Exactly one year ago, I got to watch this little guy make his way into the world. It was such a privilege to photograph this a special day.
A throwback to one of my all time favorite photo sessions... With two toddlers, this family session could have been oh so stressful for everyone involved - but instead of forcing the boys to just sit and smile for the camera, we let them play and interact and we got some amazing photos hat capture who they are and not just what they look like! #meganschreursphotography
2016. What a year. This year was full of unexpected surprises and fun adventures, for sure. It's hard to believe that today I got out my 2017 planner; I swear every year goes faster that the last.
This year was such a fun year to watch my business really bloom. I got to photograph so many wonderful families, couples, and kiddos; I loved every second of capturing your memories. I got to photograph a number of weddings, lots of families, so many kids, family reunions, birthday parties, and even a birth! Every time someone entrusts their precious memories to me and my camera, I am so honored. That is not something that I take lightly at all.
My Etsy shop continues to grow with new products, and my hand-lettered designs have found new homes in nearly every state now. I feel so blessed every time I hear how God is using those products to remind friends of His promises and how He always places the right words on my heart to be used in the lives of people I don't even know. Through that adventure, I've gotten to travel to craft fairs to meet some of you in person, and even have my designs sold in a handful of physical shops now!
I also got to Design a variety of custom graphic design projects for clients. Logo designs, invitations, marketing materials, and so many other fun projects! I loved working with business to help them creatively solve their visual problems.
On a personal note, I got to watch my family grow as my brother got engaged and we got to know his fiance - we are so excited to officially welcome her into our family in just a few weeks now! We watched my grandpa prepare for a new marriage with his new wife. I drove thousands of miles to visit friends; I got to take adventures with my mom and my sister - including a day trip to Hot Springs, and a trip to a Star Wars museum. I got to go to my favorite place in the whole world - Deception Pass. I got to be reunited with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles I hadn't seen for years. I continued to be amazed by how faithful God is. I petted an elephant. I went to Magnolia Market - twice. I spent a weekend in a cabin with my best friends. I read lots of books, but not as many as I wanted to, I snuggled kitties and babies, I enjoyed my porch swing, I learned new hobbies and didn't turn them into businesses. I learned a thing or two about unplugging and resting well.
And then God surprised me big time when I suddenly found myself moving back to Central Illinois for a new job. It wasn't something that I was looking for or even expected - and it was somewhat scary and in some ways felt like giving up on what I'd been working so hard on for over two years, but in the end I know this is right. I've reconnected with old friends, and made some new ones. I'm back in the place I grew up, walking those same small town sidewalks I never thought I'd be walking again on a regular basis.
What an adventure. It was a great year, really.
I'm so excited about the next year and seeing the adventures that God is going to take me on!
I've had quite a few people lately tell me that they want to get into photography and ask me for camera recommendations. I'm always happy to share my knowledge and answer any questions, but I figured I might as well put it here on my blog for everyone!
Firstly, the most important thing for you to know if you are wanting to get into photography is that you need to learn to use your camera on Manual Mode. You cannot just buy a more expensive camera and expect to have amazing photos. I’ve often heard it compared to a chef’s pots and pans; while they are certainly important, it is the chef that makes the food good or bad; similarly, it is the photographer who knows how to take a good photo. Learning Manual Mode is hard, but once you understand it and have practiced for a while, it becomes second nature, I promise! Using a DSLR on automatic is just a waste, so don’t do that. If you don’t want to put in the work to learn manual, just buy a nice point and shoot. Further, you have to learn about how light works, about composition, and about editing - there is a lot that goes into photography.
Resources for learning manual mode:
- Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson book
- Under the Sycamore blog and Snapshop online photography workshop
- Clickin’ Moms blog, forum and online workshops
- Click it up a Notch tutorials and blog
- Google and YouTube are also full of resources
Also, photography gear is expensive. It’s easy to spend a whole lot of money on this hobby, but it is also possible to only purchase the basics and still get some awesome pictures! In this post, I am just going to start with those very basics. If you get those things and still have more money to spend, let me know and I can offer some more options for you – but these are a good start!
