Meet Megan Ramminger. A strong and resilient female entrepreneur who owns her own business, Megan Ramminger Photography, and is a rock star mom, partner and friend! Based in Milwaukee, her goal is to help spread the mission of the project to her community and help change the conversation around beauty and loving ourselves for who we are, inside and out. You will find her more often than not behind the camera, helping us capture the visual beauty of our warriors all throughout the Milwaukee community.
Where did your creative journey start?
My creative journey started my Junior year of High School. I did not take an art class in High School before that and I fell in love and decided to run with it. I created my portfolio my Senior Year (with the support of my wonderful teacher, Mrs. Smith, who believed in me) and got into Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD).
How did you get into this work?
I chose Photography as my major in college because I was passionate about photography and the idea of using this medium to express my voice, even though at the time I was very novice. Before photography, I mainly used drawing as my creative outlet. I still feel passionate about both - they are very different - but my style of needing a fast visual assurance of what I’m trying to get out is important to me. My drawings are very fast at first. I love charcoal because it allows me to be fast in getting my base drawing out and then go back in to perfect them. It is almost reminiscent of editing photographs in Lightroom.
What made you want to be a part of the #ReclaimBeauty project?
The #ReclaimBeauty project spoke to me as soon as I heard about it. I have been told by people that I need to change in order to be their definition of beautiful and have always felt like it was and still is extremely inappropriate. I am beautiful. I don’t need permission to feel that way and neither does anyone else. Being able to be a part of this movement means a lot to me as a woman, and most importantly, as a mother. I want my daughter to feel beautiful in her skin no matter what and it is a big responsibility of mine to make sure she knows that by telling her and by showing her through my actions.
How has being a part of the project impacted the way you see yourself or the beauty in the world around you?
Hearing everyone’s stories and being able to be a part of the conversations during these photo sessions was very inspiring. It wasn’t what I expected and let me explain why. First of all, I thought I was going to hear about how confident everyone who came was in their own skin and how much they aren’t phased by unrealistic standards of beauty that society (and everyday people in all of our lives) put on us. I thought I was going to hear about the secret to having thick skin, but I didn’t. I heard about the insecurities. I heard about the horrible things people say. I heard about the ridiculous situations these beautiful people had been put through and honestly,I was relieved. I’m not alone. It’s okay to be affected by all the negativity because we are all human beings with feelings. You can feel insecure and still be confident in your skin. This project made me realize that I reclaimed my beauty in a way I never realized I would. The experience was very inspiring and I am proud to be a part of it.
Tell us more about your work? What got you into it?
I got into portrait photography when I became pregnant. All of a sudden documenting life’s moments became very important to me. The fact that I am photographing people that will be cherished by themselves and then their families for generations to come makes me very proud. I am honored that people 100 years from now will be looking at my photographs and quite possibly, have them hanging on the walls in their house.
What sets you apart from other photographers?
I don’t really look at myself in comparison to other photographers. I guess the thing that I like most about myself as a photographer is that I thoroughly enjoy challenging myself and watching myself grow as a photographer. I am not afraid of criticism. I take it in and use it to my advantage. I am fully aware that I am not the best and I enjoy pushing myself to the next level.
How can people learn more about your work or get connected with you?