Photographer Meg Loeks Creates a Nostalgic Feel in Her Photos

All images by Meg Loeks. Used with permission.

Photographer Meg Loeks hails from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She draws inspiration from the Dutch Master of light and color. This translates into her family portrait and lifestyle work. And naturally, it’s all about nostalgia. She teaches a lot of online workshops throughout the year. Meg is a mentor for Clickin Moms. Just when you think that’s enough, she is also a volunteer photographer for The Gold Hope Project, a nonprofit organization that gifts families battling pediatric cancer a free photo session.

We asked Meg to show us how she shoots in this blog post. Her style, color palette, and creative vision are like visual ASMR to us. So here’s how she shot a photo of her daughter.

The Concept

When we built our home, one of the sole reasons I wanted a sink this large was to give my daughter baths in it. I’ve always given my children sink baths, and as a photographer, I love to, of course, document it. The trouble I often run into is that not only is the window next to my sink small, but there’s a covered porch right outside it. Add in inclement weather like we had on this day when I took the shot; there’s a definite lack of natural light. A quick fix was to place my Profoto B10 in the window sill on continuous light. I’m able to warm or cool the light with the temperature slider on the unit. This boost in light helped keep my ISO down and, therefore, noise in my image low. I love placing my Profoto lights right in the window (or just outside it) because it emulates natural light even more, especially if I include part of the window in my frame.

The Gear

The Shoot

It’s important for me to be able to easily and quickly set up my lights if I need them. Since I photograph my family and work out of my home, I’m often working in tight spaces. One of the things I love about my Profoto lights is how easily I can create natural-looking light with very little gear or modifiers.

Because the B10 was on continuous light, I didn’t have to use a trigger. The only modifier was the lace curtains on the window that helped soften the light a little. I stood on the counter next to my daughter with my widest lens, the Sigma Art 24mm f1.4. I love to use this lens for the above shots because I can include a lot of the environment in a tight space. I wanted to include the pops of color that framed her around the sink. I placed the towel over my feet so that I wouldn’t have to remove them in post.

To get my daughter to look up at me while I shot, I just put my camera in live view, held it directly above her (while wearing a Holdfast camera strap) along with my phone that was playing a music video. I made sure to hold my phone right next to my lens so that she would look right at the camera.

Post-Production

I use Adobe Creative Cloud to edit my images. In Lightroom, I straightened my frame then did basic white balance correction to remove some of the warmth and magenta in the SOOC. I increased exposure on daughter, added contrast, and applied a radial filter to add haze to my Profoto light. Then I brought the image into Photoshop and altered the greens and yellows a little by creating hue/saturation layers.

Before/After

Before
After

Editor’s Note: Meg is a Sigma Ambassador and a Profoto Legend of Light. We learned of her through Sigma, but this is not a paid promotion from Sigma. Please visit her website for more.

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers share how they created an image with lighting and minimal post-production use. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how to submit.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.