We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Denise and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
A lot of people will tell you “Photography isn’t a need, it’s a want.”. And they’re right. But the the thing is the type of photography I do matters to people. Recently I shifted my focus to only two types of photography. Weddings and Boudoir.
Everyone wants to be able to remember their wedding day. The family, the friends, the music, the dancing, the dress, the cake, it’s supposed to be one of the best days of your life, right? A day that makes you feel good. And I want to make sure people can ENJOY that day without having to worry about, “Oh shoot, did we get a photo of granny? What about the cake before we cut it? Did everyone show up for the family photo when they were supposed to and was everyone there? Did we miss anything?”. No one has time for that on their wedding day and I am that person that is there to ease the minds of two people who just need to be focused on spending their lives with each other. So I get those moments you forget about. I get those details, that natural raw emotion, I am hyping you up all day, and allowing you to be yourself and not stress so much.
Now….boudoir? Man. Talk about somer I feel like will change the world. Women are ridiculed by society every single day. We are pressured to live up to these insane standards set by people we don’t know. We’re told we need to be skinnier, prettier, wear less makeup, wear MORE makeup, have this color hair in order to fit in a tiny box of what someone considers beautiful. Boudoir takes you out of that box and this is something I believe in SO much. You should feel EMPOWERED to be yourself. You should feel confident in who you are, right here, right now no matter if you’re tall, short, thick, thin, no matter if you’re wearing a full face of makeup because you like it or of you’re bare faced because you like it, it doesn’t matter. Boudoir almost gives you this secret permission that you never even needed in the first place to literally be human and have flaws and be unapologetic and still feel like you’re absolutely stunning.
Does my business help the community or the world? I’d like to think it helps people feel good. And the world needs more of that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To say that building an empire is easy would be a lie. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Build an empire for myself. Not just a business or career, but an empire. I have been doing this for so long, 10 or 11 years I believe, and only just now decided to take the leap to make it a full time commitment and that decision was terrifying. Leaving a comfortable and steady income to pursue something that isn’t a guarantee is scary. But I did and I’m only in the beginning stages of it and I’ve already began building a studio, found new clientele, changed the structure of how I do business, and it’s already paying off. I didn’t do it alone. I have had an amazing support system through friends and family and without them, I’m not sure I’d have made it. I doubted for a long time I’d be able to do it, You know, that little voice in your head that says “oh, just forget it it’s not going to happen for you.” But my circle never stopped pushing me and I’ll always be thankful to them for that.
I have NEVER stopped chasing this dream. It’s been put on hold, pushed to the side, the back burner, whatever because you know, life does happen. You grow, you change, you make moves you didn’t know you had to make, but being a full time photographer has NEVER left my mind as my main goal. And that is something I am really proud of. I’ve chased this dream for as long as I can remember and it came true and I can only hope that it continues to bring me the the happiness it’s bringing me now.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Winchester is a small town, but there are a lot of things to see around here. Between the amazing hiking places, like Pilot Knob and the Boonesboro trails, and the local restaurants and breweries like Abettor Brewery and Loma’s, there’s quite a bit to do if you’re up for an adventure. If you’re into the night life, we’re heading to Lexington. There’s soooo much going on all the time. Downtown is lit up like a Christmas tree all year long, there’s local bars and shops (i’m all about supporting local businesses), and some of the best brews and pizzas around. We have a TON of talented artists in the area as well. I have to say my favorite things for night life is going to the music venues and listening to our talented musician friends and our amazing burlesque troupe in the area. It’s never a bad time and sometimes it’s something people have never experienced before!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The list of shout outs and thank yous I have for people is literally endless, I could mention family, friends, mentors, and so many others. It’s honestly hard for me to pinpoint just one. If I had to, I’d absolutely say that I owe a LOT of what I do to an old friend named Zak. He was the first person who ever sparked a true interest in photography in me when we were still in highschool, and it only continued as we got older and he introduced me to the world of burlesque, which fueled my love for boudoir photography. I owe my first love of photo to him.
With that being said, I owe my continued love of it to my biggest supporter and my better half, Phillip. He believed in me enough to support my dream of doing photography full time and enough to leave a terrible job I hated and to work towards something that would have an exciting future. He’s amazing and I’ll forever be grateful for how much he has pushed me to be the best I can and do as much as I can to bring my dreams to reality. In addition to him, his sister Sarah has been a continued support and help to me and has quickly become my family not only in photography but life in general. They are both such a big part of who I am not only in my career but who I am as a person. I owe them both so much.
Main photo is taken by Courtney Bradford Photography