02 October 2007

on the spot • no. 05

meg is someone who i befriended in the blogland and immediately felt embraced into her world. her blog banner says it all. polite and outgoing, she announces, 'hi, i'm meg.' i imagine this is how she greets the new day {and new friends and new cities}; with open arms. she steps off the locomotive train, pulls off her camera lens cap and says, 'hi, i'm meg.' unafraid and prepared to view the world with new eyes and a clear lens, she is a world explorer with an open mind for learning. i love reading her introspective words and falling for her every photograph. to me, her images have the charm of classic vintage photos you might discover in your attic, yet with an artistic edge, contemporary cropping and style. her compositions are at once precise + exact yet comfortable + calm. whatever they are, for me, they are the pull-me-in-and-let-me-take-another-look-at-you type photographs. and that is what i call a pretty perfect picture.
her interview goes as follows:

m. writes about meg : hi, i'm meg

Name: Meg Werner
Line of work: erm, unemployed! I just finished my degree, took some time to travel Europe and the US, and am finally buckling down to find work in consulting. When I'm not doing that, I fancy myself a photographer.

Favorite tool in your studio? My computer, my scanner, my permanent markers (to label CDs).

Favorite activity on a lazy Saturday? Cooking a big lunch for friends, mucking about outside and taking some snaps, and then relaxing and taking it easy.

Favorite coffee table book? I have a few proper coffee table books, but my favourite coffee table books are those books that I boldly declare to be coffee table books (how cheeky!) by placing them on the coffee table, such as my Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

Best store to spend your dough? The supermarket ... dark chocolate, red wine, ripe peaches, a nice camembert, breaking bread with friends... the best. We all need to eat; the supermarket brings people together from all walks of life. I like that.

Best household gadget? Electric tea kettle.

Playing on your ipod? Woodcat by Tunng. Gorgeous.

Favorite dish to bring to a party? Brie+cranberry in filo dough. Worth the effort for sure.

A must in your handbag? A pen, water.

An every day ritual? Grinding coffee beans for the french press in the morning.

A must-see in your town? Just one? Then I'd have to say the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. There are so many others, though. St. Louis is a hidden gem.

What age were you when you got your first camera? I got my first 35mm SLR when I was 16 (ten years ago! yikes!), a Canon Rebel 2000. I still use it almost everyday although I have other cameras. That camera feels like an old friend.

Your favorite thing to snapshot? People and food... almost always outside. I love being outside; it's also where I am most comfortable taking photos. I love the infinite number of ways light diffuses across the earth. Autumn sun in St. Louis shines differently than autumn sun in L.A. or Paris. Morning light is often more gentle than afternoon light. There's just so much to play with when shooting photos outside-- colour, form, pattern, shadow, light... I love it.

What makes an interesting photograph? I wish I knew the secret recipe. I'm so fickle that what I find interesting depends on the day and my mood.

I love your chosen subjects (polka dots, the red dress).. what kinds of things pull you in? Thank you! I love the breezy, the delicate, the gentle, the subtly powerful. I think the series that you kindly mention are really the result of me loving to take photos of my friends; they are so patient and trusting with me. I also love capturing life's 'in between' moments-- life is so difficult sometimes, and so I use my camera to capture those truly good, content, simple moments when everything feels 'just right' with the world.

How do you get the most out of a vacation? I like taking my time on holiday. My favourite holidays are those where I had a few things that I really wanted to do and the rest was left to lady fortune. Getting to know the museums of a city can be just as much fun and important as getting to know the energy and rhythm of a city.

Do you have a favorite artist / photographer?
Choosing just one is too hard. I have a lot of crushes. I went to Chagall's museum in Nice, France this past summer, and I was so moved I got that lump in my throat. I am exploring his life and works at the moment. My list of favourite photographers is miles long.

