Monthly Archives: January 2011

ask megan mondays | folsom photographer

All of my life I thought I was a Type A personality.

Then I married Brad.

Okay, I thought to myself. Maybe he’s just a Type A+. I can still be a Type A.

Turns out I’ve come to the realization that I’m not a Type A. I’m definitely a Type B. Maybe even a B- if that’s even possible. I don’t do well with deadlines. I don’t thrive on achieving impossibly difficult goals. I’m not organized and clutter doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact, it’s comforting to me (as my husband cringes while reading this.)

So as a result I find myself needing to create systems that help me to be organized. At least once a week I buy a cute little post-it note booklet or  To-Do list out of the Target dollar bins in an effort to color-code my life. Those usually just end up on my desk in a well-intentioned little pile without ever being written on.

But the problem is that I really don’t like what happens when my Type B side takes over (aside from the creativity that comes out in my photography). It means that only the emails that are urgent get answered quickly (don’t worry prospective clients–all of your emails are my first ones to be replied to). But those emails from other photographers who have questions or ask advice end up falling to the bottom of my list. And that kills me because when I was just starting out it was those answered emails from professional photographers that I admired that helped me grow, helped me understand how to use my camera, and helped me start my business.

So in an effort to make sure that each question is answered and as a way to organize my inbox, I’ve started “Ask Megan Mondays.” Over the next few weeks I’ll be getting to all the questions that are currently sitting in my inbox or on my facebook page, but I’ll also be answering questions that come my way, so please feel free to ask them. These first few will be a mish-mash of topics, but as the weeks go on I’m planning to have a specific theme for each week as more questions come in. So without futher ado, here are a few answers to the questions that I’ve been asked most frequently.

Ask Megan

1.) Where did you buy that rug?

No, seriously. This really is the number one question I get. The rug that you see in the clip with my studio has been quite popular among the photographer community. I think it’s because we love bold, bright colors and this rug is definitely full of that. I purchased it last summer at Cost Plus World Market and went on their website trying to find it, but it doesn’t look like it’s there. So my best suggestion would be to go to your local store and see if they have it. It’s unassuming and rolled up–I didn’t even realize it was a rug the first time I saw it. But I love it and am so glad that so many others seem to as well.

2.) What do you shoot with? Do you use Canon or Nikon?

I’m a Nikon girl all the way, but mostly because that’s what I started with. When my son was born I got my first DSLR and it was the Nikon D50. I later upgraded to the D90 and now use the D700 for all my professional work. I still use the D90 for all of the daily images I take of my own kids because I recently released myself from the self-imposed pressure of having every image be a portrait. But I do love Nikon–I love the way it feels and honestly feel like such a beginner when I pick up a Canon–I don’t know where any of the buttons are on those cameras. And even though there is so much back and forth regarding which is better–they both create fantastic cameras, so I suggest that you go with what feels most comfortable. Go to your local camera store and pick them both up. Hold them. Test them out. See what feels most natural to you. You can’t really go wrong either way, so see which one feels like the best fit for you.

3.) What is your “go-to” lens?

It really depends on what I’m photographing. If I’m in the studio for a newborn session I always use my 50mm 1.4G. I’ll keep that lens on the whole time unless I’m doing any macro shots. But lately for all of my outdoor sessions I’m loving my 70-200mm 2.8G. I seriously feel like a sniper with that lens and there has to be lots of room since I need to stand quite a bit of distance away from my subject, but I just love the way this lens compresses everything and brings the background forward. There are many technical explanations for this, but I thought it would be easiest to show you with a picture. The first image is taken at a 70mm focal length and the second image at 120mm. Just look at the difference in that background–how all those gorgeous leaves are compressed and create a beautiful backdrop. Sure the first image is a good picture, but that second one is just so much more appealing to the eye. I just love this lens.

So that’s the first installment of “Ask Megan Mondays”. If you’ve read this far–thank you–I know that was a lot. So what do you think? Feel free to leave your comments and let me know your thoughts. Or if you have a question for next Monday, leave that as well. Have a great Monday!

the art of the newborn | folsom newborn photographer

Last week I put out a Newborn Casting Call and was overwhelmed at the response. But as soon as I got an email from the mommy of these twins I knew they were the ones. Ten days old and one girl and one boy–I couldn’t have dreamed up a better fit! Coming fresh off of the Baby as Art workshop I was itching to practice all the posing, composing, and techniques that I learned. And these two little ones were amazing sleepers so I was able to get nearly every pose and set up that I had planned for.

Every time I photograph a newborn I fall more and more in love with the art of newborn photography. It really is so different than any other type of photography I do. Usually I’m chasing around toddlers, quickly snapping an image and capturing them living life out in front of my camera. But newborn photography is a whole different scenario–so much slower, intentional, and deliberate. Every little finger put into place. Every pose planned precisely. But even in those down-to-the-last-detail moments I love when I capture a sleepy little smile and their personality shines through. There really is nothing like it.

If you are pregnant I highly recommend scheduling a newborn session–even if it’s not with me–it is definitely something you don’t want to overlook. I don’t have professional newborn images of either of my kids and it kills me that I missed out on beautifully documenting that fleeting stage of their life. I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and struggling with feedings. But all of that could have been put on hold for just a few hours if it meant having professional images of their first few days.

So please don’t overlook having a newborn session done if you are expecting. And until I get my baby fix I’m doing half off of newborn session fees (digital package pricing remains the same), so you really don’t have an excuse. Look at it this way–you get to sit back and have someone else do the diaper changes for a few hours and you get gorgeous images of your precious little one as a result.

baby as art | folsom newborn photographer

This first image sums up exactly how last week’s Baby as Art workshop with Carrie Sandoval and Brittany Woodall made me feel–like I was dreaming. Newborn photography is truly such an art and these two gals have it mastered. I still am so in awe of the fact that I was able to learn from the best of the best in the industry and feel like I should pinch myself and wake up! What an invaluable experience to be able to witness firsthand their attention to detail, their calming way with brand new babies, and their overall vision for their images.

There were two baby models during our personal workshop, so here are a few images I took of the first little beauty. There really is nothing quite like a sleeping newborn baby.

beauty times two | folsom twin photographer

I usually would say no and recommend that she wait until they were older. Typically I photograph newborns ten days and under when they are so new and super sleepy. The next age that I photograph is three months when their personality really begins to show–they make great eye contact, smiles galore, they can hold their head up. I usually say no to two month old sessions–it can be difficult to get those great interactions, to keep their exploring hands out of their face, and to get real, genuine smiles.

But for some reason I said yes this time. And I’m so glad I did. When Amanda and her mom walked into the studio I immediately felt like I was meeting up with an old friend. Don’t you just love when that happens? I seriously feel so blessed to have the best clients–people who are a joy to be around and get to know. Our three hour session flew by and was filled with gorgeous smiles, beautiful interactions, amazing light, and two adorable little girls.