Interview – Megan Jepson | Living North

Interview – Megan Jepson

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Megan Jepson
We catch up with social content creator, photographer and videographer Megan Jepson about life after winning Portrait of Britain 2018, working for everyone from Nike to Vodafone, and growing up in Scarborough

What made you first want to become a social content creator and photographer/videographer?
I’ve always loved photography since I was really young, which I would say is where it all started. I never thought about it being my career until I went to university, but the hobby has always been there. I’d be the friend at a party taking all the photos, or editing videos together from a day trip out.

How did you go about making this your career? 
I genuinely fell into the job. Social content creation is such a broad but important job in this day and age. I try to keep myself relevant with new trends, and I understand social content on the whole, but then I always apply my own style, which I’m constantly developing. I’m really lucky that I can do this as a job, and I hope I can inspire other people to do the same. 

Where do you find inspiration? 
I take my inspiration from a number of different places, depending on what project I’m working on. If it’s a documentary project, then I’ll usually take inspiration from the group of people that I want to focus on for that project – I’m obsessed with sub-cultures and shining a light on groups of people through a medium like photography or film. Everyone I’ve met has inspired me. Online is also a big source of inspiration for me, Instagram, music videos, etc. Online fashion photography magazines are a great way to get inspiration for editorials and production companies and agencies are a great way to see all the latest campaigns and who was involved. 

How has being from Scarborough influenced you in your career?
I think being from a really small town has made me appreciate everything that comes my way. I haven’t accomplished everything I want or need to in my life yet, but when I think back to how far I’ve come – especially having worked on all these amazing opportunities – it inspires me to keep pushing, which is really valuable in this field of work.

You studied fashion at Northumbria University – how would you say this comes into play in your work? 
Fashion helps me a lot in terms of understanding different roles on a shoot. I did a Fashion Communication course, so it was more along the lines of marketing, PR and events. This really helps when it comes down to a commercial shoot, as I’m able to appreciate exactly how they’re going to use the content. I think being in tune with different photographers, stylists, and with the fashion world in general is great when it comes to doing my own shoots too.

You travel to some incredible places with your work. What has been your favourite and why?
Miami was amazing, and Marrakech was such a beautiful place. I went to each of those places with very different projects. Miami was to create content for a DJ throughout Miami music week. It was my only second time in America and it’s such a crazy place – rocking up to the festival in a speedboat was pretty special! Marrakech was to shoot an editorial for Ramadan. Again, I’d never been to anywhere like Marrakech before, it’s such a vibrant place with really beautiful buildings and scenery. I get really engaged with different cultures, people and ways of life, so I loved that side of the trip. 

What are some of the biggest stereotypes about being a woman working in the creative industries?
I try not to think too much about the stereotypes when it comes to working. Most of the comments I get come from when I’m working in clubs – if it’s with an artist, they’ll usually say something like: ‘oh, it’s rare to see girls in this job.’ But I tend not to take too much notice, although it is a huge problem. I’ve had my fair share of suggestive comments when working in clubs and I know that it can be really difficult to control and manage, especially when you’re working. 

What do you think you need to bring to the content creation industry that isn’t there already?
I’m definitely still figuring that out. I’m constantly developing my own style and how I produce and deliver my content to keep it fresh, interesting and, of course, engaging. I know that, generally, there needs to be a big change, as everything is starting to become the ‘norm’. 

Why do you think it’s important to have a young woman creating the public-facing content for some of the brands you work with?
This industry has and continues to be male-dominated. I feel young creatives can bring something to the table that established and older photographers wouldn’t be able to, for various reasons. There are hundreds of young female creatives, some who are already successful and some who are still dreaming to be able to create content for brands. Saying this, I do feel it’s the same for guys as well. The creative industry is bursting with so much young talent, and it’s about uncovering these people and exposing them so that they can collaborate and work with clients to create new, forward thinking content for consumers their own age. 

Which client has been the most exciting to work with for you so far?
Nike is always exciting, because of how huge the production is. It feels special to be a part of a big team creating some next-level content, which is then projected across so many platforms. RIOT boxing in Newcastle is another special one for me, as I’m helping them to build something from the start and it feels so good when I see the whole team succeed. 

Who would you most like to create content for in the future?
I would love to work with more charities and communities to create documentary content. Topshop, Adidas and Nike are the main players for me for more commercial clients. I gravitate more towards fashion brands, but I also love touring and working with artists.

Which women most inspire you? 
My mum – always. 

If you could give one piece of advice to young women to achieve their ambitions in any industry, what would it be?
Be strong, kind and don’t take any sh*t.  

What would you most like to have achieved by the end of 2020?
I would love to have shot more campaigns and social content for new brands, and also to have travelled a lot more. I’d also like to revisit my Scarborough Girls documentary project and hopefully start a new documentary project. 

What is your ultimate career goal?
To keep doing what I do now for the rest of my life. 

To find out more about Megan’s work, visit www.meganrose.myportfolio.com

Published in: March 2020

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