that we make it out of this season stronger as a community, as a nation, as humans in general. This time of fear has already shown how easy it is for people to disregard the safety or well being of others and it’s so sad. But it has also brought people to be closer than ever. It has encouraged EVERYONE to slow down- to literally STOP what they’re doing and be in this exact moment. For some- that’s terrifying, but for many it’s exactly what’s been needed but life has yet to allow them to take that time. ANYWAYS- I’m rambling, my baby is taking a nap so I have less than 43 minuets to get as many things on my todo list completed!
Closing thoughts- I love where I am at in life personally. I feel the strongest (mentally) than ever before. [ Literally a week ago I was a hot mess – but i’m good now hahhaa] I am assuming that comes with the age. ah 28.
It’s going to be okay, there is so much good to come.