Interview
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Interview: Meagan Mastriani

“When I have a limited number of shots, I choose them more carefully, and I’m relieved of the pressure to capture everything.”

You can find more of Meagan’s work on her Instagram

When I was in college I met a guy named James who would become one of my closest friends. Years later he started dating Meagan subsequently we became good friends as well. Eventually, Meagan got James into film and then the two of them got me into film. There’s been no looking back.

JM – Thanks again for doing this.  Without having you in my life, I doubt very seriously I would have have gotten back into film photography.  I’ve always looked up to James and I think you’ve been a huge influence to his creative side and between the two of you, a huge influence on mine.  I think it’s only fitting that you be the first person I ask to interview.  Hopefully, your love for film can influence others as it did me.

MM – I’m happy and flattered you’d want me to be part of your website. It’s an honor. And I feel the same way about you and James, and how we’ve all inspired each other creatively. James always says he wouldn’t have learned to play guitar without you, and now that he’s taught me and we are able to write music together, I feel like we owe that to you! I’m really happy that all of our paths crossed in the way that they did and that we’ve been able to motivate each other to make art.

JM – Why do you shoot film?

MM –  Shooting film feels really freeing. When I have a limited number of shots, I choose them more carefully, and I’m relieved of the pressure to capture everything. I find that when I shoot digital, I often re-do the same photo again and again, trying to get the perfect version. It’s good practice, but it can take me out of the moment. And since I mostly take pictures of my friends and family in everyday settings, it’s nice just to document that one moment, then put down the camera.

“Every day, I feel a little sad and anxious when it gets dark, but those last soft moments of sunlight make me giddy and tingly.”

JM – What proportion of your shots turn out as you hoped (or better)?

MM –  Great question. It’s pretty satisfying if about a third of my shots turn out well. On a roll of 36, if I get about 12 photos I’m really happy with, that’s solid for me.

JM – My favorite shot of yours is probably a shot you took of James and me in a parking garage in ATL back in ’16.  Where does that shot rank to you?

MM – Thanks! Do you mean this one? I have a soft spot for that photo, too. That was a fun day, running around to all those parking garages to see which one had the best view of the city. We kept trying to get up on the rooftops, but I really liked how being inside the garage framed the scene.

JM – What is your favorite shot you’ve ever taken?  What’s the story behind it?

MM – Maybe it’s a tie between a shot of a sunset in Seoul and a portrait of James at a cafe in Vienna? The link between them is they’re both very pink! That gorgeous rosy, dusky light touches something in me. Every day, I feel a little sad and anxious when it gets dark, but those last soft moments of sunlight make me giddy and tingly. I wish that light could last for hours instead of minutes. I guess I should go to Norway or Alaska.

Some of Meagan’s favorite work is below.

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