Meagan Rhodes with flowers in her hair
Personal Work

A day of personal work that revitalized my creativity!

By Sheri Oneal

I spent a few hours last week working with Meagan Nordmann Rhodes on some personal work I have wanted to shoot for some time. I have been working on a personal-spiritual series on an off for over a year. I continually do a lot of online research collecting ideas for lighting, imagery and interesting locations. I am constantly on the lookout for interesting people and props around town and met Meagan on Facebook a while back.

It is hard to make time to shoot for yourself when you feel the constant need to work on self-marketing as a freelance creative, it often feels too much like playing hooky. I sometimes feel trapped between wanting to do something inventive but feeling guilty because there are so many other things I should be doing as a business owner.

As an artist, the majority of the work I do many times is not as creative as I would like even though I absolutely love what I do for a living. When you stop pushing yourself from an inner place and begin to do only what you know will make the client happy, will meet deadlines and stay in the “safe zone”  imagery can become generic.

As a photographer your inner vision can become stagnant and lack the unique style you worked so hard to develop. There comes a time in every creative person’s life when you feel burned out, overwhelmed and worry that perhaps you have lost your creative edge. You can’t just take a creative day you have to make a creative day happen! Once you offer that to yourself no matter how burned out you feel you find out how quickly that imaginative time and space revitalizes your creativity!

Meagan, my friend Susie Aboulhosn and I set out on an adventure last Friday packing as light as we could for a photoshoot in the woods. We dodged the snakes, the bugs and the poison ivy on that hot 90 degree summer day. I went out that morning with the idea that all I wanted to do is have fun, no pressure, no real need to accomplish anything in particular, just to make some pictures that made me feel good. In the end I think we came home with some really nice images.

I let Meagan come up with the wardrobe and headpieces based on some pictures I had collected and her interest in Fairies and Mermaids. Our theme was centered around words like spirit, mystical and magical. She did an awesome job with creating several distinctive looks for us to try out as we shot in and out of the creek. I used minimal lighting, a reflector, a Quantum pack and Q-flash, synced with a pocket wizard, packed in plastic bags attached to the stand…just in case a stand went over into the water. I forgot my water shoes and spent the weekend with bruised feet from walking on the rocks barefoot but it was well worth the pain!

Meagan is a beautiful young woman blessed with angelic porcelain skin which made my job easy as the photographer. We had a great morning working off of each other’s ideas, never forcing anything and just going through the motions that made us all feel good. The camera and all my gear stayed dry and I found myself excited about the idea of going home to play with my images in photoshop over the weekend. I needed that creative day to remind me how much I love what I do and I can’t wait for my next hooky day!

I would love to hear your thoughts on these images and be sure to check out Meagan’s ArtFlash News Station and Susie’s flicker page , they are two wonderfully creative and innovative ladies. Thank you both for making my creative Friday so wonderful!!!!

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