I was fortunate to interview the lovely Megan Jansen. She is a fine art portrait and wedding photographer located in Red Deer, Alberta. You can visit her website here: http://www.meganjansen.com
Megan showcases a beautiful style of portraiture that is clean, dark, moody, connected, and extremely consistent. Check out her portfolio on her website: http://www.meganjansen.com/portfolio.html She has a true eye for details (far beyond my comprehension) and a way of brining the emotions out of her subjects and reflects that in frame. Her and I share both our love for photography, the outdoors, and coffee! Oddly enough, our friendship started due to the fact that we are the same age, both grew up in the USA, and moved to Canada where our dream(s) is to be a photographer. Wild, huh?! She is very talented and I'm lucky to call her my friend :)
The basis of this interview is a discussion about why we’ve chosen careers in an artistic field. We all know the term “starving artist”, and can agree that having a job that’s based on artistic skill means not always having a steady income. So why have we decided to go down this path with such certainty?
1. When the people in your life told you that you should study something more “serious”, and not rely on your art, what has your response been?
At first I believed them… It’s true, careers in art is not always a stable income. But with technology today, and where we’re at with the internet, I feel like theres so much available, that I can teach myself how to grow as a photographer, and learn what I need to know in order to become successful. So I feel like since I’ve started doing that, most people have been very supportive! On the other hand, I don’t take what some people say into consideration. It really depends on who it is. If it’s a close family member, friend or mentor, I know that they want the best for me. If it’s a not-so-close friend, then I’m aware they may not know where I’m at in life or what my dream and goals are. Not everyone has a say in my life.
2.Why did you choose portrait photography over fashion, commercial, or nature?
Personally, I like being around people. There’s something about having a really impactful portrait of a person. As well as having treasured photos of important events! I’m very detail oriented, and I don’t have the best of memory sometimes… So in additional to being very visual and creative, I found that lifestyle & portrait photography has been the perfect fit for me! And as far as commercial photography, I find that I LOVE natural light. Commercial as well as fashion photography are awesome, but I don’t connect with it quite as much as portraits.
3.If you could let client’s know ONE important piece of information, what would that be?
Having pictures taken is SO IMPORTANT!!! I would hate for you to look back and regret not spending a little bit of money, and having no great pictures of the people you loved. Photography is to document daily life, as well as our milestones. So I find that’s such a fun way to look back at the things we’ve done in life!
4.What’s your goal with your photography business? Why do you do what you do?
I want to be able to help people have more than Social Media pictures. I want them to have well documented memories! Albums and artwork to keep for generations. I want to be able to gift session to people who may not be able to afford it, so that they too can have family photos.My job is all about people. It always will be. I can’t be so selfish that I do photography to simple make money… I do it because I want it for people as much as I want it for my own family! I want them to know they true joy it can bring. That’s why I do it.
5.If you could be know for ONE thing as a portrait photographer, which would it be and why?
a- Amazing Lighting, Posing, composition & Products.
b- Your truly unique ideas (that no one else has done before).
c- Or who you were as a person, and how you incorporated that into your sessions.
Definitely C. I don’t even care if I have amazing lighting or posing etc. As long as I’m able to capture the true connection between people, and the memories they have together, then that’s all I really care about! …I do try my best to be good at a & b too though!… ;)
6.Why photography? You are such a skilled and talented artist – what draws you to photograph your subjects instead of saying painting or drawing them?
Drawing and painting are both hobbies that I enjoy as well as photography… But I’m very detail minded, and my hand doesn’t always draw or paint things the way I think they should be seen. (because lack of skill haha!!) Photography allows me to look back on memories exactly as they were. To perfectly capture details and colors.
7.What inspires you as a photographer?
The endless possibilities. I feel that photography can lead to travel, meeting amazing people, capturing things that sometimes go unnoticed and forgotten. I don’t want certain memories to be forgotten, so I take pictures of them. And being able to do that for other people is what inspires me. Even being able to show my own personal photographs to my kids someday! That’s a huge motivation & inspiration as well.
Thanks so much for joining me today, Megan!! You are a very inspiring photographer! You have a heart of gold and a creative spirit that the rest of the world is lucky for which you share with us. I wish you only the best in your future endeavours!
Check back here for part II :)