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Meet Burbank Photographer: Meg McMahon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meg McMahon.

Meg, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been passionate about Fine Art since childhood. Museum trips were always top on my list when planning family vacations. I was originally inspired by my grandfather’s photos and slides but didn’t begin really experimenting with film until my teens. In my 20s, I decided to take things a step further and began my education at Brooks. After 3 years of intense study and practice, I moved into the world of freelance photography and video production. Taking inspiration from all forms of art, I have created several Fine Art series and had multiple shows throughout my career. I am currently working on a series that seeks to strip the stigmas related to alternative sexual lifestyles. I create imagery that inspires my viewers to see their world in a new way and questions their own understandings. In my commercial and portraiture work, I design my photo shoots for each client’s personal needs, in order to create something unique for every new assignment. My long-term goal is to own my own art gallery that also offers classes that educate the community about the fine arts. No matter who you are, or what your skill level, we are all capable of creative expression!

Has it been a smooth road?
The hardest struggles I face have always been rooted in self-doubt. We are our own worst critics, and you must never let the negative voices overpower your true abilities. Try and fail. Then get up and try again. With each failure, I have come one step closer to my goals.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The future of photography is a very widespread topic that I could spend hours discussing and debating, but I will attempt to keep it brief. The biggest shift I see is the move from Digital Stills to Video. Most of the commercial world is already seeking photographers that are cross trained in stills and motion. We can see this change occurring throughout the 21st century. With that in mind, the community is also now being bombarded with new technologies every day, such as Virtual Reality, Light-Field Imaging, and even lens-less sensors. I see this creating the opportunity for cameras to continue to shrink in size and become even more available for the masses, while also creating a new demand for more interactive imagery. This current adolescence of photography is paving the way for a fresh new adulthood of imaging processes that redefine what it means to be a photographer. With all of this in mind, I also see the rebirth of instant print Polaroid style photos becoming more popular, as the new generations wants a taste of the history of photography. I personally feel the need for film photos to remain a part of the fine art community as to not lose our roots. The technical expertise and patience required to create a quality film image, along with its silver print, is a skill set I feel makes every photographer more prepared to fire their shutter.

What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you over the course of your career?
I would honestly say my biggest challenge is overcoming the changes in the industry and keeping my self-confidence in line with the new material. The first part can be overcome by always continuing your education as the industry keeps growing. On the other topic: taking critiques is always helpful in order to keep your work at its peak, but knowing that you value yourself is, in a sense, invaluable. To put it all together, I strive to stay relevant in an ever-changing community, while finding new ways to keep my sense of style in any new concepts and techniques that come my way.

What advice do you wish to give to those thinking about pursuing a path similar to yours?
This might come across as a bit rough around the edges…. (1) Don’t think that you can. KNOW that you can. But always stay humble. (2) LA is a rough place to begin in this industry. I actually split my time between Dallas and LA in order to more effectively build my resume in an over-saturated market. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of networking in multiple cities at a time, as long as you can afford the travel. (3) Know your style, and stick to it. People will hire you for the uniqueness that you bring to the industry. (4) Don’t be afraid to fail, this will only make you stronger. You’ll get a lot more no’s than yes’s (5) And, this is the most controversial one, NEVER work for free. Your time is a precious commodity that you should be financially compensated for. Always make sure you are coming out of any unpaid internship with an education that is worth the amount of time you dedicated to someone else’s dream. Personally, I stayed away from internships, as I did not have enough expendable income for anything unpaid. You CAN create a name for yourself in this industry without it.

Contact Info:

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