Friday, August 18, 2017

Artist Interview with Megan from Megan Landmeier Photography

Owner(s) Name: Megan Landmeier
Name: Megan Landmeier Photography, LLC
Serving Area(s): Northern VA

Describe your business in 3 sentences or less?
I capture images of all kinds to make sure memories are preserved. I work with brands and with individuals to capture the feeling of a product or a season in life.

What products or services do you offer?
I offer all kinds of portrait photography, from high school seniors and headshots to maternity and newborn. I also provide product photography to brands, including some Instagram planning to help businesses put their best foot forward online.

Why are you in this type of business?
I have boxes upon boxes of old family photos and I love capturing those memories for other people. The ability to work partially from home is a big bonus for the sake of my toddler, and I'm absolutely in love with my camera!

How did you get started in this business?
I got my first "real" camera the day before my oldest daughter was born, and I fell in love with photography while taking pictures of her.  She spent three weeks in the NICU and I used that time to do a lot of reading about what would become my passion.  

How long have you been in business?
I officially incorporated early in 2015.

What’s the best part of owning your own business? Worst challenge?

I love making other people happy! The biggest challenge is absolutely scheduling... January is so slow and I fill up in August for the rest of the year. I hate turning clients away so balance in the fall is really tough!

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I'm all self-taught, with a lot of trial and error and reading online! I worked for the student newspaper in college where I learned some design and Photoshop basics, and I spent four years learning my camera before I started my business.

Who inspires your entrepreneurship?
I live in an area with a ton of great photographers, and I love that our digital world allows me to connect with photographers outside my area, too. I love what Angie Arthur has done with her senior portrait business. I also have a number of friends with small businesses - from furniture refinishing to crafting. Those mamas inspire me daily and I love when I can partner with them!

How do you market your business?

Although I use my social media regularly for marketing, at least 75% of my business is word of mouth. I collaborate with local makers, especially Capitol Maker ( It's been fun to work with her and see ideas from conversations come to life as products, to photograph the ideas, and occasionally to watch them go viral!

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? I would love to have the coming years bring more consistency (not so seasonal and not so crazy during busy season.) I'd love to work more with high school seniors and brands.

What are the best tools that help your workflow?  I live by Google Drive and Photoshop. I actually don't have a great workflow "system!" 

What mobile app or internet resources help your business the most? Do Facebook groups count? I have founds some great groups to answer my questions! I am not a big app user. I need a phone with more memory!

Do you have any mentors? Do you mentor? I have mentored a wonderful high school student over the past couple years who is now off to college. I don't have any dedicated mentors but I have a lot of people I can ask for advice!

Why do your customers select you over your competitors? I think personality fit is a huge factor in photographing clients. A natural connection makes for better photos, especially for headshots or other photos of individuals. Despite being a competitive person by nature, when it comes to my business, I focus more on finding the right fit than wanting people to choose me over someone else. I think my clients see that genuine desire for them to have the RIGHT photographer, even if I read what they're looking for and refer them out!

What are the biggest issues running this business? I have two kids and work from home.

How do you achieve balance in your life? 

I try to make time for the things outside of photography that matter to me - family time, church, running, and creative projects for my own sake.

What advice would you give Artsies wanting to launch a business? Learn about the business side first. Be prepared to learn by trial and error. Get your legal ducks in a row along with your artistic ducks, and then go for it. You can always have your artistic endeavor start as a side business!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Artist Interview with Jennifer of Pretty Pixels Photography

Artist Interview
with Jennifer of

♦ Tell us a little bit about you.

Hello Artsi e s! I am so thrilled to have been selected as a Featured Artist! For those that don’t already know me, my name is Jennifer Franzin. I am the face behind Pretty Pixels Photography. When I am not busy being a full-time momma I am most often found exploring & wandering the natural world in search of the little things that people far too often miss in this wonderful and crazy adventure we all call life.

♦ What’s in your bag. 

My camera bag would surprise a lot of people. My gear is a mix of both old and new. However, I have always been of the mindset that it isn’t the gear, it’s the photographer that creates his or her own vision and art. Most recently I am rotating between my Nikon D60, D3100 and my newest baby my D500 My go to lenses are my 17-70mm, Lensbaby Sweet 50 and my 70-300mm.

When did you fall in love with photography? How long have been a photographer?