The Canon Rebel line is great – I had a Rebel (t2i) for several years and it took me from beginner through my first year in business. You’ll learn that while the camera is an important tool, it’s your skill and knowledge that will really take your photos to the next levelAs far as which Rebel, I haven’t stayed up to date on what they’re coming out with, but I would suggest anything above a t2i (the larger numbers – t3i, t4i, t5i, etc – are newer models, so depending on how much money you want to spend you might look into more details on those models, but I think the main differences are things like rotating screens, touchscreens, etc which are nice but ultimately aren’t that important to the end product of the photographs). I would not get a rebel without the “i” at the end of the model because they are the lower end and won’t be as good in lowlight, won’t focus as well, etc.
Good quality lenses are really expensive. Most DSLRs offer the options to come with what is called a “kit lens,” like the 18-55mm or 18-135mm lens. These lenses are not great, but if it’s all you can afford it’s better than your phone for sure. Better quality lenses will result in sharper, clearer pictures, and the ability to open up the aperture wider which allows you to take photos in lower light (especially indoors) and to have those blurry background that everyone is after.
I would recommend getting the Kit Lens to start with unless you have a larger budget. If you have more money to spend, then getting the camera body only along with something like the Tamron 28-75mm/2.8 lens would be a great option.
If you plan on learning Manual Mode right away (which you absolutely should!) I would highly suggest also getting a Prime Lens to work with as these are the easiest to learn with and will result in sharper, higher quality images with those wonderful blurry backgrounds! I would start out with a "Nifty Fifty" which runs about $125 new or a Sigma 30mm 1.4 if you can. The Sigma lens is better quality and a wider, more natural point of view in my opinion and it's what I used on my Rebel when I was learning.
Buying used equipment is a great option to save money as well. Adorama is a very reputable camera store that sells used equipment if you prefer to buy from a store, or I have purchased used equipment on forums, ebay, or facebook groups - just be careful buying from individual sellers and make sure that everything is working right before you do anything!
Anyone who knows me very well knows that moving was a huge part of my childhood. Pretty much every story I tell about my childhood starts with "One time when we lived in _______..." I truly believe that who I am today is a result of living so many different places, for good and for bad (but mostly for good, I think!). Mostly, I think that living in 8+ different places has made me more understanding of other cultures (yes, even though I've only lived in the US, and mostly in the midwest, the cultures of every place are very different from each other!), it's made me actually enjoy change, and it's made me more appreciative of my family.
By now you've probably guessed that this is an announcement that I'm moving.
But this move is different. For the first time ever, I'm moving back to somewhere I've lived before.
I'm moving back to Central Illinois!
My years in Elmwood were some great ones and Elmwood has always been the place that felt the most like home to me and I’m excited to be returning to the area. Through the faithfulness of God, I’ve accepted a job working with the Children’s ministry at Northwoods Community Church in Peoria – I’ll be doing a variety of exciting creative things for them and I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Discoveryland team! This position is not quite full time and the hours are flexible, which is perfect so that I can continue the work I’ve been doing for the past few years with graphic design, my hand-lettering and Etsy shop, and yes, my photography too. This is an answer to so many prayers and I am so excited to see what God has in store for this next chapter of my life!
Even just a few weeks ago, if you had asked me what I thought was going to be next for me I would have answered very differently. I never saw this one coming, which is usually a sign that God is opening this door - and indeed His fingerprints are all over this.
I have a few weeks left here in Southeast Oklahoma, so if you’ve been wanting to get Fall pictures in but haven't booked your session yet, we can totally still do it! Contact me right away though, so we can get that on my calendar and make sure it happens before I move! And my parents will still be here so I’m sure I’ll be back for visits regularly and I’m totally up for fitting in a photo session or two during those visits. I've met so many wonderful people here in Oklahoma these past few years and I'm going to miss a lot of things about this place!
