This year however, Meek has been busy working with London perfumer Miller Harris, shooting photos for a new marketing campaign. She considers this job one of her favorites. “I would have to say one of my favorite campaigns has been my recent collection shot for Miller Harris’ new perfume, ‘Brighton Rock,’” said Meek. “We worked with a model and a massive replica of a perfume bottle alongside Brighton Palace Pier. It was really fantastic, quirky, and just a lot of fun to explore an iconic English pier for a photo shoot.”
Meek’s profession is the farthest thing from a desk job. Some of her contract jobs require travel, and she has the opportunity to shoot photos in some of the most beautiful landscapes. One of her favorite photo shoots led her to a rural village in Glencoe, Scotland for tailor Stewart Christie. “The theme was a dashing gentleman donned in lush tweed photographed amongst the highlands of Scotland.”
Meek’s road to success began early with a revelation. “I caught on early that networking is the lifeline of this business and how you can’t just magically acquire work out of the bubble of academia unless you’ve made connections along the way.”
She started her photography business in 2006–2007 and her work spread broadly across portraiture, local magazines advertising agency commissions, band promotions and whatever else she could get hired for.
A testament to her relentless work ethic, she still worked while studying at Belhaven. “It was a challenge, to me really, while at the University, but also an experiment of how much and how far I could get involved with the local industry, all while pulling the weight of my coursework.”
Meek had several years of success as a photographer in Jackson, but felt the pull to work in Scotland. Her connection to Scotland runs deep; it’s where she grew up visiting her Mom’s family as a kid. “It’s my blood, my home, and feels incredible to be here doing what I love,” exclaimed Meek. “Coming to the United Kingdom permanently has been both amazing and challenging. I had to basically start from scratch with my career, especially network. I even spent the first six months on a personal residency to have a complete overhaul on my portfolio, direction, and vision for my work. Nearly five years later on this side of the pond, living in Edinburgh, and my work is flourishing like never before. I really couldn’t be happier with how things have transpired.”
Meek’s second exhibition is her Brighton Rock series which was commissioned and shot alongside her campaign for perfume brand Miller Harris. “They have an art gallery store and rotate exhibitions on a bi-annual basis,” said Meek. “The timing was perfect to propose the idea of shooting an atmospheric series of Brighton Palace Pier, capturing the beauty in the ordinary on an instinctive response while in Brighton on the job.”
She ended up spending an additional few days added onto the backend of some London work trips to work on the series and get a solid collection of imagery that would work together in the curation for exhibition launch. The Brighton Rock exhibition was on display in Canary Wharf in London, December 2019.
- Become as fiercely prolific in your own work as much as possible.
- Get involved with the local industry before graduating.
- Go and meet with others at art shows, concerts, and social events. These are the places you will be meeting most of the people who are going to be involved in the industry.
- Develop relationships with fellow creatives in your area. See how you can collaborate and learn from each other. I found that through this sort of lifestyle, I not only made an amazing set of friendships, but found some very unique work opportunities that I never would have dreamt of nor could have found simply on LinkedIn or Craig’s List, etc. people want to hire other people whom they like and get on with.
- Make some goals, but don’t restrict yourself to them.
- Be open-minded with a keen eye and quick draw. I think we are capable of far more than what we give ourselves credit for, developing a solid community and support system is really beneficial for building confidence and challenging skills.
- Be kind. Don’t forget about manners, because your creative integrity relies on good reputation and solid work.
- Cast your net pretty far and wide, and hope that eventually it will come back around.
- Good impressions and hard work pay-off, and word of mouth will get you far. You just have to be persistent and open-minded to what is expected and even more importantly: unexpected, as well as seeing the big picture amidst the little seeds in conversations and collaborations.
- You have to bear a fair amount of courage to muster up a pitch to bigger and bigger clients and just stand with confidence in your work and ideas.