Let It Go: How to Stop Perfectionism From Holding You Back as a Photographer with Megan Boggs
It can be hard to realize that none of us are perfect. We get tired, we make mistakes, or we take on too many projects. But what we need to remember is that done is better than perfect. Spending 10 hours editing one photo serves no one. And honestly, our clients don’t expect perfection from us, they just want photos that capture their soul. That’s something we can definitely deliver!
In today’s episode, I’m interviewing Megan Boggs, founder of Hello Storyteller and a lifestyle and documentary photographer. She shares how we can break free from perfectionism, how to find balance as a photographer, and how an inquisitive mind is key in developing your photography skills.
We also chat about what happens when our children no longer want to be photographed or shown on social media. It’s something that many photographers who are parents don’t often talk about!
What’s in this episode:
- [02:26] An introduction to Megan and how her background as a private investigator with an inquisitive mind translated into becoming a photographer
- [06:42] How Megan balances being a full-time photographer and running her photography education platform, Hello Storyteller
- [12:08] Megan’s advice for anyone who is trying to figure out who they are as a photographer
- [15:15] How to deal with your children getting older and being less willing to have their photos taken or published on social media
- [21:15] The best business advice Megan has ever received
Tune in to this episode for how to break free from perfectionism in your photography.
Want to put an end to awkward moments in your photo sessions and create genuine connection? Download The Storyteller’s Toolkit today, featuring 200+ emotive photography prompts, so you’re never left wondering what to say.
Blog Post: Let’s Hit The Road – Family Photo Checklist Sessions by Megan Boggs
Megan Boggs is a rule breaker, a risk taker, a thinker, a dreamer, a believer, a seeker of light, a lover of words, a creative, passionate artist and a mother of two. She’s a lifestyle and documentary photographer who is drawn to color, style and fashion. And she uses her love of movement, connection, detail and light to aid her, telling her everyday stories of motherhood, style and everything in between. She’s also the creator of Hello Storyteller, an emotional community for the creative photographer.
Connect with Megan
Did this episode inspire you to break free from perfectionism in your photography? Check out this episode Why Perfectionism is Holding you Back (and what you should do instead) with Sharon McMahon that offers you even more insight on finding alignment in your business!
[00:00:01] Megan Boggs I don’t strive for perfection. This sounds bad, but good enough is good enough. Like my mother is a perfectionist. I love you, Mom, but I don’t want that. And I don’t want to expect that from my people. And I don’t want to push that because I know how much anxiety that can put on somebody and pressure that can give somebody. So I don’t ask for that. And I give myself the grace not to be perfect. And I think that’s good enough, right?
[00:00:37] Lisa DiGeso Welcome to the Art and Soul Show where we dive into heart opening chats on photography, business life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul Show. Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to the show today. I’m super excited to dive into today’s conversation with Megan Boggs. She’s a rule breaker, a risk taker, a thinker, a dreamer, a believer, a seeker of light, a lover of words, a creative, passionate artist and a mother of two. She’s a lifestyle and documentary photographer who is drawn to color, style and fashion. And she uses her love of movement, connection, detail and light to aid her, telling her everyday stories of motherhood, style and everything in between. She’s also the creator of Hello Storyteller, an emotional community for the creative photographer. She loves building community and I’m so excited to chat with her today because I swear I have been following her on Instagram and just on social media probably for like at least five or six years, I think maybe even longer. Who knows? But welcome, Megan.
[00:02:12] Megan Boggs Hi. Thank you for having me. I’m so honored you’re making me over here that we’re going to have that.
[00:02:21] Lisa DiGeso Tell us who you are and really what you’re passionate about beyond your amazing bio.