Most memorable lesson learned in school? There were memorable teachers and memorable books, but I can't recall any memorable lessons. One of my favourite quotes is by Oscar Wilde: Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. I have taken my education very seriously and learned so much, but perhaps paradoxically, I think Wilde is spot on.

What/who is your source of inspiration? Music. Often I feel as though my brain is best at taking auditory inspiration and translating it into something visual such as a photograph. I look at photographs and think of songs, and I look at my own photographs and remember the song playing in my head when I took it. Of course it is difficult to list only one source of inspiration. Other photographers, a storm rolling in, a piece of jewellery-- so many things inspire me.

What calms you? Walking outside and/or listening to music.

What excites you? Life. It also tires me out sometimes. :)

Inspiring words for aspiring photographers...

{1} Take as many photos as you have the time and energy to take. Famous photographer Garry Winogrand died at the age of 56, leaving behind 2500 undeveloped rolls of 36-exposure 35mm film, as well as 6,500 rolls of developed, but not contact-printed film. While it is sad that he never got to evaluate that work, I find it also so inspirational that even a great photographer like Mr Winogrand never forgot how much he simply loved to shoot no matter the final result. The act of photographing can be as enjoyable as the final print, so if you have a bad roll or a bad day or you get discouraging feedback, sod it and keep shooting! I love taking snaps and seeing the world through that small rectangle or square as much as I love achieving a great end result.

{2} Put your work online somewhere, whether it be a portfolio, blog, or flickr account, especially if you aren't immersed in an artistic community or supportive environment. I have the best friends anybody could ask for, but discussing photography and getting advice is difficult because few of my friends share my passion, and that's when the awesome online community becomes so important. Creating a blog or a flickr account can really help you find other photographers/artists/crafters/designers, as well as help you to feel more confident in your work, as you must evaluate your work before putting it out there for anyone else to do so.

Something you can always count on... that 'Dear Prudence' by The Beatles and 'From the Morning' by Nick Drake will always make me feel better. Always.

Makes you happy... chocolate, beautiful jewellery, emails and letters, attic fans, typewriters, analogue photography, ellipses

thank you meg. the way you capture the world is astounding. and leaves me speechless. your work is enticing and oh so charming. wise beyond your years, i am glad i could put you on the spot, putting your thoughts and pictures on the page. keep clicking, miss shutterbug, your prints are pure magic.

take a trip around the world with meg:
bon voyage with 956 flickr photos! from the leaning tower to the eiffel tower. from london to france, from rolling hills to stonehenge. and don't miss meg's online photography portfolio; simply outstanding. plus, she has one of the cutest blogs around. crossing my fingers there will be an Etsy site stocked with incredible images soon! xo.


Jane said...

great interview. that oscar wilde quote is one to remember (and apply). of course, i went straight to flickr to see more photos .... thank you!

charlotte said...

what lovely words - you should be really chuffed. I loved taking a little trip around your world again. that shot of your old kitchen window is one of my all time favourites. have a great day, lottie x

charlotte said...

oops, that comment was really directed at meg, but equally, I so enjoyed reading the interview!

Unknown said...

This was very interesting! Great interview and thanks for showing us this great blog! I'm now a subscriber (to her's and your's). :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for doing the interview with me, marta! i really enjoyed it, and i'm tickled to know what photos you like! xx

Jill said...

such a beautiful bunch of 'snaps'. i just love her words - and i think it is so neat to find connections from other places!

Anonymous said...

These on the spots are great fun to read. Really lovely blog, thank you for finding me because now I found you!

Anonymous said...

i can't think of anyone more accomplished and also more humble than dear meg - what a treat to read a spotlight! thank you both, :)

Lacey Jane said...

Really enjoy her work! Thanks for sharing- such inspiration.

love.boxes said...

thanks for introducing such a fascinating and talented girl.

Anonymous said...

this is a wonderful interview. love your selection of photos that go with it - well done ladies :)

Marieke said...

Lovely interview - those red dress photos are stunning!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...