Meagan Abell, a wedding photographer based in Richmond, Virginia, believes adventures mean you give part of yourself away, while at the same time, gaining new treasure from it. An avid ‘urbexer’, Meagan explores abandoned places, old houses and other out there places. A master of GIFs (a pity we can’t get that working on our website but a link to her work is included) and a double-exposure-oholic (I think that’s the word), she has a long “photographic bucket list” - how long? I don’t dare to ask. These beautiful images of Meagan’s are a testament of her life’s adventures.
1. What is life to you? What it should be?
I think life is a series of adventures. Some are big, some are small, some are terrifying and some are exhilarating, but all of them are what make up who you are as a person. I believe with each adventure, you give a little part of yourself away, but you also acquire bits and pieces of the world around you. That’s why when you look back at who you were 10 years ago, it’s completely different than how you are now.
2. There are a lot of professions out there - why be a photographer?
I think about this often, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just what I was born to do. As a kid, I had a bunch of different hobbies, but my absolute favorite thing to do was take a disposable camera and photograph EVERYTHING around me. Eventually, my camera and I became inseparable, and now photography is such a huge and passionate part of my life, I doubt I’d be happy doing anything else.
3. How much is your family an influence on the way you view life, see things?
My mom is my biggest fan and greatest influence. She raised me basically on her own, and she gave me my first disposable camera. She’s always pushed me to dream big and pursue what I love, and reminds me that even if I fail, at least I had that experience and I can learn from it and improve.
4. What is your favorite non-photography pastime?
I like to go urban exploring aka “urbexing”, which is basically the seeking out and exploration of abandoned places and spaces. Lots of old houses, factories, hospitals and asylums. I actually did a road trip to Detroit with a couple friends in February just to do some urbexing up there, even though it never reached a temperature higher than 20 degrees. So. Much. Snow.
5. What do you like to eat?
Tacos. Donuts from a local place in Richmond. And more tacos.
7. Is there a big difference between your personal work and commissioned work?
My commissioned work is typically going to be a bit more bright and colorful, and with my personal work I like to shoot a little bit more dark and moody, but there’s not a super crazy big gap between the two.
8. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
9. Are there any unseen experimental images in your attic you’d like to show us now?
Right now I have an ongoing project I’m doing with instant film and double exposures, where I combine portraits of people with flora and flauna. I’m a bit of a double-exposure-oholic, and doing them on film is awesome because you can get a tangible piece of art right in your hands within 5 minutes!
10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?
I probably would’ve tried a lot harder when I was in school, and not taken my education for granted so much. Plus, I’m really missing having free access to a darkroom and film developing materials, it can get super expensive buying it on your own!