[00:02:26] Megan Boggs Okay, well, I am Megan, I like you said, I’m the creator of Hello Storyteller. That really kind of began at just diving into photography. I actually am a licensed private investigator. That’s what I went to school to become an investigator. I actually want to do a crime scene investigation, but I really stink at science and math. I have to go a different direction. But after a decade plus of doing that, I realized it just didn’t feed my soul like it really did my soul. And I was super unhappy. And so I was kind of diving into photography. I’ve always had a love for taking photos. As my mom would say, I always cut everyone’s head off and I now, just like I was composition mom, I was cropping on purpose. It was intentional. I really loved the intentional cropping, but you know, to each their own. But I always had like collages of all my friends, like, plastered all over my room. I was always taking photographs with disposable cameras. I mean, I just wanted to document everything and just remember the times. I was really into scrapbooking. So maybe that had a lot to do with that. Me and my mom would just sit there and scrapbook all the time. Right? So I have two girls. After I had my second daughter, Ella, I really wanted to stay home with my youngest. My oldest was in school at the time, but being an investigator, I was traveling a lot in the car, so I really wanted to take the time to be home with my youngest and just kind of be available. And that’s when I really took a deep dive into photography. It fed my soul and it filled my cup and it made me so happy to just get out and shoot and create and try new things and be creative and really use that part of me that I didn’t really get to use in investigations to be able to basically follow my kid around all day and learn something that really made my heart sing was great. So what I’m passionate about, but one of the things I love about photography is that you really get to capture connection, and I love connecting with humans. I don’t know. I hadn’t written down my notes like that with people. It’s just with humans. I’m not sure that kept coming up yesterday, but I really do. I really like the human connection. And on a deeper level, you know, not on the surface level. And I find like, you know, one on one or intimate groups, I really thrive. I love and I really need that. I found as I’m getting older that I really need that human connection on a daily basis. And, you know, I like making people smile or just kind of engaging. And, I don’t know, making a difference, I guess.
[00:05:28] Lisa DiGeso I love that. I love it. That is so fast because I joke with my bestie like she’s because she’s a single lady and she’s like, I’m a researcher like I will give me like 15 minutes and I can tell you everything about a guy. I will deep dive. And she’s like, You should have been a P.I.. Like, Yeah. She’s like, You got some skills, girl. Because I love research and I love learning. So have you found that being like that inquisitive mind about everything that’s really helped you learn photography? Because you’re all your brain’s always just wanting to go deep and, like, inquire on things.
[00:06:04] Megan Boggs It has. And it’s really made me an investigator of light. Like I am constantly watching and observing and haunting and just really focusing on all different types of light and what I like and, and what I like to shoot and what, what moves me and, and everything. So I’ve always paid attention to detail. And so that has just brought that more into focus and something that I keep at the forefront when I’m shooting. But yeah, practice always helps to look totally.
[00:06:42] Lisa DiGeso Well, I love getting to chat with other educators with large platforms in the photography education industry because honestly, running the photography platform and your photography full time business is stressful. It is like it just eats away all your time. So I want to talk about elusive balance, like trying to maintain leading your company, helping your students. Having your business hat on, but also feeding your creative soul. So do you any tricks and tips on that? Because that’s one that I’m still trying to figure out.
[00:07:15] Megan Boggs I feel like this is a weekly topic that I either chat about with my friends or my husband or my children or my mother or somebody where it’s just like I’m always reaching for that balance, you know? And it’s something I’m constantly thinking about. There are definitely times where I’m guilty of falling down that rabbit hole of creating something always, but something I have been working on is not exhausting myself at work. Maybe cutting it off 30 minutes shorter than I normally would have, and maybe taking a five minute longer drive to exasperate any stuff I still have in my head about work. And that helps a little bit. Also, one thing I’ve noticed that I’m in my office and I tend to fall down that rabbit hole and I can’t see outside of it. So I do make it a point to go out and grab something to eat or I’ll have trash sitting here. I’m like, I need to go walk, you know, 5 minutes to the trash can, back it. A little sun, take a break. I have been trying to schedule at least one day out of the office to do something, some creative shooting, which usually helps kind of fill me back up if I’m feeling a little empty. To do lists, now I used to jam packed my to do list with anything I could think of that needs to get done for like the entire week. Yeah. We can’t think that way. We have to micromanage are our brain because our brain is big and full of all the things juggling, you know. And I’ve realized I can’t do that anymore. So I will pick literally two things. Yeah. Two major things that I need to get done that day, because I can handle two things right. Unless it’s a real big project. But I can do two things. And if I can check those off, I’m big like pen to paper girl. So I like checklists. If my paper does not have a check box, it will make the check box so I can check it off. And I would just do those two things. And then if I have time, I’ll see what else is on that list. But I only make sure that the two things are right. And sometimes I don’t make it. That I don’t feel bad about.
[00:09:38] Lisa DiGeso Seriously. The rabbit holes, girl. Like, I got to the point. Like, I’m like, maybe I should be diagnosed with ADHD. Like maybe I should dig into this.
[00:09:47] Megan Boggs Okay. So one of the things that has helped with that rabbit hole is setting a timer.
[00:09:52] Lisa DiGeso Yes.
