The Back of My Camera

When I first started my glamour brand, I invited some friends over for a “girls night in” at my home studio. I paid for hair/makeup artists and I wanted to get some photography practice with models and build up my portfolio. The night went pretty well, we had wine and snacks. We laughed and dressed up in pretty clothes. The girls were so excited to see the photos that they kept asking to see the back of my camera. Only I knew that I was just practicing and that there would probably be some not so flattering shots on there, because let’s face it, I didn’t know what I was doing! I was learning, making mistakes, and basically just practicing my posing.

Handing over the camera, was like handing over my heart. And it was super hard to except the fact that the shots weren’t perfect. That someone of them just didn’t work, some were under-exposed, sometimes I caught them when they were blinking, and some poses were not as flattering as I thought there were. Also, when the girls did see some of the images, they picked themselves apart (like most women do) and that was totally not my intent with hosting the party. I wanted my friends to feel pampered and gorgeous.

To this day every time someone asks to see the images on the back of my camera, I cringe a little inside. It’s my least favorite part after a session (and something I do not let clients do because it ruins the surprise). And while I’m trying to get better about letting people see some of the photographs, I still feel really vulnerable. When I watch CreativeLive, I’m all always amazed at how confident those photographers/instructors are shooting tethered to a TV screen. I guess I’m struggling with that fact that not every image I take is going to be perfectly exposed, perfectly lit, or perfectly posed. I’m a human photographer after all. And I’m always learning, or at least trying to get better.

 

Words to LIVE by…

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I hope as you read the words above that you feel empowered to take on the world and to accomplish anything because that’s what they do for me. I have this quote on my phone screen saver to act as a reminder everyday of what I’m trying to mold my life into. Something I can be proud of. A reminder that it’s ok to be a girl but make sure you’re a classy lady. And that in today’s world, you have to think like man. You have to be smart. And while I know, females have made huge strides in that last couple of years towards their careers and holding positions of power, men are still number one. And if you want to get somewhere, sometime you have be inside their heads. And of course my favorite. Work like a boss. Because I’m HUGE believer in hard work. Work hard and work smart. Two keys things to making your dreams come true.

Have a happy rest of week everyone! Don’t give up on whatever you’re trying to accomplish today!

-M

10 things you might not know about me…

I know on this blog I try not to talk about myself, because my business is really about the people who want me to take their portraits. It’s about other people, and giving service and helping. But I understand that sometimes it’s interesting to read about photographer as human being. Because online, most of the time people only put the highlights of their lives, the good stuff. And I’m just as guilty of it as well. So here’s a few things you might not know about me:

1. I really like junk food. No I mean, it’s like crack to me. I have to tell myself, that fruit and vegetables are better than chips and soda. Even though I seriously want that stupid soda and bag of Cheetos. And then afterwards, I feel like a loser or failure or whatever when I give in to the craving of junk food.

2. I’m a very proud person and sometimes take life way to seriously.  My husband helps me with this, because he is silly and I’m not. He helps me loosen up.

3. I don’t take jokes very well. See #2. I have hard time laughing at myself. I think it has something to do with wanting to being perfect all the time. Which I know is a ridiculous way of thinking but for some reason I can’t shake that feeling.

4. I’m better at making a to-do list than actually doing any of the things on the list. If I could find someway to get paid just by organizing things/events/to-do’s on paper than I would be really good at it. It’s the actual doing that stumps me.

5. I have a secret wish to live like a Gypsy.  I know that sounds strange, but there is a part of me that doesn’t want to be tied down and wants to live from city to city.

6. I’m a big fan of Lord of the Rings and Greek Mythology. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the fantasy part or something but I really like any movies or books that deal with wizards, spells, Greek Gods, special powers, all that. hahaha.

7. Speaking of books – I’m an avid reader. Only thing is when I find a book I really like, I can’t stop reading it. Like, “lay in bed all weekend so I can finish this book” type of can’t stop reading this book. So I’ve been sticking to blogs lately because the posts are short and I won’t stay up all night reading.

8. I’m the same way with movies.  When I watch a movie, I have to watch all of it.  My husband will fall asleep half way through and not care about the movie at all. But not me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen it 10 times. I will watch the whole thing.

9. I like the idea of being able to cook, but I do not want to put the work in to learn. So I just don’t cook. Sounds terrible now that I’m typing that out. But it’s the truth. I love good food, but I’m not about to give the time and effort to learn how to do it. It’s just something that doesn’t interests me. Luckily my husband loves to cook. So I observe and clean up.

10. Last thing you might not know about me, I hate scary movies. Like can’t even watch the previews. My mind has a crazy imagination and I hate the feeling of being paranoid. So I stay far away from them as possible. This girl is not about of have bad dreams or feel like she going to be murdered in her own house.

So there you have it. 10 things. I hope you can relate to some of them. If you can, be sure to let me know in the comments!

-M

 

How to : Choose your outfits for a glamour session

Clothing is a big deal when it comes to photos. A major deal.  The person is the cake and the clothes are the icing.  Finishing touches and details are important and make your photographs more unique and special to you.  But what if styling and details aren’t really your thing? What if you want amazing photos but don’t know where to start?  That where I can help.  Read on to learn how to style your own glamour shoot.

1. Start with your favorite clothes. These are clothes that make you feel good because you know they look great on you.

Megan Smart

 

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2. After you’ve selecting your favorite clothes, look at your color palette. Do you see blacks? Neutrals? Or bold colors?  This wear your style comes in. You can tell quite a bit about yourself by the clothes you buy. This gives you some insight incase you want to buy something new.

Megan Smart

 

Megan Smart

3. Add Accessories.  Remember, if the shirt/blouse/dress is bold then the jewelry needs to be subtle. But if the clothes are solid, and neutral your jewelry can be the hero.

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4. For another outfit, add in something that is really formal and you might not get to wear very often.

Megan Smart

Megan Smart Photography

 

5. In my studio, I have some clothing options that you can choose from. We can make a simple dress or blouse into something really unique by just adding a tulle skirt.

Megan Smart

Megan Smart

6. Last, bring in a casual outfit with jeans. Stay away from patterns, unless they are small. Also, in jeans you can move around easily and you will feel more confident.  And don’t we all know, there is no better feeling that putting on a great pair of jeans.

Megan Smart Photo

 

Megan Smart

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this little how-to on choosing your outfits for your next portrait session.  The best advise I can give you, is if you love what you’re wearing, you’ll love how you look. If you would like a free consolation on what a the Glamour Experience is, please email info@megansmart.com

 

 

Why I’m passionate about portrait photography

What you’re not going to hear from me today is that I’m passionate about photography because it’s all about capturing a moment. While that’s really important, and moments make up our daily lives. That’s not the reason why I’m passionate about taking photos. What drives me to get up every morning is the art of photography. The painting with light, the emotion, the awe. The artist stamp on his/her work. The uniqueness to every photographer. While influences can be heavy at times, and journey to finding your own style is what is interesting to me.

My journey into photography starting with searching for my wedding photographer. While I always loved taking pictures, I didn’t really keep up with industry. Especially the wedding photography industry. Only when I starting looking around, I saw what these amazing people were creating and I was hooked.  I wanted to create artwork like that!  While I had been playing around with fine art mediums, it never really stuck. That’s probably where the whole “I get bored really fast” part of me kicked in. With photography, it was faster. It didn’t take long to get started. But what did take long was the learning part. And it’s an ongoing process.

After that, I feel in love with running a business. Words from a fellow friend ” I didn’t know I wanted to be entrepreneur, but then it seems as if a sleeping giant as awakened” and that’s exactly how I feel. I can’t stop thinking about my business. Growing and making it better. Then I had a eureka moment.

One day, my husband and his family were looking through old and recent photos while preparing for his grandmother’s funeral and he told me that his mother didn’t have photo of just her and his grandma (her mom). Of course she had one where it was the whole family, and then others of just her mom. But none where it was just them two. Mother and Daughter. This bothered me a great deal, because being a photographer I should have offered to take their portraits before my husband’s grandma got sick. At that time, I was listening to classes on Creative Live from Sue Bryce about glamour/portrait photography and I starting thinking about my own mother, about the small amount of photographs we have together. We don’t have many and I’ve been trying to take more when I get to see her. That’s when I knew I had found what I was supposed to do with my business.

I was meant to create artwork so people could remember their loved ones. So they could celebrate their connections and relationships. So they could have beautiful artwork in their home, making them happy everyday. So they could have a day with their families. To remember an experience.

That’s why I’m passionate about photography because of the artwork, the uniqueness of every image, the people in the image, the beauty frozen in time, and the way the image makes people feel. Megan Smart Megan Smart _DSC7322_blog Megan Smart

A girl with big plans and big dreams

Hello out there to hopefully some new and even the old readers. It’s been awhile since I blogged, but I’m trying really hard to get back into the habit. My name is Megan Smart and I’m a portrait photographer. I live with my husband, a dog and a cat. No babies yet, but we are on the verge of making the commitment. We live in a small town in Texas and we are at the point in our lives where we are trying are hardest to make our dreams come true. No matter how big. I’ve always been one of those people who believed anything was possible. That if I worked hard enough and smart enough, there was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish. It’s been a blessing and curse at times, but I still believe it to this day.

