5 Minutes with Megan
I stumbled across Megan’s Instagram page after being tagged in one of her giveaway posts and instantly I fell in love with her horse prints!
Megan is an equine photographer from Brisbane. Growing up with a love for horses and discovering photography through the birth of her children, her business allows her to combine her two greatest passions in life. Through patience, always learning and hard work, she has her art on display in homes around the country!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m a Brisbane based independent equine photographer and artist. I’m in an extremely messy stage of my life balancing my creative brand while raising three children under the age of 6. I really wouldn’t have it any other way!
What sparked your love of photography?
I’m a creative. I always have been. I love that photography allows me to capture emotion in an exact moment and the opportunity it allows in creating an image that is as beautiful if not even more beautiful than that moment.
Where did you love of horses come from?
I grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Mooloolaba by the ocean but have always had a deep desire to be on the land, horses have this beauty and strength to them that has always had me in awe. I can’t really explain it, they make me feel so incredibly happy inside. All the horse girls reading this I am sure are nodding in agreeance? At the age of 14 I got my first job washing dishes at the Coffee Club and this allowed me to lease my first horse – I was obsessed. I’ve had horses in and out of my life ever since. I left school to work on Thoroughbred Studs and Event Yards in the hills of South Australia and the outskirts of Toowoomba. I’ve dabbled in dressage, show jumping and a little hacking. I love most the connection with the horses I have been lucky enough to call my own, the long late days feeding up at home. The smell of them. I just have to be around them.
Why did you choose to combine the two and create a real niche for yourself?
I found my passion for photography when I first became a mother, I was documenting my daughters life through my lens and before I knew it I was photographing products for e-commerce businesses across Australia. I guess grabbing the attention of brands was most affirming for me and this gave me the confidence to put my work out there more. I returned to horse riding after the birth of our little boy – the incredibly talented Chelsea Higgins coached me here in Pullenvale. Being back in the horse world gave me some wonderful opportunities to photograph some of Brisbane’s most inspirational professional riders where I felt most at home and equine photography became my focus. When we received the news of our third bundle of joy I took pen to paper to remodel Brisbane Equine Photography which at the time relied heavily on a busy schedule away from home (my core service being Visual Content Creation, Commissioned Equine Portraits and Equestrian Event Photography). I developed two years of archives into limited edition Fine Art prints so that I could continue to create and produce works from home with my children. I launched Megan E Fine Art (@meganefineart) online nationwide in March this year (2020).
A picture tells a thousand words, but how do you capture the essence of each horse?
Patience. A lot of time and patience to allow the horse to just be. When I arrive the horses generally fuss over me, it can take quite some time for them to get bored of me and to go back to just being as they were. Waiting for these natural moments is essential to my work.
What process do you go through from finding your subject to finish product? How does this differ for natural vs artistic shots?
My process is quite streamlined for all of my work. I take the time to get my images right in-camera so that my post processing is very minimal and my work flow is smooth. This means carefully composing my images before I press the shutter button, and before this I map out some basic preparation and planning. Light is magic – it can bring so much mood to an image; the season, time of day, weather and location all impact this and are the first things I assess when preparing a shoot. Understanding the individual horses routine is just as crucial. Horses are like clockwork and we all know I will have no chance convincing a 650kg Warmblood that my time is more important than his breakfast – working around the horses routine and individual needs sets me up for a win before I’ve even started. I have access to farms nearby and foaling season is my favourite. The young horses are often together after being weaned from their mothers, they always provide plenty of entertainment. They really are just like children. If I want something a little less rustic, a little more refined I’ll reach out to my contacts – I am so fortunate that I have so many people around me only every too happy to assist. They will present their horses clean and very well groomed for me. I always end up turning the horses out to their day yards because I really love capturing them in their natural ways. I process my images personally and test each print before it is released. All printing and framing needs are delivered through a local Brisbane company who I work closely with from the beginning of the print phase through to completion.
For those looking to get into photography, what would you suggest?
So many people reach out to me for this and I love this! Practice. I’m a self-taught photographer, I’ve been behind the lens for 6 years now, and still to this day I read and take in a lot of information constantly. I am always learning. My best advice would be to keep your learning sources broad and never stop educating yourself. There is so much to gain when we are open to learning from others.
What has been your favourite photo to shoot and why?
‘Furstin Evolution’ (Evie) is my favourite print – Evie was my first official Australia-wide release. She’s a gentle natured mare, and I find her print so calming. I think she will always have a special place in my heart.
If your photo could be in anyone’s house, who would it be and why?
Oh gosh this is a hard one! I have my work in Temple Farmhouse Byron bay, and in the Toowoomba region in Darlana House recently photographed for Home Beautiful, and this already has me pinching myself. I am always overwhelmed with emotion with each order that comes through, having my work displayed in the homes of families across Australia and also New Zealand is incredible – I am so moved when someone chooses my work out of such an incredibly talented world of artists.
Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?
My goal has always been to genuinely and personally grow my brand so that when my youngest starts school in 5 years I can hit the ground running. My collections are growing and I have a few things I am working on over here. I also hope to be back out at some of Australia’s biggest Equestrian Events and offering commissions from time to time to provide collectors an opportunity to have personal statement wall art of their very own horse.
You can follow Megan on Instagram and Facebook! To view more of her work then be sure to head to her website. She’s also just released her 2021 Equine Calendar which contains 12 of her amazing photos. It’s a perfect Christmas gift for the horse lover in your life!