Lately I Can’t Get Enough…

REST.

The past week and a half have been spent = finishing all of my finals, graduating, packing, driving 6.5 hours, unpacking, chatting with old friends, more unpacking, organizing, and working (for an entire week already)… This weekend is already booked solid with an appointment, two Angels baseball games, and attending a friend’s graduation.  And then next weekend I hope to drive to Disneyland after work on Friday to participate in the 24-hour Disneyland event that weekend, followed by another appointment and a family Memorial Day Party.

And I have two shows at the beginning of June (You should all watch Guys Choice Awards & Critics’ Choice Television Awards!!), followed by a family vacation/reunion to New Orleans (for my parents 25th wedding anniversary) and Pensacola, Florida.  [It’ll be the first time in almost 10 years that I’ve been to Pensacola, plus my entire mom’s side of the family will be there, so I am super psyched! And I haven’t been to New Orleans in years!] I also want to participate in the LA Color Run in late June.

Even with all that in mind, and my brain partially asleep right now, I still have a lot I want to do in the upcoming months.  But thankfully I don’t have to rush to get it all done within the normal 3 month summer break – perks of being a college graduate!

To Do List:

1.  Hike to the Hollywood sign

2.  Go to Disneyland & California Adventure

3.  Meet a celebrity

4.  Go to a concert

5.  Go camping (Even if it’s in my backyard or my living room)

6.  Make home-made ice cream

7.  Have a BBQ

8.  Go on a bike ride

9.  Have a photo shoot

10.  Explore somewhere new

11.  Go to an Angels game

12.  Eat beignets!

13.  Try something new

14.  Don’t spend money for an entire day

15.  Be surprised

16.  Have a movie night with my best friends

17.  Travel

18.  Impress my boss

19.  Cook dinner for my parents (maybe on their anniversary)

20.  Eat s’mores

21.  Learn to French braid & fishtail braid my own hair

22.  Explore parts of Southern California that I’ve never been to before

 

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Megan McLaughlin Photography

MMPhotography Logo

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!   

SPE & Comic-Con

Although I am about to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, I have to confess I’ve never been to a photography conference.  I plan to attend SPE (The Society for Photographic Education) next year, or within a few years following my graduation.  SPE is a non-profit organization specifically designed for photographers to associate with others photographers, while looking at different experiments within the field.  Once a year, SPE holds a conference for all its members to gather and learn from each other.  Events in the conference range from lectures and meetings, to panels and even demos.  The variety of events at the conference are sure to satisfy a photographer working in any area of the field.  The 2014 SPE conference is to be held in Baltimore, Maryland.

SPE

 

 

Another conference I would enjoy attending is Comic-Con.  This yearly conference is held in San Diego, California.  Although the conference was initially designed for comic book fans, the conference also holds panels showcasing specific television shows (among other events).  My favorite show, Psych, has had a panel at Comic-Con for the past few years and I think I would pass out from excitement if I were able to be a part of the audience for their panel.

ComicCon

 

 

Brave

In the dictionary, brave is defined as:

  1. Possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance
  2. A brave person, a warrior
  3. To Defy, challenge, dare

Let’s focus on that last one.

Four years ago, I chose Photography as my major when applying for college.  I never had any intention on choosing math or science, but before I actually applied I honestly didn’t know what my major was going to be.  Since I have always been more creative, I chose a creative major.  Throughout my years at ASU I have come to see how many students actually choose to become art majors, but when I was applying during high school I was the only senior who chose a creative major.  My friends from high school are at different colleges around the country, majoring in subjects such as English, Anthropology/Biology, Nursing, and Neuroscience.  With those majors, they basically have their career paths set.  As for art majors, our future is wide open.  We can use our major for anything.  That being said, since I didn’t have a specific job in mind when I chose Photography, it was a bold move to choose it as my major.  But, I challenged the normal and dared to be different.  I took a leap of faith to study something that I am actually interested in that doesn’t offer a specific position after graduation.

Art Student Make Money Pie Chart

 

 

Networking

The summer after my freshman year of college I began working in production.  Often times people don’t understand exactly what I mean when I tell them I work in production, so let me break it down for y’all.  I work in the talent department for award shows, such as Guys Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards.  The job entails booking talent (actors & actresses, singers, comedians, etc.) for presenting or accepting awards in these shows.  There is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes, but I won’t bore y’all with all the job-specific details.

Many of the publicists, managers, agents, talent, and co-workers I have come to know and talk to on a regular basis I have met through networking.  In the beginning, my boss introduced me to people she had previously worked with.  This allowed me to meet many other people working in my field, as well as talent representatives that I would soon be emailing and playing phone tag with every day.  Throughout the three summers that I have been working in production, I have been introduced to even more co-workers, talent reps, and talent, in addition to assistants and security personnel.  After I graduate in May I am hoping to continue working in production and continue to expand my connections with others in the field.

On the student side of things, the easiest way to network myself is through friends.  I have met many friends (both photo majors and non-photo majors) in my classes and we often discuss each other’s artwork, which leads to pictures and invitations to BFA Exhibitions, etc.

