I met Meg 11 years ago, we became fast friends. I actually consider her one of my best and dearest friends. She’s honest, beautiful, fierce, a brilliant artist, she has a vision that is uniquely hers, a vision that sets her apart from anyone else. She’s an incredible teacher and an amazing friend. She is genuinely very special to me.
Last week I went to New Jersey to film an Off Camera Lighting promo video for Meg Bitton Live and to attend the Meg Bitton Live Glitter Gala. The entire experience was surreal. Watching Meg, surrounded by a film crew, still somehow able to be herself, was amazing to see. Meg is so genuine and real, where most of us feel as though we have to be different or conform – Meg is Meg, always. And Meg is phenomenal.
Sarah Morris and I flew together from Chattanooga to Newark. I took up a good half of her legroom with my camera and lighting equipment. Meg’s driver picked us up at the airport and, after a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and breakfast, we arrived at Meg’s house early Wednesday morning.
When we arrived, Meg and CJ Nicolai were preparing to film for Soulful Critique, we all chatted, and caught up before filming began. Watching Meg and CJ, the film crew, seeing how it all worked was exciting. Meg curled up on the sofa with a blanket, her dog, Scarlett, laying in her lap. She sat there, so naturally, answeing CJ’s questions as Thor (who I will one day catnap) walked around watching the film crew. Life goes on as normal while the crew is filming. Meg’s daughter comes down for breakfast in her pajamas, the pets wander around doing what pets do, packages are delivered, errands are run, parents come to visit, the production crew has become part of daily life.
After filming we headed to Meg’s studio to get models ready and choose wardrobes for my Off Camera Flash Promo. The amount of work and people it takes to produce Meg Bitton Live is astounding. I watched while backdrops were moved and set up, the film and production crew scurried around making plans, checking cameras and batteries, making phone calls, came up with plans. Meg’s assistant, Tara, went through hundreds of dresses, head pieces, outfits, shoes, and accessories to find the perfect ones for my models. Hair is done, light makeup is applied, the film crew preps, and we head out to the location to shoot.
I expected being filmed while working to be invasive and uncomfortable as it has been in the past, I thought I’d even be a little nervous. It was none of those things. The crew became fast friends, they worked in the background, for the most part I forgot they were even there while Meg and I photographed the girls in our own unique styles.
The Meg Bitton Live party was on Friday. Held at Space in Englewood, NJ, it was magical, aerialists, a fashion show featuring dresses by Anna Triant, an open bar, dancing, meeting new people, seeing old friends. But, the best part, was seeing my dear friend, Meg, who’s worked so very hard, achieve the success that she deserves.
I’m excited about the future. Spending more time with Meg, being able to teach photographers the lighting I love so much, collaborating with CJ, Sarah, Niki, and Meg… 2018 is going to be a magical year.
Below are behind the scenes photos from CJ Nicolai and Meg filming in Meg’s home, some photos I took for the Off Camera Flash Workshop, and photos from the Meg Bitton Live Glitter Gala.