If you're an old friend from Central Illinois and are still in the area, I'd love to reconnect and hang out when I'm back! I haven't been the greatest at keeping in touch, but please contact me so we can catch up and you can tell me about everything that's changed in the nearly 10 years since I left!
I thought we were going to have to postpone this family's session because of rain, but it ended up clearing up right before their session and I'm so glad because it was beautiful! We had so much fun during their session; I loved capturing every moment of it.
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second." - Marc Riboud
I loved Madison + Ryan's engagement session! They brought their son, Jonas, along and he took a little while to warm up to the camera - like most children do - but by the end of the Session he was having a blast! I can't wait to photograph their wedding this Summer; I'm sure it is going to be beautiful.
Megan Schreurs is a Hugo OK Engagement Photographer, specializing in capturing authentic memories. She also photographs families, seniors, and everything else in the Southeastern Oklahoma area.
As I was updating my website (sidenote... did you check out the new website???) I realized just how bad I have been at blogging new sessions. I've been kept so busy this year with wonderful sessions that I haven't had as much time to blog them!
I'm still hoping to get full blog posts for the many beautiful sessions that I've gotten to capture, but for now I thought I would just put favorites from a whole bunch of 2016 sessions into one post, just so you could see a little of what I've been up to!
I got to photograph the Allred family in an in-home session a while back (I'm so far behind on blogging...oops!) and it was just the best! Even though they were doing some renovations on a lot of their house so we didn't have as many options, we were able to make their pancake making work even without a kitchen - proof that your house doesn't have to be anything perfect to have your pictures in it. It's your home, and I think that capturing that environment is important, just like capturing your kids just the way they are - before they grow up any more! That's why I love photographing families in their homes. Plus, the kids are more comfortable and able to be their real selves. So the Allreds made chocolate chip pancakes. And they caught chocolate chips in their mouths. And they laughed. And they snuggled on the couch. And there was just a little wrestling. And then they did a cool science experiment. And it was all beautiful, not because of what they were wearing or their perfect smiles, but because love is beautiful.
Megan Schreurs is a Hugo Oklahoma Family Photographer specializing in capturing real moments and authentic relationships. Contact her today to talk about your photo session.
It's so easy for me (and I think everyone else too) to get caught up in the negative. I hear about the latest tragedy, I see hurting people, I read the news, I have a bad day, I listen to the complaining and negativity and it starts to take root in my heart. Pretty soon I start to forget about the good. I forget that we have a God who has overcome it all and He promises good things for us. There are a lot of bad things in this world, but I want to be the type of person who sets her mind on things above, the things of God - the good things.
Instead of whining and dwelling on all the bad, I want to notice the beautiful flowers, to smile at strangers, to remember God's promises, to count my many blessings, and to shine as brightly as I can.
So that's why I created this new design, to remind me to set my mind on the things above.
How do you keep your heart and mind positive in this crazy world we live in?
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 MSG
I recently got to travel to Oklahoma City for this couple's engagement session. We had such a beautiful day and enjoyed our session wandering through the woods and talking. Malea & Evan went to (and met at) my Alma Mater, Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, so I was so happy to be about all the college stuff - how campus has changed, favorite professors, campus activities, and mutual friends. What a joy it was to photograph this beautiful couple!
Megan Schreurs is a Hugo OK Engagement Photographer. She specializes in capturing natural moments and real memories. She loves photographing everything from families to weddings, as well as Seniors and just about everything else! Contact her to chat about your photo session!