Although I prefer networking face to face (or via email & phone for work), it doesn’t mean I don’t network over social media websites.  I definitely use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay in touch with people and update them on my artwork and current projects.  I usually use Facebook for more personal connections, while Twitter and Instagram are used for both personal and work.  My LinkedIn account is dedicated solely to connections made through work, or more formal acquaintances regarding my artwork. I connect with well-known people in fields I work in or am just interested in (baseball, for example) via Twitter quite often, and I use LinkedIn to see what shows my past and future co-workers are currently working on.

Networking Pic

Light Work Residency

Who wouldn’t want a residency that provides a furnished apartment, a $4000 stipend, a private digital studio and darkroom, and 24-hour access to the facility?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I never really thought about doing a residency, but with amenities like those how could I not consider it!  Artists that participate in the Light Work residency are provided an apartment in Syracuse, New York for one month and given access to the Light Work studios and labs while working on personal photography projects.  The studios and labs have computers with Epson printers, like the ones in the Mac Lab at Arizona State University.  The computers in the lab also come with Photoshop, Illustrator, iLife, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and other programs to allow artists to work in a range of areas.  I have never been to New York, but I’ve always wanted to, so that alone is making me drool over this residency!

SyracusePostcard

 

 

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

Lately I Cannot Get Enough…

TIME.

First of all, let me put it out there: I am a procrastinator.  But in this case, my procrastination habits are not a factor.

I could start by rewinding back to winter break… Which I have to remind everyone that goes to ASU and inform everyone that does not – last year the university cut the winter break from one month down to TWO weeks.  Factoring in Christmas and New Years, time that most people spend with their families, there is hardly any time at all left for having an actual break from school.  Both last year and this year, my winter break felt more like an extremely long nap rather than the actual two-week break it was supposed to be.

Since returning for my last semester of school, time is still my enemy.

My Senior Exhibition is about a month into the semester.  You would think this is enough time to prepare, but with the homework, projects, and tests flying in from the four other classes I am taking (plus work from the Exhibitions/Portfolio class), I can hardly find the time to finalize everything.  Even when I schedule in time to finish some of these details, something for another class comes up and I have to rush off to do that.  Thankfully, after this weekend I will have my prints and frames completed – which only leaves my artist statement, thank you list, shopping for opening night reception, and installation.  Did I say only?  HA!

But now I have a question for all of you reading this… Do you ever get the feeling that when you have a big event or assignment due, the universe seems to throw EVERYTHING else in at that same time?

I sure do.  My installation weekend and opening reception have been set since before the semester began, but since then they’re not the only things I’ve got on my plate those two weeks.  Let’s throw on 7 self portraits for my watercolor class… And an Art History exam… And a Photogravure final print.

To add to all the school assignments I’ve got, my refrigerator decided to suddenly stop working properly a few days ago. Right after my brother and I bought a bunch of new groceries, I might add. So, I’ve spent all day sitting around my house waiting for the Geek Squad from Best Buy to come repair it.  Plus I’ve been waiting for our A/C repair company to come check out our system.  Even after the 12 – 4pm time slot Best Buy gave us, they did not show up and my fridge is still broken.  But that’s another story, a very long and VERY frustrating story. 

As you can see from the countdown on my blog, time until I graduate is also ticking away… 2 months!  Time to: apply for graduation, find a job, and start packing up my belongings to cart back to California.

Can You Hear That?

So no one told you life was going to be this way.

Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, and you’re love life’s DOA.

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear,

Well, it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before.

I’ll be there for you, cause you’re there for me too.

You’re still in bed at ten, the work began at eight.

You’ve burned your breakfast, so far, things are going great.

Your mother warned you there’d be days like these,

But she didn’t tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees.

That, I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before.

I’ll be there for you, cause you’re there for me too.

No one could ever know me, no one could ever see me.

Seems like you’re the only one who knows what it’s like to be me.

Someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with,

Someone I’ll always laugh with, even at my worst, I’m best with you.

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear,

Well, it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before.

I’ll be there for you, cause you’re there for me too.

I received the entire Friends series on DVD as a gift for Christmas… and I cannot stop watching.  Even though I have homework to get done and an exhibition to prep for, I continuously watch episode after episode.  And even as I watch my DVDs, I find myself searching for blooper clips on YouTube.

I hear The Vampire Diaries echoing up to my room as my brother watches his recording downstairs, VERY loudly I might add.  And then I hear him practically stomping up the stairs (which he swears is just the regular way he walks up stairs) to come into my room and remind me that pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in 11 days.  I hear my printer going crazy as I print out the 50 pages (yes, I said 50!) of images I have to know for my Art History exam in two weeks… And that is with 4 images per page!  I hear the clicking of my laptop mouse as I scroll over the hundreds of posts on my Pinterest homepage, another one of my brilliant procrastination techniques that comes back to bite me in the ass.  I hear Becky continuously reminding me that our senior show is in less than 20 days… TIME TO FREAK OUT! 

Lately everything goes back to the show.  The last milestone I have to conquer before I can graduate in May.  Like I said, TIME TO FREAK OUT!  I am going to be so incredibly relieved after February 22 when I am completely done with this show.

Beyond Here Lies