I fell in love with photography at the age of 6 years old as that was the time my Dad bought me my first little Kodak film camera. I can still remember us being on vacation in western Canada and having this incredible feeling that an adventure was about to begin. Boy, was I ever right! From that moment till now the camera has been a huge part of my life. I turned 40 this year and I can honestly say that the love and passion still remains and If anything it has grown more so.

What sort of work do you specialize in?

I try never to place my photography in a box so to speak...LOL So that being said, I would not say I have specialized in anything but rather that I am an avid photographic explorer. At this point in my journey, I have dabbled and created in most of the photographic genres. Are there some genres that speak to me more than others? Most definitely but for me, this can change dramatically within a six month period. My current mood finds me loving landscape, nature, flora, and fauna, documentary and portrait photography. Does this mean this is where I will settle? Surely not but I am enjoying the journey.

♦ Do you create personal work often?

I try to do this as often as I can. I simply adore capturing images of my three little muses and will welcome an y opportunity to create something to showcase their unique and individual personalities. Many of my images are driven and inspired solely for myself. I have found that the only way not to kill my passion is to feed it. If I shoot for others for too long become stifled, so for me, this is part of my creative process and I feel it makes me a better photographer & artist because of this.

What or who got you started in photography?

For a long time, I just captured images for myself and for friends. I never really thought of myself as a photographer/artist as I am self-taught with no official schooling under my belt so to speak. It wasn’t until a few years back that a dear friend said to me, 'you need to be doing this for a living' that I began to give it any real thought.

Who are some of your favorite artists past or present?

I truly adore the work of the following folks. They each inspire and move me in different ways:
Andre Brandt Photography
Teri Hofford Photography
Holly Nicole - The Timekeeper
Salty Air Creations
The Edge of Elsewhere

How often do you get in front of the camera?

Honestly, as often as I can. This changed a few years back when I realized that I was never in the photo’s being that I was always the one behind the camera. I now make it a point to take a ton of selfies with my children, family & friends and/or setup the camera and get in on the action. I can not express how important this is for a photographer as one day these images will be all that someone has left to hold on to.

What are some of your favorite photographer communities?

Some of the communities that I love are:

Click Magazine
Clickin Moms
Photography By Heart
Artist Inspired
Artsieville/ Artistic Soul
Soul Focus
Snap Love Grow
Snap Maven

Print or Digital? Why?

Both, I have digital albums that I have been amalgamating since my kids were born. Honestly, life got so busy and I am guilty of not printing like I should but I have started playing catch up now. I hope that by the time they are adults I will be all caught up...LOL Did I mention I take a lot of images.

Do you create other types of art? What kind(s)?

I have been working on creating composites for my children truly love the challenge of making something fresh and new another fun thing I do in my down time is created and play around with creating logo's, FB timeline banners and photo cards with images that are accompanied by quotes.

How do you balance your personal/family and passion?

It’s a fine line that is for sure. Sometimes I just need to step back and regroup that may be for a few days and sometimes even a few months but I always come back to my passion.

From where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from the world around me and from my children.

What's your best digital resource?

I love YouTube, Clickin Moms, Phlearn, Light Stalking to name but a few. These are the first ones that simply popped into my mind. I love to learn and being self-taught that craving for knowledge never ceases.

What kinds of creative collaborations have you done? 

I have worked on a variety of projects and compiled things such as diptychs with other artists friend. An example of this is where each of us would shoot a similar same subject and share the final compilation. Last November along with Holly Nicole of the Timekeeper we created a photography page - Photography By Heart. A place for photographers new and established to grow and share their love of the art. We are currently on hiatus but hope to be back in the fall. Each of these projects. I have loved because it really pushes one’s self creatively.

Do you work with any charities or special projects? Which ones? Shout them out.

As of yet I haven’t had the opportunity to support a charity but would definitely welcome the opportunity to in the future.

If you could go back in time, what advice would give to your young photographer self, today?

My best advice would be to follow your heart do not let anyone else tell you what you are good at and what you should be shooting but rather explore every genre, shoot for you first and foremost and never stop learning. If you truly love it, it is worth the work.

♦ What tips would you give to Artsies reading this in an inspirational rut?

Every artist is different & unique. I have known many artists that when in a rut they put away their camera’s, others simply push on & shoot through it and some take on a project or explore shooting in a new genre or way. Honestly, there is no wrong or right answer to this. As you grow as an artist you will recognize what you need to make things work for yourself.

I am still growing each and every day myself.