When I started hand-lettering, I first did it for myself, with important reminders that I needed to see often. Soon, I started doing it for friends who needed a little encouragement. When I started selling my designs on Etsy, my mission stayed the same - to encourage people and remind them of God's promises. It has always been at the top of my list, but the logistics were a little complicated, so this has been a long time in the making but I am SO excited to finally be able to offer you GREETING CARDS! Something special for that friend who is going through a tough time and just needs a little reminder of God's promises - and the best part is that they are 5x7 so after they get it, they can frame it for that constant reminder of God's love - and of your's! Or just frame them for yourself, that works too. ;)
Since I can't offer all of my designs as cards, I carefully selected these 5 verses and designed them just for these greeting cards. I hope that you'll be able to find one for every circumstance.
I'm also offering a set of Thank You notes, because God is teaching me the importance of expressing gratitude on a regular basis. Click here to PREORDER Thank You notes.
*** Note that this is a PREORDER - these will not begin the printing/shipment process until March 7.
With two boys under 3, the Buchanan family's photo session could have been chaotic to say the very least. Instead, they opted for a Documentary Session to capture their real life instead of traditionally posed, smiling at the camera, pictures and it was a relaxed, fun, happy experience for all of us! These are my favorite sort of photo sessions, the ones that show the beauty of your life. Not just the well groomed, fake smiles kind of beauty - but the real life: messy hair, pajamas, making pancakes, reading on Mom and Dad's bed, and playing trains kind of beautiful. The kind that real memories are made of.
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." - Desmond Tutu
Megan Schreurs is a Southeast Oklahoma Photographer, serving Hugo and the surrounding areas. She photographs everything from families to weddings and everything in between. Contact her today to chat about your photography needs!
I had such a fun time getting to know Connor last Fall during his Senior Pictures! We got such a variety of urban, outdoors-y, and even got some pictures with his guitar! "Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead." - Nora Ephron
Connor, best of luck in the rest of your Senior Year! Enjoy every moment!
Megan Schreurs is a Hugo Oklahoma Senior Photographer who specializes in portraits that focus on what makes you unique. Besides Seniors, Megan also loves photographing families and events! Contact her to talk about your photography needs today!
Last year, I participated in a monthly project called "Journal of my Life" with some friends over at Light Inspired. Our goal was simply to put together a collage of photos each month to show what our month looked like. I did miss quite a few months, but loved participating when I was able! While each month was shared over on the Light Inspired blog, I thought it would be fun to put all the months together here on my blog.
I'm so excited to be partnering with Hugo Elementary School this year for Holiday Pictures.
HES students will be having their photos taken during the school day on Wednesday and Thursday, December 2 + 3. Paperwork will be coming home from school with your kiddos on Monday for you to fill out and send back with money. $12 per background, with two backgrounds available. The $12 includes a 5x7 print, a digital file download, and a print release. Additional prints can be purchased separately if you would like.
BUT, if your kids aren't students at HES, or you want to come take pictures WITH your children, etc - your opportunity will be Thursday, December 3 from 4-7pm at Hugo Elementary School when we will be open to the public.
Contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
"Being a family means you are a part of something wonderful; it means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life, no matter what." - Lisa Weedn
"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other." - Audrey Hepburn
I had the privilege of photographing the Thurman Family a few weeks back. It was a beautiful October day and we laughed and smiled and chased their dogs and soaked up the sunlight.
I know I talk a lot about how important photography is, but it is absolutely true. Things change so quickly. Kids grow up in the blink of an eye. Seasons change and before you know it you can hardly remember how they once were - but photographs are these magical things that capture just the way things are right now and make them stay the same forever!
I pray that the Thurmans will treasure these photos, so that one day when everything is different, they'll come across them and remember the way they were - and that these photos might bring a smile to their faces.
We took their pictures at Hugo Lake State Park, which happens to be where Jerry and Rebecca got married! We even took some in the very spot where they said their vows.
Megan Schreurs is a Paris TX Family Photographer. She specializes in capturing real moments and believes that photography is magical. She also serves the Hugo, OK area, and is willing to travel just about anywhere to capture your beautiful life. Click here to book your photo session or Contact her here to ask questions.
With school starting everywhere, I figured it's time to share some photos from one of my favorite High School Senior Photo Sessions with Cory.
