Inspire Me Interview #23} Meg Borders

Happy Friday everyone! I’m literally on my way out the door to head for a weekend in Seattle and I realized that I forgot to write my intro! Oy! So sorry Meg – you’re just too fabulous to not have an intro…. So today I am really excited to get to welcome the beautiful Meg Borders to the all incredible Inspire Me Friday Crew! Meg and I met at After Dark Portland…. Her work is such a breath of fresh lovely summer air so I knew we would all love soaking in the sun! I’m really excited to get these interviews up and going again. We had quite a lapse from them, my fault – it’s just a lot more work then you would think trying to put these together but I have to say Meg made it easy. She was so quick to get everything back to me and so ready to share her passion – always two  characteristics I love in a person! So without further delay, enjoy the sunshine. And Meg… Thank you! You’re fabulous!

1. Three things that make you super happy?

My family, bubble baths, and ice cream.

2. Three things that don’t make you happy?
Waking up in the middle of a good dream, car horns, and coconut (smell and taste).

3. What’s in the bag (and who’s your bag by)?

My bag is by Kelly Moore and I absolutely love it!  I shoot with a Nikon D700, 85mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.4 lenses, and I use a 42” Photoflex reflector. This is my “can’t live without” gear.

4. What brought you into photography & what made you want to go pro?

I was never the girl that always carried a camera in her purse in high school or the girl that was “born taking pictures.” I like to say that photography found me. After my first daughter was born, I developed a passion to capture every moment of her life in the most magical way possible. I quickly found that I wasn’t satisfied with just a “good” photo of her, and I naturally gravitated toward finding interesting perspectives and light sources. It was this excitement for new life and freezing moments in time that brought about my love for this craft. I decided to go pro because I wanted others to be able to see themselves the way I saw them, through my lens.

5. Best thing you ever did for your business?

Raising my prices over a year ago. I actually doubled them and then doubled them again within one year. I reached a place of starting to feel like the time and energy I was putting into my work was not paying off, especially considering the time I was spending away from my family. The light bulb went off for me when I finally calculated my per-hour earning, after taxes. I consulted a pricing expert and she helped to get me where I was actually profitable and not losing money. Being priced appropriately allows you to feel good about what you do, give the very best to your clients, and to know that your talent is worth something. In return, your clients respect your craft, place a higher value on the art and lasting memories you are creating for them.

6. Favorite thing about being a photographer & business owner?

Being able to give flight to my creative energy, and create my own schedule.

7. What snack do you turn to during late night edits?

Spend a few minutes with my Facebook statuses and you’ll quickly find the answer…  ice cream. I have a bowl almost every night.

8. Photographers that you admire?

Amy Wenzel, Simply Bloom girls, Stephanie Williams, Michelle Moore, and the list could go on!

9. What would be your ideal session?

If I could dream up a session right now, it would be 2 beautiful teen girls in a field riding bareback on white horses with wind in their hair and the sun setting behind them. Maybe they’re wearing long flowing dresses, and flowers in their hair.

10. Where might we find you if you’re not working?

You will find me spending time with my husband and two beautiful daughters (two and three-and-a-half years old). I like to invest every spare moment with them. Being a working mom is a hard role to juggle, so any spare time I get is with them.

11. Will you tell us about your daily work routine?

I spend about an hour responding to emails in the morning while my girls are eating breakfast and just waking up. I always feel like I need start the day “on top of things” or I start to feel buried alive. Next, I try and spend most of the morning just being “mom” and toting kids to preschool, play dates, grocery store, or just hanging out at home. Then in the afternoon I do all my editing, blogging, more email, and order placing/packaging. I have my girls on a fabulous schedule where they typically nap 2 to 3 hours a day. If they get up early, I allow them to play quietly in the play room or watch an hour of television (I know, bad) while I am wrapping up some work.  Shoots and ordering sessions are scheduled for weekday evenings; I am no longer booking any weekends as I have those reserved for my family. I used to book out weekends and quickly felt overwhelmed and missed out on family time with my hubby being home from work.

12. What is your favorite professional photography product(s)?

Photoshop, Blogstomp (best blogging action), and ProSelect.

13. Where do you love to go for inspiration?

I have various fashion magazine subscriptions that I draw inspiration from for my senior girls. I also have random, spontaneous scenes appear in my mind’s eye—probably spurred by something silly and subconscious—and I try to jot down the idea before it’s lost. I try not to look at too many photographers’ blogs these days in an effort to stay true to my style. Authenticity is important to me.

14. What have you always found to be easy with your business?

Interacting with my clients. I am an extravert and I love people. I enjoy hearing my clients’ stories, talking about their future, and learning how to relate with so many unique people. It’s vital that your clients feel comfortable with you, before, during, and after a shoot.

15. What have you found to be hard within your business?

I think like most photographers, it’s the business side. Keeping my books up to date, and the never-ending organizational challenges. I am looking into hiring a studio assistant to manage the day-to-day that can get overlooked.

16. How do you balance work & family?

I struggle daily with finding the balance between mom and photographer. If someone has figured this out, please email me! My compass is to remember that above anything else, my children are my priority. With that core value underlying everything I do, I then make photography work in and around it.

17. What question do you wish people would ask you?

I wish curious, prospective photographers would ask me for a realistic perspective on launching into this industry. I wish they’d want to know how truly challenging this business can be, not just what the perks are. I watch a slew of photographers come and go every year, and I’d like to provide the reality check before budding young artists face getting the wind knocked out of them.

18. What has been the highlight of your career?
This last winter I launched a personal project to help out a young girl in need. It turned into a community-wide event, giving free makeovers and senior portraits to local teen moms that were struggling. The response to this project was so much bigger than I could have expected. I got so many notes from other photographers around the country wanting to do something similar because of the inspiration. I am not sure if there was ever a brighter moment in my career than hearing that what I did had inspired others to do the same. I was also recently contacted by Professional Photographers of America, announcing that they’ll be publishing an article on this project in July. I hope it touches and encourages many.

19.  When you’re getting to have “me time” what are you doing?

Taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a great book.

20.What’s the most common mistake you’ve seen newbies making?

Jumping into a business before they are ready. I know I made that mistake; it almost caused me to throw in the towel. Do your research before you take the dive. Practice, practice, practice and learn the business side of things before you venture into taking money and paying taxes. It will save you so much in the long run.

To see the behind the scenes of her Senior Model Shoot go here: Behind the Scenes 2012 Senior Models Shoot from Meg Borders on Vimeo.

w: www.photographybymeg.net
f: www.facebook.com/photographybymeg
t: www.twitter.com/meganborders

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  1. lauren says:

    What? No blog to follow??? How can I blogstalk her if she doesn’t have a blog?? 🙂

  2. Kathy says:

    What an amazing photographer! Her work is just breathtaking!

  3. Anna DeMille says:

    Thanks again, Leah! I’ve always love the Inspire Me Fridays! And thanks to Meg as well, I read the article about you in Prof. Photog and was so inspired! You are both so wonderful!

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