[00:09:53] Megan Boggs So give yourself 30 minutes or an hour and this helps with editing too, because I can be so nit picky about editing that I will just like. No, that’s not right now. No. And then I’m like, okay, fine. Like, let it go. It’s it’s good. And then I’ll send it to Holly, like is this good? Yeah. Balance is a fun thing to figure out. It’s a constant.
[00:10:19] Lisa DiGeso It’s a constant. Like, it’s just. It’s like, you know, sometimes I’m killing it over here, and sometimes I’m just killing it over there. But somehow it can’t be killing it at both.
[00:10:27] Megan Boggs Right. I think that’s so true. That is true. It’s so true. And to go on with that is I can’t give 100% to everything. No. So I can give like, 60% tyu know, the two things on my list. And then I still have like 40%. And then I can give like 20% to, you know, something and then 24%. And then I get like, 5%. And then we go back and do it all over again.
[00:10:54] Lisa DiGeso Yeah. A few years ago, I came up with the idea of like, I don’t have to get like straight A’s because, like, I am a bit of a perfectionist and if I just let myself get a C-plus, like C-plus is still, like, passing pretty decent. Right. If I just, like, get a C-plus on whatever it is and just be satisfied with that. Done is better than perfect. So regardless what it is, so like just kind of switching my mindset has really helped me, just like because I would I just keep going back and back and back and like trying to perfect like, stop it. You spent 3 hours on this one image. Like stop.
[00:11:30] Megan Boggs Yeah. I don’t strive for perfection. This sounds bad, but, like, good enough is good enough. Like, my mother is a perfectionist. Love you, Mom. But I don’t want that. And I don’t want to expect that from my people. And I don’t want to push that because I know how much anxiety that can put on somebody and pressure that can give somebody. So I don’t ask for that. And I give myself the grace not to be perfect.
[00:12:01] Lisa DiGeso Yeah.
[00:12:02] Megan Boggs And I think that’s good enough.
[00:12:04] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, I love that. Love it, love it, love it, love it. So what advice would you have for someone who’s just, like, trying all the things but still can’t figure out what who they are yet like? Because I know that, like through all of our photography journeys, especially in the beginning, like, it’s so hard to figure out who you are.
[00:12:25] Megan Boggs It really is. That was actually one of the first courses that I wrote for Hello Storyteller was basically how to find your artistic eye and figure out who you are as an artist. And the best advice I could give anyone kind of starting out on that journey is to focus on one thing at a time, honestly, and just kind of master that one thing. The other thing I would say even before that is to take pen to paper and make a y statement. And why are you doing this? What are you doing it for? Who are you doing it for? What do you want to accomplish? What goals you have now? What goals do you have a six months? What goals do you have in two years? Who are your favorite artists? Who do you want to kind of emulate and bring in to the style that you want to create? What photo signatures do you want to leave behind? What do you want to say to your viewers? What reaction do you want your viewer to have? Those are the things that you want to ask yourself in that why question. Because it’s not just why. It’s like 100 whys in that why. And in order to really get down to the nitty gritty and find out who you are as an artist and as a person and as a mom or a dad or as a partner, you need to ask yourself those tough questions that kind of put you on edge and make you push yourself outside of that box and like, why the heck am I doing this? Why do I want it? Why do I want it so bad that I’m willing to learn everything I can? Yeah.
[00:14:06] Lisa DiGeso And go through the painful process of learning. Like learning is painful. Like, it is humbling.
[00:14:15] Megan Boggs Girl. Don’t get me started. Oh, Those photos I was taking in the beginning, But now I love doing this comparison right. Now and then, because it’s very humbling and it’s just like everybody has a beginning. You know? Everybody has a beginning. And it’s fine to be crappy in the beginning. From the beginning. But you live and you learn and you fail and you live. You learn and fail. You live. You learn to fail. You do it again. And until you have that feeling of success, until you feel successful, not anyone else’s definition of success. Because I don’t know your definition of success. Just what makes me feel good. Yeah, you know.
[00:14:55] Lisa DiGeso I think it’s so important that we do. We figure out because everybody does have their own definition of success. Right. And if you’re living your life based on someone else’s definition, it’s you’re never going to achieve your goal because you don’t even know what it is. Right. Right. And it feels empty. Yeah, right. And you’re like, just. Sitting on a hamster wheel wondering why the heck you’re doing it at all. Yeah, right. So something I want to talk about, cause I know that you mentioned that your daughter is your muse, and my son was there. He was like, my reason for getting into photography. My beautiful baby boy was born in 2009, and now he is almost 14 and he doesn’t want to be photographed anymore or have his image on social media. And honestly, the process of him growing up is so it is like the longest breakup of your life. It is so it hurts your heart. It hurts my heart daily. So I really find that I’m really not wanting to pick up my camera so much anymore. But I think this is really a common struggle that really isn’t talked about much, about our children maybe not wanting to get in front of our lens as they get older. So do you really find that your children’s willingness is changing and how are you navigating that?
