It's always a thrill to see someone that I've previously worked with find their way to landing a job that is a dream come true for them. Meghan Wiggins is one of those people. Four years ago I met Meghan when we were both just getting started in the world of fashion. I photographed her first modeling test shots at a local agency in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she was one of the first models I shot for an agency. At age 14, she was just a pup (and still is) who was both nervous and excited for her first shoot. Now, it's no secret that all girls like having their picture taken, but Meghan really enjoyed being in front of the camera.
I remember that shoot as one of those having an extra positive and fun energy to it, like when the subject/model really wants to be there. Meghan was having a blast shooting and we could tell that she had been looking forward to her shoot for some time. She followed direction well, we turned on the fan and let her hair blow around and just shot frame after frame of her blissful face and undisguised giddiness brightening the room. She even had little ideas of what might look good, and I was happy to try them. Looking back at these pictures now, I never think of models as being "cute", but one has to admit- especially after seeing the prowess of her work lately- that her first test/comp card shots are pretty cute photos.
A year ago Meghan was cast in a new reality show called "Remodeled". Esteemed model manager Paul Fisher picked Meghan up at a casting and she was immediately being sent to far-off destinations to shoot stills and film the show. I saw her walk in the Custo Barcelona show during fashion week in New York, but I didn't know they were filming her for "Remodeled". I then visited Albuquerque in January of this year and Meghan's original agent asked if I would be able to shoot some new work for her book. I was happy to work with Meghan again regardless that I admittedly hadn't seen the show since I just don't spend any time in front of the TV. Wow. What a difference only 3 1/2 years makes. We set up a simple shoot downtown on what was supposed to be a warm day, but- as New Mexico weather goes- turned out to be freezing. This was to be a true test of Meghan's newly acquired skill set as we gave her a bikini and poured water all over her to set the scene of a hot and sunny day at the beach. This was also to be my test of how close I came to being mauled to death by a very (understandably) freezing cold model! Meghan prevailed and held it together long enough in the biting cold to get the shot. Hypothermia? What Hypothermia? Ah, what we do for fashion.
Not long after, Meghan was booked for a new Guess campaign shot by my one of my all-time favorite photographers, Yu Tsai. The results are making the rounds in various current issues of Elle, Teen Vogue, etc and it just thrills me to see such a great kid that I met four years ago book a large campaign like that. I've loved Guess ads since the 80's and Paul Marciano is an inspirational man himself, with one of my favorite quotes by him leading off my portfolio book. "People who aren't passionate about something should do something else."
So I just want to congratulate Meghan and wish her all the best for many more dream jobs to come. She never forgets nor downplays her New Mexico roots, is loyal to her family and friends, and overall does a great job as a professional and role model who loves her work. Congrats Meghan, you've come a long way in a short time from being that excited kid in the studio to a confident and refined working model. Here's to many more jobs and dreams fulfilled, especially the one with the big 'secret'. Shhhhh.... :-)
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