I love a good challenge, which is what Cory gave me when he told me that he didn't want any grass in his pictures - at all! I've become accustomed to photographing in the open fields as a Southeastern Oklahoma Senior Photographer, with fences and hay bales, but Cory isn't into that - he's more about urban life! And since my goal with Senior Pictures is to capture a piece of each teenager's personality, it was important to include that in the backgrounds of his photos! I had a blast finding little corners and spots to make photos that would capture this urban sense that Cory was looking for.
Here's what Cory's mom said about his pictures - I love making clients happy!
"Being able to produce photos that pleases both mother and son is a difficult task. Especially when the son is my boy! Great Job Megan Schreurs, we couldn't love them anymore than we do!" - Cory's mom
Megan Schreurs is a Southeastern Oklahoma Senior Photographer (but also available to travel!) specializing in authentic family, senior, and couple photography. Contact her to book your own Photo Session today!
Central Illinois Families & Seniors! I am working on planning a trip up to Central IL for this Fall, so don't hesitate to contact me to talk about your photo session!
A while back, my mom and I were going through some boxes in the closet and we came across the best hidden treasure ever. We found a photo book from my mom's fifth birthday. For all my life, I've heard stories about my mom's favorite place as a kid, my great-grandparent's cabin in Minnesota, but I had never seen a single photo of it until now. This book contains photos of (much younger versions of) my grandma, who passed away a few years ago, and many family members who I love so very much. It's a glimpse into a past that I've only heard about.
And because of that, this is nothing short of a treasure.
And this is such a great example of why I believe in the power of photography. It's magic. And that's why I love ordering beautiful, high quality Photo Books for my clients. Printed photos are sadly not very common any more, but I hope that 50 years from now, their grandchildren will find those books, and get a little glimpse into this part of life.
I've wanted to start a blog series for a while about the stories behind some of my favorite prints from my shop, and life has finally settled down enough to get around to it! I figured I'd start with the design that started this whole adventure of sharing these designs,
For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with trusting God with the future and not worrying. It's easy for me to worry until I make myself sick, even though I know that it's a waste of my time. And my life has been so very unsettled for years now, it's something that I have to remember every single day. God's got this, Megan.
In the Bible, the phrase "Be strong and courageous" is repeated over and over so many time. (I tried to look up how many times, but I couldn't find a clear answer - if anyone knows, let me know!) and God's promise to be with us no matter what is one that calms me right down when I get all tangled up in my worry.
I've always been a doodler, my whole life. Somewhere over the last few years, I learned that what I was doing was "hand-lettering" - it's not calligraphy, although sometimes it does look a little like it. Instead, each letter is drawn, so they are all unique and specially made to fit with that specific design.
So one day during my year in Chicago as I was sitting around worrying, I decided to create this piece with this verse from Joshua 1:9. I'm really horrible at memorizing scripture, but I want to keep it in my head, so I started posting Bible Verses around my dorm room when I was in college; somewhere I would see them often and be constantly reminded of these important truths. So anyways, I created this piece for myself, I hung it on my wall where I would see it often and it was a constant source of comfort for me. Then one day, I shared a picture of it on my Instagram, and suddenly I started getting comments and messages - "You should sell those!" and "Can I pay you to make me a copy" and "Would you be able to make me one with this verse or quote?" So I started making them for friends, and I opened up my Etsy shop. Pretty soon my waiting list was over 30 people waiting for their quotes, and so they say, the rest is history!
It's been amazing to see how God is using these simple Hand-lettered Prints. I've had people tell me about how God has used one specific verse to comfort them in their darkest hour. People have told me how they've given one as a gift and the receiver bursts into tears because it's a verse that means so much to them. It brightens my heart to know that something so small as a pretty picture has so much power when it's placed in God's hands and He uses them to encourage us, comfort us, and give us whatever we need.
And I can't wait to see where they go!