Megan McLaughlin Photography

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After 16 straight years in school, I will be completely done in 16 days.  Hello real world! 

For one of my classes, my final assignment is to write a business plan.  I have chosen to write this plan about my photography business I am in the early stages of establishing.  My business will specialize in sports photography, but will also offer portrait sessions.  I will also be able to create commemorative videos using either my photographs or a customer’s personal photographs.

My new website and improved business Facebook page will be coming soon, so keep a look out!   

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What Would A Busy Bee Do If She Was Free?

As an art student, I never really have much free time.  I’m either taking pictures, painting for my watercolor class, studying for art history, or trying to find some time in between to have a social life.  I can’t even imagine what I would do if I had an entire week dedicated to nothing but being creative, mostly because I’ve never even had a weekend of that kind of time.

If I did have a full week to spare, I would:

  • Update my website or even create an entirely new one.  I created a website for my photography about a year ago, but I get so busy that I hardly ever have time to add new pictures and update the site itself.  A week of dedicated creative time would allow me to edit all of my more recent photographs and upload them to my site.  I would also spend some of that week going out and shooting more.  Hopefully I will have the time before I graduate to update my website, especially since I know after I graduate I will be busy finding a job and starting to pay off student loans, etc.
  • Personalize my blog.  In addition to time, I would also need the money to buy my blog name so I could personalize it more.  But if I had both, I would look to blogs such as A Beautiful Mess, enJOY it, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Fine and Feathered, and Shutterbean as inspiration.
  • Scrapbook!  In high school, I would scrapbook with my neighbor as often as I could.  It’s such a great way to capture memories through photographs, notes, etc. in one place.  All of my scrapbooking materials are back in California, so I don’t get to work on my books as often as I’d like.  After I graduate I plan to pick up where I left off in high school.

I went to high school in California, and some of my previous classmates are also photographers.  I enjoy exploring their websites to get ideas about what type of things I can add to my personal site.  A few of the sites I love to roam [that you should check out!] are:

Krista Ashley Photography — http://kristaashleyphoto.com

KristaAshleyPhotography

Shaun & Skyla Walton Photography — http://www.skylawaltonphoto.com

ShaunSkylaWaltonPhoto

Preston Richardson Photography — http://prestonrichardson.com

PrestonRichardsonPhotography

 

 

A Girl Can Dream…

Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE a workspace like this… I just know I would never get ANYTHING done because of that gorgeous view.  I mean, who would?!  In reality, I need a workspace that is not only functional for my practice, but is also appealing to the eye so I can go in and just relax even when I’m not working.  As a photographer I need studio space for both digital and film work to be made, but I also plan to have areas where I can create in other mediums and a small area to relax.  I’ve always been attracted to loft spaces, especially ones with hardwood floors and high ceilings.  Although in my studio space I would prefer concrete floors so I wouldn’t run such a high risk of ruining perfectly beautiful hardwood flooring.  I would love to have a huge wall of windows for natural lighting, but even just a half wall would do.

For digital work, checking emails, etc., I want a desk where I can set up my future iMac (and my current MacBook Pro).  Any desk with room to hold a computer, printer, and still leave space to write will work, but I’ve had my eyes on this beauty ever since it was posted on A Beautiful Mess.  I definitely want to try to have a built in desk, preferably one set up somewhere with a view.  Other than a comfy chair to sit in while I’m working at the desk, I’ll also need a filing system, a filled pencil cup, and storage containers for odds and ends. I would have a huge cork board on the wall in front of my desk to pin important documents or inspirational photographs.  I also want to install metal rods in the wall so I can hang up various items.  The last few things I want around my desk, or at least somewhere in my studio, are posters such as this and this that will keep me motivated.

Organization

My film work will require a darkroom, preferably one that attaches directly to the rest of my studio.  The darkroom itself will require a great ventilation system, multiple sinks, drying racks, and a red safe light.  Of course I will also need my developing equipment for processing the film itself and then making prints from the negatives.  I would love a giant closet inside the darkroom to store all my processing equipment and the extra chemicals that I would want to keep away when not in use.  I would love a barn door like this to divide my darkroom from the rest of the studio, but I am not quite sure if it would be able to keep the light out as much as a darkroom needs.

Darkroom1 Darkroom2 Darkroom3 Darkroom4

Outside the darkroom, I would have a light table for looking at negatives.  In the main part of the studio, I want a HUGE working table in the middle of the space.  I am an avid scrapbooker so I would use that space to scrapbook, as well as lay out digital or large film prints to review.  This table would have storage areas on all sides, some in cubicle form and some in shelf form for large prints or canvases I am painting on.

Storage1

One corner of my studio would be designated for photo shoots.  I would install a backdrop, such as this one, and have props tucked away in storage containers.

Backdrop

I want one wall of my studio to be a giant bookcase.  Literally, the entire wall… one huge bookcase.  One like this would be big enough to hold all my photography books (and other books), binders from the award shows I’ve worked on (past and current), as well as bits and pieces from crafts I am completing.   Well, it might qualify as a huge cubicle storage unit rather than a bookcase.  But either way, the edition of the sliding ladder (like the one pictured) would be a great way for me to reach the top of the unit.

Bookcase

I plan to have at least one wall of my studio painted with chalkboard paint so I can write on it whenever I come up with an idea or I just want to doodle.  Thankfully, chalkboard paint can be mixed in any color, so I can even paint my entire studio in it.  On one of the walls painted with chalkboard paint, I would draw out a huge calendar where I can put my monthly schedule for work, family events, etc.

I would love to have a full size kitchen in my studio, but a half size will work just the same.  As long as I have a coffee maker, fridge, sink, and microwave I will survive.  It would be nice to have a small water cooler near my kitchen area.

In another corner of my studio I would set up a giant easel, surrounded by plenty of empty space.  Nearby I would have storage bins for paintbrushes, canvases, paints, and other supplies needed for watercolor or acrylic paintings.  It would be great to have my easel near a window so I could check out a nice view while I paint.

Easel

One area of my studio will be set aside for relaxing.  It will have either a large couch or a large chair that I can sit in when I’m taking a break.  I also want a small coffee table and a large flat screen television in this area so I can watch games during baseball season, or even put on music stations while I’m working.

Other things I want in my studio are shelves in various places to display my work and the work of other artists, a storage closet for all my extra supplies, and an entry area where I can drop off my bag, keys, etc.

Now I’ve just got to graduate already so I can start working and make enough money to build this thing!

NoSpaceWorkSpace

AnythingPossible

Why?

The question is why.  Why am I here?

Let me start by saving I have always been more of a creative person.  I have always enjoyed art classes, and even English classes, more than math or science.  I guess my brain is wired to work better when I can think of the solution to a problem, rather than when I already know the answer to 2 + 2 is always going to be 4.

To be completely honest, one of the main reasons I chose this University is because it is close to my favorite athletic team’s Spring Training stadium.  It is so wonderful to only have a fifteen-minute drive to the stadium when Spring Training season begins.

As far as why I am an art student, that goes back to my creativity.  Photography has always been one of my hobbies, even more so after I was given a DSLR for Christmas one year.  I was then able to take better quality photographs of my family, friends, on vacations, and at baseball games.  This made me enjoy photography even more, which is the reason why I chose it as my major when applying to ASU.  Even though the hours in the darkroom or digital lab are very long and frustrating, when you finally get that perfect print… You know all your hard work has paid off.

I am originally from California and I plan to return after I graduate in May.  I am going to continue working with photography after graduation, but I also plan to work in Production – which I have been working in for the past three summers.  Although the future is not set in stone, I know I will always be doing something creative, whether it is photography, painting, or working in production.