January 27, 2020 Achievements

High school student juggles homework with photography business

Megan Thompson, a junior at Sioux City East High School, displays her semester photography portfolio. Photo by Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal.
Megan Thompson, a junior at Sioux City East High School, displays her semester photography portfolio. Photo by Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal.

In order to be a great wedding photographer, you must have an eye for aesthetics as well a dedication to detail.

Another thing that will come in handy: an attention-getting mom voice.”That’s something hopefully will come in time,” Megan Thompson, the owner of Sioux City-based Meganography, said with a smile. ‘”Nobody jumps when I tell them to get into place because my voice doesn’t carry very far.”

This fact shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, the photographer and videographer for Meganography is actually an East High School 11th grader who started her own business more than three years ago.

“The first camera that I was allowed to use belonged to my grandma,” Megan explained. “I was 4 years old and my models were mostly Barbie dolls.”

By age 6, she was ready for her first point-and-shoot. By the time she turned 10, it was on to the world of quality digital single-lens reflex camera.

Also, Megan has graduated from Barbie photos to pictures of her cat to, well, documenting the most important moments of a a person’s life.

“I love taking photos of weddings and family reunions and senior portraits,” she said. “Those are so much fun to do.”

Megan has also photographed school events, participated in ad campaigns and done studio work.

So, is there anything she doesn’t like photographing?

“Baby pictures,” Megan answered immediately. “I just don’t have the patience.”

Also, baby photos don’t offer the creative challenges she desires.

“Some people want pictures that are completely staged,” Megan said. “Me? I like to capture the special moments.”

Indeed, she prefers a more documentary-like approach for both still photos and, increasingly, videos.

This allows Megan to be a bit more artsy.

“Even when I’m not shooting something, I’m picturing it visually in my mind,” she allowed. “Then, I kick myself for not having my camera with me.”

And believe it or not, there are times when she is sans camera. Especially since Megan joined her school’s show choir.

“I’m busy with school work and show choir,” she said. “But I don’t want to disappoint my clients.”

After all, they are the ones who put a lot of faith in both Megan and Meganography.

“Everyone asks if people take a high school kid seriously when it comes to business,” she said. “When I’m on an assignment, I stop being a high school kid. There, I become a professional.”

However, if a shoot requires out-of-town travel, Megan brings along a chaperone.

“My mom or grandma come with me whenever I take on a long-distance wedding shoot,” she admitted. “They drive, I shoot.”

Which is fair enough since Megan’s after-school job is a bit more lucrative than babysitting or working at the mall.

While she said photography will always be a passion, Megan said she wants to pursue a more practical course of study when she goes to college.

“I love business,” she said. “That’s why I already have one of my own.”

Showing off a portfolio of her work, Megan said she just booked another out-of-town wedding shoot for the weekend.

Will her mom be joining her?

“Of course,” Megan said. “Maybe, she’ll help get everybody to line up for photos, After all, who has a better ‘mom’ voice than an actual mom.”

View the full article by Earl Horlyk on the Sioux City Journal.

Photo by Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal.