And then, just like that, it’s gone. A wedding is a sweeping arc, filled with a kaleidoscope of emotions. When done masterfully, photography captures those emotions and transports one’s senses back to a brief moment in time.
Meg’s refined technical skills allow her to shift seamlessly between digital and film and navigate a wide array of lighting situations. But it’s her gift as an artist that makes her luminous images extraordinary. She sees the grand moments, but also the subtle – yet poignant – moments in-between, where stillness and reflection reside. “My work has been informed by historic street photographers (Cartier-Bresson, Lartigue, even Weegee), so I gravitate towards moments that are found (not created), ” says Meg. “It’s my instinct to get out of the way and get the shot. I’ve also been inspired by contemporary photographers such as Sheila Metzner, and the painterly quality of a photograph intrigues me. Stillness, movement, moments, meaning, connection, composition…I’m driven to create images that have some compelling combination of these elements.”
Meg has photographed the weddings of Anne Hathaway, Jimmy Kimmel, Governor of California Gavin Newsom, LeAnn Rimes, and the late Robin Williams, as well as the engagements of Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie, and special occasions for George Lucas, to name a few.
She is a frequent contributor to Martha Stewart Weddings, Town & Country, and InStyle magazine, and her photographs have been featured in numerous other publications, such as The New York Times, Vogue, Glamour, and Elle. Her images have also graced the covers and been featured in many books including InStyle Weddings, Green Weddings, American Photo Wedding and Portrait Guide, and Vera Wang On Weddings.
Meg wasn’t even born when her life’s trajectory was set in motion. Her great-great-grandfather was a studio portrait photographer in Los Angeles, and her mother a longtime favorite subject of an esteemed Hollywood photographer. Growing up, Meg was enamored with the photographs he took of her parents’ wedding at the Hotel Bel-Air. “They were classic black and white photographs,” she says, “deceptively simple in their beauty, ease and intimacy.”
A native to the Napa Valley wine region, Meg’s childhood offered a wealth of inspiration as her mother – a dedicated amateur photographer – practiced her art on her daughter and friends. Rolls of film would hang from the bathroom shower curtain rod, and Meg would watch her mother magically transform the long strips into beautiful images.
While still in high school, Meg enrolled in photography courses at the local college and set up her home darkroom in the family basement. Later, as an art history major at UC Berkeley, she embraced documentary photojournalism and studied under the tutelage of social documentary photographer Ken Light. It was while photographing riots and protests that she discovered a natural ability to capture fleeting moments and turn them into poignant reflections on life.
She was accepted into an internship at auction house Butterfield & Butterfield, evaluating and cataloging historic photographs usually seen in galleries and private collections, followed by several years of working for luminaries such as Academy Award-winning film producer Saul Zaentz, international photojournalist Peter Menzel and National Geographic photographer Charles O’Rear. The experiences expanded her understanding of photography as a complex art form. “I was – and still am – deeply moved by the tangible nature of film,” she says, “and in awe of the alchemy of the latent image.”
Eventually, she felt powerfully drawn to being back behind the camera herself, although the direction her work took was unexpected considering her background. But it made perfect, almost poetic sense. A friend, who was a painter, asked Meg to photograph her wedding and offered a painting as payment. Meg quickly found her footing and soon turned into one of the most sought-after wedding photographers in the U.S. “Photography is my destiny; it’s in my blood,” she says. “It’s my life’s work.”
Meg divides her time between Napa Valley and Los Angeles.
Given an upbringing immersed in the California food revolution, Meg also focuses on food and wine, cooking, gardening, and the California lifestyle.
She was the official photographer for Team USA, led by Chef Thomas Keller, at the Bocuse D’Or, the world’s largest culinary competition, held in Lyon, France biannually. She documented the journeys of superstar chefs Phillip Tessier, Matthew Peters, and Matthew Kirkley, and her work is in Chasing Bocuse, America’s Journey to the Culinary World Stage by Phillip Tessier. She has photographed several other cookbooks, including Taste of Honey by Marie Simmons, and her current cookbook project, Gather, will be released in 2021.