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Megan Allen is an international wedding & engagement photographer who specializes in capturing her couples in bold, fun fashion. With her love of light, color, and storytelling, Megan blends the trio into images that transport her clients back to that moment in time to celebrate one more time. In addition to wedding & engagement photography, Megan enjoys capturing actors and artists in creative lifestyle portraiture, with a focus on showcasing each individual's unique personality. When not hiding behind the viewfinder of her camera, Megan can be found hanging with her family, catching a musical, hunting down a new coffee shop, or playing video games.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
My beginning roots into photography were hilariously humble. I had a friend who wanted photos, but didn’t want to spend money, and my qualifications for the job were that I had a camera, and her husband and I were friends, so he wouldn’t say no to going out if it was with me. And, she was right; we wandered, took photos, and for some reason, people started asking me to take their photos as well (Seriously, I still haven’t figured out what people saw in those early days, but I’m certainly thankful they saw it! Ha!). Things snowballed, and I fell in love with photographing couples. My husband saw my passion and gifted a few Creative Live courses to me for my birthday, and thus, my fate was sealed. I’m now a full-time destination wedding & engagement photographer, as well as photographing fellow creatives in lifestyle/editorial portraiture. I can’t express how thankful I am for that fated day of being volunteered for that original portrait session, and if you would have told me then what that would turn into, I’d have never believed you. It’s been one heck of a ride!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Bold, fun, and authentic. I love to capture the true essence of my couples and clients. My degree is actually in Intercultural Studies, and I find that because of that, I love watching people and seeing their interactions come to life in photos. Everyone deserves to have their story told, and I feel that it’s my job to bring that to life in their images. I love telling those stories in bold fashion, be it with rich colors or striking black and whites. To me, the world is full of endless possibilities, and I dream boldly, so I want that to be reflected in my imagery to encourage my clients to see the beauty in their worlds as well.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN IMAGE?
Moments are everything. My goal is to make someone feel something when they see the images, whether they know the people in the photo or not. One of the biggest compliments I’ve received was from someone on a plane once, when they tapped me on the shoulder and told me they could feel the passion of the couple they’d seen me editing. That’s what it’s all about for me – taking people back to their best moments in their lives, telling their stories, and allowing them to feel those moments again long after they’ve passed. If I can make a random person on a plane feel for a couple he’s never met, then I feel like I’m doing what I’m meant to do.
Beyond the moment, though, I love creating layers in images whenever possible. I love telling a story through location or a lens choice. Leading lines and great light make my heart sing, and I try to incorporate them into my imagery whenever I can.
WHAT INSPIRES OR MOTIVATES YOU?
Oh man, where to even begin. Humans inspire me. The stories I learn through simply sitting and chatting with people through traveling inspire me. I think many times we’ve lost the art of truly connecting with one another because of the social media age, and there’s so much we can learn from one another over a cup of coffee. If we take the time to see the story that everyone has to share, it’s impossible not to see the beauty they possess. It inspires me to work even harder to capture that story and beauty. I also love finding inspiration through other genres of photography. Von Wong, Joey L, Kirsten Lewis, and Nancy Borowick are photographers I have been devouring lately.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU?
The fear of stagnation. I never want to become complacent or content with the work I’m creating, and I want to continue to push myself and my comfort zones to be the best I can be. My close friends continue to push me by keeping me asking, “Why?” in so many aspects of my photography and life. Finding the purpose behind the photo makes me think more intentionally about what I’m creating, beyond just making a beautiful photo, and I love that.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF A WEDDING?
That’s a tough one! There’s so many moments that I adore. At the risk of sounding corny, my favorite moment is the one that my couple and their family forgets that I’m there. I say that because after they’ve become comfortable and I’m no longer a distraction, I see their true selves come out. I see the walls come down and the tears of joy when mom puts the final touches on her daughter’s dress, or the father tying his son’s bowtie. I see the best friend’s embrace that drives the bride to tears after attempting to hold it together all morning long. The moment they forget about me, that’s when all the moments actually happen. And that’s my favorite way to capture their story.
OF ALL YOUR IMAGES, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ONE?
After attempting to choose photos for this, I can safely say I don’t! Every image holds a special place for me, because I see them and see the people and the stories behind them. It’s hard to place them in an order of favorites once you know the people and stories…so I just keep shooting and telling stories, and every week I try to make a new favorite photo.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MEGAN ALLEN?
I’m a really big nerd. I love playing xBox (PubG and Call of Duty are my go-to’s for a way to enjoy the little down time I have once my son is in bed) and Pokemon Go. That’s right. I still play that game and I don’t care who knows it. And if you need a friend on either, hit me up. I love making new nerd friends!
TELL US ABOUT DVLOP
I absolutely LOVE DVLOP! I fell in love with DVLOP the moment I saw the Chrisman Studios presets, and from there I’ve collected quite a few sets and developed my own distinctive style through them – Two Mann Studios, Davina + Daniel, Jide Assumpção-Alakija, Gabe McClintock – they all have their distinct styles, and I find myself mixing them together to build my own version. DVLOP makes it possible to use these incredible artists’ styles as a baseline, but then build on them to create your own consistent style.
With DVLOP, I rarely have to jump into Photoshop, because the Lightroom presets are so effective, and the brushes in the packs have made life so easy. I can’t imagine my workflow without DVLOP, and I’m thankful for the hard work they’ve put in to create such incredible sets!
For me personally, I find I mix and tweak Two Mann Studios' Amarone & Davina + Daniel's Marfa (and their punch brush is CLUTCH!!!) + Chrisman Studios' Managua for color images, and I gravitate to a mix of Two Mann Studios' Espresso and Davina + Daniel's St. Henri for black and whites. When working with people of color, hands down, Jide’s collection hits it out of the park every time with nearly no tweaking needed. DVLOP has revolutionized my workflow, and enabled me to be inspired by so many incredible photographers to create my own distinct look through blending their presets. Without DVLOP, I wouldn’t have the base to create that look, and I'm forever grateful for discovering the DVLOP community.