[00:16:05] Megan Boggs Yes. So I have two girls aged 11 and seven, and my 11 year old has kind of been out of the picture for a few years now, kind of around the age eight. She just was shying away from it and wasn’t really interested and I didn’t want to push it. Yeah, it became more of a chore, like, do I have to type thing? And then I would get upset because I’m not getting the shots that I’m anticipating or expecting. So that’s putting more pressure on them and you know, they’re getting upset. And I was just like, I’m just going to give you a break. Yeah, if you want to be shot, just let me know. And now guess who is asking me to be shot?
[00:16:47] Lisa DiGeso Oh, my gosh.
[00:16:50] Megan Boggs I think big advice I could give is cater to them. Yeah. Ask them what they want to do, how they want to be showcased. If it’s okay to post them on social media, you know, maybe before you post that photo, ask them if it’s okay just so they have a choice in things. I actually just wrote a blog article on Hello Storyteller Blog about the family photo shoot checklist, and this was a way to encourage and incorporate the entire family in your photography work so it doesn’t feel like a chore to them. So they do have choices and feel like they do have some control because let’s be honest, we all want control of our own person. Right?
[00:17:37] Lisa DiGeso Right. Okay. So you ready for our lightning round?
[00:17:41] Megan Boggs Yes.
[00:17:42] Lisa DiGeso What do you like to cook the most? If you like to cook.
[00:17:44] Megan Boggs Oh, pasta. Mm. Spaghetti.
[00:17:48] Lisa DiGeso Favorite movie?
[00:17:50] Megan Boggs Fear and Empire Records.
[00:17:53] Lisa DiGeso Oh, classic. Yes.
[00:18:02] Megan Boggs Who knows where thoughts come from.
[00:18:04] Megan Boggs Love it. It’s such a good movie.
[00:18:06] Lisa DiGeso Gosh, so great. What’s for dinner tonight?
[00:18:09] Megan Boggs Tacos. Taco Tuesday, baby. Taco Tuesday. That’s my favorite thing to cook.
[00:18:15] Lisa DiGeso Go to a song that lifts you up when you’re down?
[00:18:18] Megan Boggs Don’t laugh, but anything from the Trolls Album makes me smile and happy. My kids say I’m the real life poppy I’m sorry.
[00:18:30] Lisa DiGeso I love it. I can see it. The rainbows and everything is serious. So we need you need to like, do a self-portrait like that.
[00:18:35] Megan Boggs Oh, my God. Please. It happens. Except just for me. Oh.
[00:18:43] Lisa DiGeso What did you want to be when you grew up?
[00:18:46] Megan Boggs I initially wanted to be a veterinarian because I love, love, love animals. And then I wanted to be a psychologist, but didn’t want to go to school for all those years. And then I wanted to be an investigator. So that’s what I did.
[00:19:01] Lisa DiGeso Favorite guilty or not so guilty? Pleasure.
[00:19:03] Megan Boggs Real Housewives of anything. I am binge watching right now because I caught up on all the other things. I’m like years behind on Housewives.
[00:19:12] Lisa DiGeso Have you ever watched Below Deck?
[00:19:14] Megan Boggs No.
[00:19:17] Lisa DiGeso I am obsessed. There is like Below Deck Mediterranean, like all of Australia adventure like. And it’s all these yachties, these naughty yachties and boats and all these shenanigans they get into. It is like the guiltiest of guilty pleasures that I would binge watch.
[00:19:35] Megan Boggs I need to get started.
[00:19:35] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, You’re welcome. You’re going to love it. Best gift you’ve ever received?
[00:19:42] Megan Boggs So. It is a Swarovski crystal and it’s a snowflake and it’s tiny story behind it. But my mom collected them and she just passed the collection over to me. And I have admired these things that have been in this beautiful lit up case my entire life. And so for Christmas this year, she bought me my first very own Swarovski snowflake crystal. And I literally burst into tears because I was like, so in love. And it was just so sentimental so when I was thinking about that question, I’m like, What? But that was the only thing. I’m like that’s it.
[00:20:21] Lisa DiGeso You know, It’s so funny, girl. That makes so much sense because, you know, those prisms make rainbows.
