Capturing Destination Weddings
Megan Allen is more than just a destination wedding photographer. She is a force of nature and good energy. She captures the magic of love through her photography while celebrating the fun in life. In her way of thinking, if there is a moment, it is a moment worth living big and bold, and even better – capturing that moment's magic on film.
Megan is the 100% complete opposite of hum-drum, blah, or been-there-done-that. We sat down with her to talk shop and to learn more about living a life in full-color.
We love your perspective, your energy, your sense of fun. You use “adventuring” as a verb (awesome choice!), and you like to capture your couples’ experiences “one rad photograph at a time.” Tell us more about how you bring your personality, your adventure-loving self, and this excellent perspective to your work.
I think beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, and perspective is really important. For me, I try to see the excitement and possibility of every situation and location, and I love getting to know my couples before we actually go out for a shoot so that I know how to display their relationship in the photos.
The adventuring is a great way to build our relationship, and I love working with couples who don’t take themselves too seriously and are willing to get a little dirty. We wind up having a great time, and the photos are a byproduct of a great time. I tell all my couples that life is short, and we may as well have fun in the process! There’s no time for status quo when we can make epic things come to life, right?!
You’re tasked with such a big job: take great, memorable photos on what is one of life’s biggest, most important days. How do you determine the vibe or the mood for each couple and each occasion?
It’s a lot of learning prior to the actual day. I love to get to know my couples ahead of time, I send them questionnaires, we talk on the phone multiple times, and I try to connect for a beer/wine/coffee a few times as well, just so we build trust and comfort with one another. That way on the wedding day, I’m a friend and not a stranger with a camera. When the comfort is there, I’m able to have access to the intimate moments that they may not provide to a stranger. I tend to attract couples who are open with their emotions, and it’s a joy to be able to capture that emotion as it presents itself.
There is a lot of reading situations, anticipating moments, and not getting in the way of those moments unfolding. Sometimes it’s hard to not respond to a situation, but the best photos happen when I remain silent and shoot through as though I’m not there. It’s a blast to send a gallery to a couple and have them tell me they didn’t even realize I was so close to them during an emotional moment. Then I feel like a ninja, ha!
Wedding photography doesn’t have to be boring. You promise this, and it seems like you truly deliver on it. Where are some of the most exciting, original places you’ve journeyed to for your work?
That’s a tough question! There are so many incredible couples and places I’ve been, that it’s hard to narrow down. My ultimate favorite place to roam has to be Iceland. It’s still wild, and you have to commit to some difficult environments, but it’s so rewarding. You feel like you’ve conquered the world when you come away with images there. Other places I’ve enjoyed photographing are Ecuador, Italy, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of location, it’s an honor to be asked to document someone’s special day, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly, no matter the location.
You are also a published author of fiction and fantasy. Why did you decide to shift your focus and creative energy into photography?
Honestly, when I started photography, I did it to pay off my book covers! It quickly became a shift of loves, and I realized that photography was where I was thriving. I enjoyed writing very much, I just love photography more. It’s telling a story without words, so I still feel like I’m telling stories; they’re just displayed in a different format.
You and your husband have one great son, age 7. We understand that he just did something big-hearted and special for a friend of his who is battling cancer.
Yes! Carter is an incredible young man, and we’re very proud of him. He recently grew his hair out for about 18 months in order to donate it to Wigs for Kids, which is a non-profit that works to give wigs to children with pediatric cancer. He met his friend, Ella, in kindergarten, and worked hard to grow his hair out to give it to her, since she could not grow her own. It was incredible to hear him come to this decision on his own and commit to the process. He inspires me to be a better human being every day. We love him dearly.
Favorite thinker or inspiration or quotation. Help us find a way to uncover our inner-Megan and help us to live our biggest, boldest, most “adventuring” life.
Oh man, that’s tough! I don’t have a specific quote (as I have so many people I love), but one of the biggest things I try to live life by in regards to living an adventurous life would be that you never know what can happen if you don’t ask the question. What I mean by that is, if you don’t ask for the opportunity, the answer is always no. Why not ask? The answer could be yes! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take (Michael Jordan), so you might as well take your shot and see where it goes. You might surprise yourself with all the shots you make.