Meg Heriot isn’t a Newport native but she certainly has made her [water] mark on this town. She enjoys long walks on Second Beach, picking up other peoples garbage and giving hugs to strangers. It is unlikely that she will throw anything away, which is what makes her perfect at her job – she is a natural born preservationist (of memories, not artifacts).
Meg owns her own business, Meg Heriot Photography and is based here in Newport but travels throughout New England, and beyond, in order to best serve her clients. Her skill set ranges from boudoir to restaurant photography and everything in-between. Have you seen the photographs printed on the ‘Newport Waves’ signs? Yeah, she took those. I guess you could say she’s becoming quite omnipotent.
Q: What is the first camera that you owned?
A: “Wanna see it?”
Meg hands me a small plastic camera about the size of a mini stapler.
“It takes 112 film, it was made in Taiwan and I got it after probably eating four boxes of Kellogs Corn Flakes to obtain the proofs of purchase on the bottom. I mailed them back in to receive this gem. I would take photos of the boys at recess in the second grade that I had crushes on.”
How long have you been photographing, in general?
A: “Since I was eight, I was introduced to the 35mm camera by my Dad who was an aspiring photographer in college. Shortly after learning how to photograph 35mm I would steal his camera frequently and climb out onto our rooftop and blow through rolls of film photographing the sunrise or the sunset. Which is why I got a job at a photo lab right out of high school, to pay for all that film.”
Q: So, it seems like Photography was kind of your destiny. Did you ever aspire to have a different career?
A: “Yeah, when I was in high school all of my family and friends were surprised to hear that I was going to school for Photography and not Music, which everybody knew me for. I almost went to Berkeley School of Music or New England Conservatory to study Opera. I figure I could fall back if I totally sucked at Photography [wink].”
There are videos of Meg singing on YouTube, incase you were wondering.
Q: Why Newport?
A: “Why Newport? I moved to Newport from Vail, Colorado and I decided to move back East for my business and I figured Newport was the equilavant to Vail in multiple ways. The beauty and character and charm and diversity is what I like and I figured if I wasn’t living in the mountains, I was living by the sea.”
What are you favorite types of photographs to take and why?
A: “Love. I love to take photographs of people in love. I very much enjoy the romance of a sunrise and a sunset because they’re always changing. Just anything that makes me feel alive, really.”
Q: What does make you feel alive?
A: Meg laughs, “I think all of those things, love and … I don’t know, you can find love anywhere. I love when people just acknowledge a gesture, an act of kindness, that is sort of stuff I love. I love life, everything, everything about it.”
Is there a photoshoot you’ve had that is most memorable? Or stands out to you?
A: “I won’t forget a lot of my photoshoots but when I moved to Colorado I had the opportunity to literally live my dream, which was photographing sports, snow sports, of all kinds. I remember I met a friend who is a very good friend of mine now, Jesse Csincsak, dropping names! He is a pro snowboarder and who has lots of friends who are also snowboarders for a living. For fun they look me out in the back country of Vail Pass and I literally had everything that I love about life in one spot and I got to photograph it. I had snow up to my chest and a backpack full of camera gear and I got to watch guys throw themselves off of a cornice during sunset and it was so epic, that’s the only word I can use to describe it … epic. I knew I would never forget that day.”
Q: Do you like having your own photo taken?
A: “No, that’s a hard no.”
Q: What type of camera do you use?
A: “Nikon D4, and iPhone 6S [giggles].”
Her iPhone 6S photos are impressive, just check out her Instagram.
Q: Do you prefer film or digital? Assuming you’ve used both.
A: “I haven’t shot film in a solid twelve years, or at least a decade, but if I were to shoot film now it would be solely black and white. The grain and tone, there is nothing like it.”
Q: Is there something that you would want people to know about you or your business that they wouldn’t know from looking at your website?
“I would say that, I like my clients to look as natural as possible. I also like cake, I only go to weddings for the cake.”
Q: Are you currently accepting inquiries?
A: “Yes, always.”
Meg was playing with chopsticks the entire time this interview was conducted, by the way.
Visit her website for galleries, photo inquiries, or just to gain a little inspiration the next time you feel like using your Selfie Stick. The way she sees the world is unique, and she wants to share her lens.
All images taken by Meg Heriot of Meg Heriot Photography.