Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Long.
Megan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My journey into photography began when my first daughter was born at 31 weeks. I struggled to find ways to express what I was going through, so my husband encouraged me by purchasing a DSLR. Since the day he gifted it to our family, I couldn’t stop! I captured every moment, in hopes of venting my worry, my frustration, my pain and my fear; I just never seemed to have the words in those 6 long weeks in the NICU.
Once she was released from NICU, I felt this urge and calling to help others in the same way I felt documenting my own experience had helped me through the entire process!
So I got to workshops, and learning everything I could about taking the best images I could. Which lead me to where I am thankful to be today! I have been so grateful and honored to have witnessed some of the most amazing, intimate, heart tugging moments for so many families within my community, I felt as if I had finally found my calling and purpose to serve in the way I had always wanted to. And I haven’t been able to stop!
All of these experiences had led me to my own niche in photography, celebration of life. Whether it be welcoming a new life into this world or saying our goodbyes, it is always a celebration of life to remember forever. And I am again, so honored to be a part of each and every one of these moments and gain the trust of so many within my community to share their individual story! We all have a story of life and courage to share with one another!
Has it been a smooth road?
When I first began photography, you naturally are pushed to the “money making scenarios.” Weddings, Family and Children, those particular types of photography tend to never “go out of style or need.” But it became stagnant and repetitive for me, and feeling as though “everyone” was doing this kind of photography, I wasn’t feeling I had my own voice in the sea of photographers who specialized in these genres!
I started connecting with other small businesses, to find what they were in need of, how I could be of service to others, because I’ve always felt, when in doubt on what to do next, offer to help another. So I connected with party stylists, designers, event coordinators…and while it was hard to convince and gain trust of some of these artists, once we did, we made magic together! Then there were times where they were offered free work by other photographers, for exposure, and while you can’t blame them, you had to make your business thrive, and we all know free won’t pay the bills. So sometimes our paths separated, but that just led each of us to a new chapter, and new opportunity! Ebbs and Flows of the Business I suppose!
My greatest challenge will always be the balance of my own business and maintaining my own expectations of myself as a Mother and Wife for my own family. As most entrepreneurs, rarely do we have extra time for ourselves, so we have to carve that out and make it a priority! Maybe as a woman, it is instilled in us, to always want to give 200% of ourselves, but everyday I am learning this balance. So I do my best to take breaks to play, connect and make my own memories with my family. And in that, I feel like it encourages me and teaches me how I can utilize my skills as a mother in the ways of my business and still being a presence of encouragement and peace to my own clients!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Megan Long Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
Finding your place in the large community of local photographers, is challenging. I will always encourage others to try new genres, see if you love something new, challenge yourself and your skillset! I started in this business thinking, I will NEVER work with children, they are whirlwind and so much work! But today, I laugh at myself, because they are my favorite subjects to photograph! Once you learn your own style and flow of work and how to best connect with these little humans, you just fall in love, over and over again! Children are naturally happy and playful people, just eager to connect with you, dance with you, and play with you! And having my own children, has taught me that, they have so much to teach us. Just be in the moment and let it shine through you!
I would consider my specialty as what I refer to as “Celebration Photography”. I encourage my new and past clients, to enjoy that birthday party and all the efforts put into it to make it the most memorable for your children and yourself. You already have a ton of obligations as a host come party, the last thing you need to worry about is if you got that photo or moment! Instead, I say “BE IN THAT MOMENT, ALONGSIDE THEM!” Because that is what they will remember, your presence, that love. And allow me to be the one to capture those, without cell phone or pocket camera in hand! Allow those special people who may have come from near or far to spend the day, soak in that same joy, alongside of you! I even find moments that are happening across the room with your little one and guests that you may not even know are occurring! And when the cake, party favors and presents have all been opened, and the day comes to a close, you will have ALL of those special decorations and memories forever captured! Allowing me to tell the story of your celebration is I feel the best investment and gift I could ever give my clients! And I am so grateful to know that they have found this to be true as well!
What sets me apart, besides the “mom eye” and “attention to detail”, is that I will always be prepared to PLAY! I will get down and connect with your child, I will learn their boundaries with photography and what works for them! Being in a world full of children with different levels of needs, has taught me so much compassion and has allowed for my heart to grow even more, and I am so thankful for what these children and families have taught me, to live outside of my comfort and being able to adapt to new situations, environments and even culture and traditions! It’s an honor.
Because that is GROWTH! And as artists, sometimes we get comfortable in our bubble of what we know, but this is a fantastic way to see how.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Sometimes you worry, because everyone has a phone at their fingertips, and these phone cameras are just getting better! But I have peace knowing, you can’t always get a different perspective, you can’t always get everyone in that shot, someone is going to be taking that image! And I encourage you to always be in that photo, a part of that moment!
And who doesn’t want to support a local, small-owned creative business! Well perhaps I am a little bias knowing how much effort and love is poured into these, but I’ll always encourage my clients and family to not forget the little businesses within our community, who have so much to offer all of us!
- Phone: 7143312935
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/meganlongphotos
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/meganlongphotos
All my own images – Megan Long Photography