This week we have a conversation with professional photographer Megan Parks, a portrait photographer from a Hollywood family. She shares with us some of her photography aspirations, and her favorite photography moments. From her wide range of photographic skills, she gives us some invaluable ideas and advice on portrait editing.
Portrait Pro: How did you begin with photography?
Megan Parks: That's difficult to define, just like when did you begin to write? I have always loved taking photographs as a kid, as I always seemed to have a camera. My first was a Brownie which went everywhere with me. Growing up in a movie industry family I had access to lot of good cameras. I began photography as a profession about 15 years ago.
Portrait Pro: Do you do a lot of post processing or just a little?
Megan Parks: I try to shoot the best I can in the camera, and keep the processing to just a little. But there are some instances where I do a lot of processing to achieve certain styles, and make image corrections.
Portrait Pro: What is your favorite use of Portrait Pro? (Tell us something interesting or unusual…)
Megan Parks: I use Portrait Pro on every face I photograph. The program refines and enhances my clients in such a subtle way, most never know I do it, yet are really pleased with the outcome. It's great to use when I have someone with a facial difference either from surgery or an accident. This really gives my clients self-confidence.
Portrait Pro: In what way do you use Portrait Pro on children?
The biggest asset is when I photograph children who have undergone chemo and radiation. Thanks to Portrait Pro, photographers can make a difference for families. I donate time to Cooks Children’s Hospital, giving life portraits to terminally ill children and their families. Often I only have an hour or two to create a portrait and give the final images to the parents on the spot in the hospital. Portrait Pro allows me to remove the ravages of cancer and give the families a precious memory as they take their child home for hospice. The families sometimes have only this last photo to remember their children from.
Portrait Pro: Do you find it easy to achieve the look you want with Portrait Pro?
Megan Parks: Very easy! The program is very self-explanatory and offers simple sliders so I can determine how much or little.
Portrait Pro: Do you use Photoshop in your photo editing workflow, or just Portrait Pro?
Megan Parks: I use both. They work so easily together.
Portrait Pro: Tell us about your favorite portrait shoot.
Megan Parks: That’s hard! I would say Larry Hagman was the most fun, because he was here in Weatherford (His home town) to officiate the opening of the Mary Martin wing at our museum. Yes, I really did shoot Larry Hagman! [Actor who played JR Ewing in the US TV soap ‘Dallas’] He was born in our town, and his mother Mary Martin lived here. I was given the honor to photograph him for a magazine cover about 7 years ago. I had to shoot his portrait at the same time he was giving an interview. It was hilarious. I grew up in Hollywood, in a movie industry family. When he realized my father had worked with him on his “I Dream of Jeanie” series, and many others he was speechless; (for a moment). My father had been his head sound mixer from his very first “I Dream of Jeannie pilot”, and for many years afterwards. So Larry was thrilled to meet me and reminisce about my Dad. I have been able to photograph the famous, my heroes from childhood, and meet so many amazing people along the way.
Portrait Pro: What would be your dream project?
Megan Parks: National Geographic. [I would like to] travel to a remote place or here in the States and create an editorial photo essay.
We’ve really enjoyed chatting with Megan this week about her portrait editing, and it’s great that she uses Portrait Pro to help people. We look forward to seeing more of her work in the future here. You can try Portrait Pro for yourself here.