[00:20:26] Megan Boggs Oh, my gosh. I didn’t think about that.
[00:20:31] Lisa DiGeso Because when I was little, I had this heart shaped one that my grandma had given to me and hung in my window. Yeah. And it always made the most beautiful rainbows in the room.
[00:20:40] Megan Boggs Yes. Yep. Makes sense.
[00:20:42] Lisa DiGeso Oceans or mountains and why?
[00:20:45] Megan Boggs Oceans all the way, baby.
[00:20:47] Lisa DiGeso Mm hmm. What is something you’ve accomplished as an adult that your younger self would be proud of?
[00:20:53] Megan Boggs I started my own business like I never thought I would start my own business. And to start a successful business that I thoroughly love, that I wake up to every day with a full heart. And just like this is my job, pinch me. Like, is this for real? Yeah. Yeah, it’s my dream job. Yeah, I love that.
[00:21:15] Lisa DiGeso What’s been the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
[00:21:19] Megan Boggs If you fail, try, try, try again. And never take no for an answer, which I do not. I never take no for an answer. If you tell me no, I’ll just find it.
[00:21:28] Lisa DiGeso Find a different way. Yeah, yeah.
[00:21:30] Megan Boggs Find a different way.
[00:21:30] Lisa DiGeso Yeah, I love that. Yes.
[00:21:35] Megan Boggs I’m a yes girl. Don’t tell me no. You meant yes? Awesome.
[00:21:43] Lisa DiGeso So where can our listeners learn more from you?
[00:21:47] Megan Boggs They can learn more from me from Hello Storyteller. I actually just launched a new course today. It’s a new collab with one of my creative besties, Holly Awwad. And it is all about capturing your family vacation. Yes. So my section covers the beach shooting in full sun. Staycation. How to shoot at home and make it feel like a vacation with pool floaties or swimming or fun drinks or like a stylized, like, hammocks that are fun. I take road trips all throughout California, especially during summer, with my girls, because we have so much time during the week. But it covers berry picking, aquariums, shopping, mid-day, all kinds of things. And in the behind the scenes, I show how to put together a mini family vacation film or video of your vacation. Because as much as I love photography and photos, I love videography and video so much more. There’s just something different about hearing the voices, especially when my girls were younger and putting music to your video clips. It just brings it to life, like real life life, and it’s just something that an image just can’t do. So since 2018, that’s something I’ve really been putting together for my own family is just making mini films. And so and they’re short ones. They’re like under a minute. They’re great. And you watch anything longer than a minute. But for my family, I try to keep those short and sweet. But also, like fun and vivacious and happy. So if you want to learn how to put together small films, there’s that. But Holly’s section covers theme parks and camping. So she will get down to the details of when to shoot, you know, a display under a different theme park, what to shoot, how to shoot, how to dress, all the things, how to clone people out and edit those theme parks. And then her bonus is the camping section, which is so fun.
[00:24:00] Lisa DiGeso I love that. I love to invite interviewers to answer this last question and it is what are you currently curious or artistically curious about?
[00:24:09] Megan Boggs I’m really kind of learning more about editorial portraits, which is very outside of my box. I love capturing movement. It’s something I kind of actually rely on a lot in my work. And so to have to kind of think a little bit more about posing, which I hate, which I’m actually getting better at. But practice, practice, practice. Yeah. Better. Not perfect. Better. And I want to get into more nature and floral work just because Holly is my muse for that, she makes me drool over her nature work so much, just like I love flowers. So if I see a pretty flower, just please. So, yeah, just. And one other thing is kind of building a clientele. I haven’t really built a clientele. Just my personal brand within Hello Storyteller. But now kind of taking on some seniors and some families. And I’d really love to learn more about business and branding in photography.
[00:25:10] Lisa DiGeso So love that. Well Megan, thank you for joining me today. It’s been so fun chatting with you.
[00:25:18] Megan Boggs Well, thank you so much for asking. It’s been a pleasure meeting you and talking with you and thank you so much.
[00:25:25] Lisa DiGeso Oh, my beautiful friends, I hope you have enjoyed this conversation just as much as I have. I’m sending you so much of my light and my love today and every single day. We will see you next time. I wanted to take a moment to ask you a little favor. I so appreciate you spending your time with me and tuning in and listening to this show. I would be so incredibly grateful if you could take a quick moment to leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Your review helps other photographers discover the podcast and learn how to grow their own photography businesses and gain confidence to go after their dreams. It also means the world to me personally and helps me know what content you find most helpful. Thank you so much for your support and for being part of our amazing community.
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