Your People | Megan Sistachs
The very first photog we ever shot with, Megan Sistachs is a PT OG of the hightest order. She’s the type of photographer that will drape a piece of glitter fabric over her lens, have her model climb a tree, and get the sickest shot you’ve ever seen. We’re v lucky to have her in our collective and, now that you know her too, you’ve been blessed. You’re welcome.
The life of a photog in LA is a crazy one. How did you get into all of this?
I moved to Los Angeles 8 years ago (which is crazy to believe). Having just graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Michigan State and living at home, there wasn’t much to gain besides free rent (thanks mom). I had never been to the west coast but always knew that I wanted to end up there. That summer one of my best friends was getting ready to start her adventure backpacking through Australia, so we decided that she would take her outgoing flight from LA and I would drive her there from the east coast. Deep down I knew this was my only chance to head west and start my new life. Two weeks after that conversation - we touched ground in LA, said goodbye, and went our separate ways.
After a few days of hysterical panic and sleeping in the backseat of a Corolla - I pulled myself together and ended up landing a dream job to most - working at a Dog Hotel in Hollywood. It gave me a great opportunity to network as I built my career. It began with product photography for an E-cig company, then landed model shots at Forever 21, then jumped over to A’gaci. After being in the e-commerce business for almost 6 years, it was time to venture on my own. In 2018 I took the leap to freelance work and it’s been an incredible ride ever since.
Honestly when does your memoir come out because I’ll buy it. Wow. What’s your main career goal right now?
Working alongside sustainable fashion brands is a strong passion of mine. These brands more than ever are becoming the forefront of fashion and it’s important to consider the long term impacts on the environment and how they are affecting the business. Above all else, I look forward to opening up my own studio. Using that as a platform to present a vibrant space that can be used to bring together sustainable brands and empower the future generation of photographers is my next stage of achievement.
I feel that sis. Sustainability should be a requirement in fashion at this point, but we’ll get there some day. When it comes to your photography, what would you say your specialty is?
Portraits are my specialty! Capturing raw emotion in an image is a great challenge to all photographers - and being able to connect emotionally with a client through storytelling and a great atmosphere on set changes my sessions from good to great. When there is a tremendous connection on a shoot - you can see it in the images. That feeling gives me great pride.
I’ve seen you work firsthand and you should be v proud. What advice would you give other female photographers looking to break into the industry?
One of the greatest challenges you will face constantly is the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone and reaching out. Nothing is going to be presented to you on a silver platter, ever. You need to go out and grab it. The photographers you see in the big magazines got there not because they were selected - but because they fought for it. You need to be your own lead and sometimes that can be intimidating. No one wants to receive that rejection letter from what could be an amazing client, but sometimes we need that rejection to give us more drive to find that client who does want to work with you as much as you want to work with them.
So, so true. Do you find that there’s a lot of competition between female photographers to find those types of clients?
In a male-dominated industry, it’s difficult for women to compete with other men and they end up competing with other women, which distracts us from escalating our own careers. While there are many more independent small fashion businesses run by women than ever before, the large conglomerates are still run by men - and it’s important we focus on taking that next step to becoming a driving force in not just contributing to the male’s sense of the marketplace - but change it’s direction completely to steer it in the direction of fashions largest consumer - women.
Okay, final question. You know the drill. Who are you obsessed with right now?
Rihanna! I’m obsessed with her and everything she does, especially with her Savage lingerie line. She’s an amazing role model redefining the standards of today’s beauty. In her ads, for example, she makes it a point to show woman unretouched, stretch marks, rolls, curves and everything that real women have. It’s important that we realize as a society this standard as it’s been hidden for too long. These are things that other brands have always tried to avoid showing. This is essential for the next generation to see and look up to.