This blog is a product of that thinking. I starting my blog because like most people, I thought I had a lot to say. But I soon came to realize that I didn’t have much to say at all and I wanted so badly to find a voice and a place in the world of photography.  I wanted people to see my images and want to hire me. A blog seemed to be the best possible solution to getting my images out there.  Only I came to realize that while looking at pretty pictures is pleasing to a customer, it’s only really helping out other photographers. Not my clients.

And that’s when I changed my whole perspective on my blog.  I started to think about how could I help my clients with their problems through this blog, because right now all I was doing was showing them images. They needed a little more to help them make a decision about purchasing my services. So that’s who my blog is for…my clients.  Trying to be the a photographer that is a full service business. Someone who takes images, but also provides help along the way.

Speaking of help,  what I’ve been working on lately is a brochure/magazine that is made to help clients with using their photos to decorate their home.  Right now, I’m finding that I’m doing my clients a disservice when I hand over a cd of images, and expect them to figure out sizes of prints and canvases to create a display in their home.  It’s something I can’t wait to finish and start offering to my clients.

I want my blog to help people with ideas and educate them about photography services.  What it really means to have a photograph of someone you love and how precious the snap of the shutter can be. It’s a moment frozen in time, and I know that sounds quite silly but I don’t know any other way of putting it. My blog is here to tell client stories, show potential clients what they can expect from me and a little bit of my personal life sprinkled in from time to time.

I hope you’ll continue to keep reading!

What to Expect : High School Senior Portraits

Senior portraits – Now that school has started, you’re thinking them… only you have no idea how to begin. That’s where I come in. I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to answer any questions you may have by explaining what happens Before Your Session, During Your Session, and After Your Session.

If you have any other questions, or you would like to book a senior portrait session, please contact me by emailing: info@megansmart.com or filling out the contact form here.

Ok, let’s get the party started!

 

Megan Smart Photo

What you should be thinking about BEFORE YOUR SESSION:

 

• How much does it cost?  My senior packages start at $450, my albums start at $100, and my prints start at $30. I also have another option if you want more than one session (example: one in the fall and then another one in the spring)  Your senior package (not albums or prints) must be paid in full before the session date. Please email: info@megansmart.com to receive a more detailed price list.

• Location, Location, Location : Think about what you love. Grass and Fields?  Barns and Hay?  Modern and urban? Clean and Simple?  Fashion and Style?  Try your best to picture yourself  and what you love to do, because that will make the photos more valuable to you. Plus, I want to produce photographs that are uniquely you.  If you don’t have a location or a place that “could” work, don’t worry – I’m here to help and I’m sure we can come up with something great!

• Your Yearbook photo :  When does this need to be turned in?  Some schools will take a formal picture, and you don’t have to worry about turning one in, but many seniors opt to have a creative senior portrait in the yearbook. If this is you, you need to find out the date ASAP, so we can get this set up for you.

• Don’t wait till the last minute : My schedule fills up really fast in September/October and March/April.  So make sure you schedule your session or you might miss out. And I would hate for that to happen.

• What should you wear? Wear your favorite outfits.  Clothes that make you feel good, go hand in hand with making your look good.  Beware of crazy patterns because they can take the focus off of you.  Don’t forget about jewelry, it can make a great statement.

Megan Smart Photo

What will happen DURING YOUR SESSION:

• The session will take 1-2 hours and you will be asked to sign a model release before I take any photos of you.

• We will go over your session plan and your outfits. Hair and makeup is included with each senior package and usually takes about an hour. (Raw Mane Lounge in Kerrville is the salon I use for this service)

• Plan on changing outfits in your car, if we are at a location that does not have restrooms.

• You can bring a friend or your parents!

• Don’t be nervous! We will walk around a bit and snap some photos. Every once is a while I will ask you pose in a certain way. You don’t need to be worried about what to do, or how to smile, because I’m going to cover it all. So relax and let’s have some fun!

Megan Smart Photo

What happens AFTER YOUR SESSION:

• About two weeks after your shoot, your senior portraits will be ready in the studio to view. We will set up a time and date right after your session.

• I will bring samples of what I provide so you can make your purchases.

• After ordering your photos, you products/prints/digital files will be ready to pick up at the studio in 3 weeks.

• I will post some of my favorite senior portraits from you session online (either FB, instagram, or my blog)  You are more than welcome to use these images are your own social media applications, all I ask is that you give me photo credit.

Megan Smart Photo

 

So now what?  How do you book a senior session?

To book either email me at : info@megansmart.com or use the Contact Form at the top of this page, or fill out this Contact Form on the website.

 

I can’t wait to create beautiful images for you to have the rest of your life. Congrats on being a senior! I hope you have fantastic year!!!!!!

