May’s Feature Photographer is:
Describe yourself in your own words?
Can’t someone else write this for me? I don’t like talking about myself! But for real, I am a mum to a kind hearted little boy, who is nearly 9. I home school my boy and would feel utterly lost without him around everyday, he is my buddy. I am a Canadian living in the UK, I upped sticks and moved here nearly 15 years ago when I married my British husband (who was my pen-pal for nearly 8 years, I was really young when we met, but that’s another story). We live in one of the prettiest counties in the UK (and one of the driest). I have been into photography ever since I can remember and took photography in high school. I was lucky enough to have a dad who was heavily into photography when he was younger, he had his very own darkroom which I got to use as a teenager, he still has all the equipment, I plan to go home one day soon just to work in the darkroom!
What inspired you to become a photographer?
When I was a teenager we traveled to Russia, this is where my passion for photography really was ignited. I have always loved looking a photos and images on my dad’s record collections, but when in Russia it was like a whole new world was open to me. Although at that time I didn’t fully understand the technical side of photography, but I still look back at those images and really identify that I had a passion for documentary photography. It turned into a business after I had my son and I wanted something that would allow me to be at home with him.
What is the most important thing you want your clients to know about you?
Oh that’s a tough one, for starters I want them to know that each and every client is important to me.
Your current favorite image and why?
My absolute favourite image at the moment is this one of my son, I love the dramatic lighting but I also love that you can tell how cheeky he is just by looking at his eyes!
Describe your dream session?
I was going to say I didn’t have a dream session, but then I started thinking about all the session ideas that I have had for stylized sessions, and there is one in particular that I have been dreaming about for a couple of years and that is an Anne of Green Gables stylized shoot! Another shoot I have been dreaming about includes a derelict castle covered in ivy and moss.
Is photography your full time job?
Yes it is! Along with homeschooling my 8 year old son.
Top three pieces of advice for someone looking to start their own business?
My top advice, is don’t be afraid to approach other photographers, join in groups, be kind and supportive. Learn from your mistakes, pave your own way and don’t get caught up in local drama between other businesses. Be willing to invest in learning, whether that is money or time, you won’t become an expert by sitting on your couch wishing you were better.
What’s the biggest mistake you have made thus far?
What just one mistake? I have made many along the way, but by far my biggest mistake was not building relationships with local photographers from day 1, I let my low self-esteem hold me back. I constantly told myself, they wouldn’t want to be my friend. Well that is wrong, because I have developed some great relationships with some pretty awesome local photographers!
What has surprised you the most about your photography journey?
How creative I can be when I apply myself!! No joke!
It’s no secret that balance between personal and work is tough. How do you nurture both?
I still struggle with this on a daily basis, I home school my son and I have many other commitments to juggle. I have started to get up at 6 am everyday, I get admin and editing done at these times, I take a break to home school my son and then I get back to work and try to end my day at a reasonable time so that I have time in the evening to spend with my husband and son. I set myself 3 big tasks to get completed each day, and then anything else I get completed above that is a bonus. Being organised and realizing that I can’t and don’t have to do it all has been the biggest aids in getting closer to achieve a work life balance.
What photographer has inspired you the most on your journey?
There have been several along the way, at the very beginning of my journey into the business side, it 100% had to be Elizabeth Halford! When I started to realize that newborn photography was my passion it was Kelly Brown. Last year I had the privilege of one-to-one training with our very own Malia B Photography, she has inspired and encouraged me in so many ways. In fact, I am going to go as far as saying that Sarah and the whole TPE team have been nothing but inspiring, supportive and encouraging!
She started down the road of photography with a gentle push from her husband and hasn’t looked back. She loves being able to capture those “real life” moments that can slip by in the blink of an eye. Like most photographers with kids, Meagan became fascinated (obsessed) with photographing her children from second she laid eyes on them, and loves helping others hone their photography skills to better capture their own children.
Meagan is our instructor for Get Grounded in Photoshop, and is also our official Operations Queen. She keeps everyone organized, scheduled, and on track with blogging, Happy Hour, Extra Credit, communication, customer service, and anything else that keeps TPE operating on a day to day basis just for you!
When she isn’t working for TPE, running her own business, or running after her own three small kiddos she enjoys being outdoors, cooking, spending time with her animals, and swimming.
Latest posts by Meagan Opel (see all)
- PRO FILES | ERIN FREEMAN - May 12, 2016
- What to do when you are too lazy to blog | Five Minute Friday - April 22, 2016
- Planning the Perfect One Year Session - March 29, 2016