Megan Smart Photo

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Wednesday : Kathryn & Jesse’s Wedding at the Don Strange Ranch

At the Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas, this past July, Kathryn and Jesse tied the knot! It was such an adorable wedding, made up of colors of red and gorgeous sunflowers. Kathryn and Jesse are from my hometown, so I knew some of guests, well actually a lot of guests, which only made photographing the wedding more fun. During their ceremony, Jesse’s dad (who married them) told a story, that Jesse and Kathryn met over a tequila shot. So instead of unity candle or sand, Kathryn and Jesse took a tequila shot in front of the whole crowd. It was super adorable, and uniquely them.

Kathryn and Jesse opted to do a first look, and I have to say it’s really the way to go. We got all the family photos out of way before the ceremony, and only took a few afterwards, then Kathryn & Jesse were on their way to enjoy their party.  And a party it was! Good food, good people, and a whole lot of dancing! Enjoy some photos from this adorable country wedding!

Congrats to Kathryn and Jesse, I wish you all the best! Thank you for letting me capture your special day!

 

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Arrow Following – Women Living Dreams – Missy

Last week, I had the chance to photograph Missy for the Arrow Following series. She is a wonderful woman, who is raising four kids and loving every minute of it.  She brought her oldest daughter Avery with her to enjoy a mother/daughter session with me.  Her youngest daughter was sick, so she didn’t get to come to the studio.  Missy is a determined woman and I could tell by her interaction with her daughter that her kids are her world. Missy currently works at the local university, and it was funny when she walked into the studio for her consolation because I knew I had seen her before.  The first words  from her were, “You went to college here didn’t you?”  She had recognized me too.

I was so honored to photograph Missy and her daughter Avery. We had a great time talking about being women, it’s many challenges, plus all the insecurities that come with having your portrait taken. However, after seeing these images of Missy, I don’t think there should be any reason not to see a beautiful woman, a great mother, and a girl living her dreams.

Read her interview below to see Missy’s take on self-confidence and goals.

. Megan Smart

1. To women and young girls out there, what would you like to say about pursuing goals and dreams?

Follow your heart and do not let anyone discourage you along the way.  The road may not be an easy one, but if you want it go after it.

 

2. What would you say was the hardest part about achieving your goals?

Nothing will be handed to you and if you want it you have to work for it. It takes hard work, effort, love ,support, and commitment to get it.

 

3. Growing up, what type of self-image did you have?

I had a very low self-image and I was very shy.  I felt as if I was not an important person or noticed by anyone.

Megan Smart

 

4. If you could go back, what’s the one thing you would change?

I would have finished my education.

 

5. For the women out there dealing with fear and self-doubt, what do you want to say about that?

 My advice to you is to be strong, stand up for what you believe in, fight for what you want, Love yourself, and never give up.   

I had a lot of self-doubt a long time ago.  Life has thrown me so many challenges that have made me strong, fearful, and I have overcome so much. Know In my eyes I do not care what anyone else thinks of me. I believe in myself, I love my self and this is my life I am living, and no one else is going to discourage me from doing so.

Megan Smart

6. What’s next for you?

I am working toward my BA.  It is going to take time, patience, and hard work but I am up for the challenge.

 

7. What are the 5 things people probably don’t know about you?

1. My kids are my life.
2. I love helping people.
3. I love to bake and sew.
4. I am an only child.
5. I have lived in the Hill County since I was 5 years old.

Megan Smart

8. The glamour experience with Megan Smart, how did that make you feel?

I felt like a queen for the day.  I was relaxed, and very comfortable. I had a lot of laughs (which I needed).  I was overall an A+ experience.  The best part is I got to share this moment with my oldest daughter and it made the experience priceless.

 

19. Self- Confidence, how do you keep it up and keep working at your goals everyday?

My children play a big role in my self-confidence and keep me going. I have to lead and set an example for them. I am going back to school to show them how important an education is and what it can do for you in life.  I am strong for them so that I can protect my children.  I have stepped way out of my comfort zones just to prove to my children they can do anything in life.  I have so much love and support for and from my husband, children and family that my self-confidence has grown and will continue to grow. I will never give up and will eventually get my BA completed.

Megan Smart

*Missy and her daughter’s hair/makeup was done by Raw Mane Lounge.
Do you know someone who would be a great inspiration to women?  You can nominate them by contacting me.

Wedding Wednesday – taking it back

Yay, it’s the middle of the week, I hope you’re making it alright and enjoying life! I thought I’d do a little something different this time with this wedding Wednesday and lets go back to when I first started shooting weddings! It’s way back Wednesday y’all! (I’m from Texas)  Below are a couple of my favorite images from my wedding portfolio. It’s been quite a journey and I have met awesome people along the way, plus the best part it’s not over! I still have weddings to shoot this year and I can’t wait to make a little magic with my current brides and grooms.

Enjoy a little flash back!

 

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