Morgan Delancy for The Meadow

interviewer: Sara Sharif (@sarangelic)

interviewee: Morgan Delancy (@mdelancy.photography)

Morgan is a 20-year-old photographer from Tulsa, and an extremely talented one! 

Her Instagram is one of those that you can't stop scrolling through! 

She mainly focuses on portraits and fashion photography, including BEAUTIFUL self-portraits that we all wish we could take as well. 

Read on to know everything about her journey, the equipment that she uses, software, inspiration, and more!

t h e   i n t e r v i e w

1. Please start with a little introduction about yourself!

Hello Pastel Serenity! My name is Morgan Delancy, and I am a 20-year-old photographer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have been shooting for about 2 and a half years and my main focus is portrait and fashion!

2. What is your photography style?

I would describe my photography style as creative portraiture. I like to play around with fashion, color, and minimalistic locations.

3. When did you decide or know that you wanted to be a photographer?

All my life I have loved to create and express myself. I was always painting and drawing, making something out of anything I could find. When I was 17 my Aunt gave me her barely used Nikon D3200, and I instantly fell in love with it. I started out just taking photos of my friends and trying to learn how to work my camera. I slowly started to figure out what I liked or didn't like and taking photos was all that I wanted to do. I loved being able to create and collaborate with others. The more I took photos, the deeper the passion became. For me, being able to make people feel confident about themselves because of a photo I took of them is the most amazing feeling in the world and is what has pushed me to pursue this as a career. 

4. How has your journey been so far?

My journey so far has been amazing. Over the past few years, I have learned to grow in myself alongside growing in my photography journey. I have been surrounded by so many loving and supportive people that are always encouraging me to follow my dreams of making photography my career. Early on in my journey, I got the opportunity to work as a photographer for a local boutique in my city, J. Cole Shoes. This job was an amazing creative outlet for me as well as an opportunity to learn about photographing as a business. After two years of working there I am about to leave to start my next journey of studying photography at the University of Oklahoma!

5. I L O V E your aesthetic! Tell us more about the inspiration that drives you to capture what you do!

A big thing that inspires my photography is fashion! I love to build a shoot and concept around a funky piece of clothing. I also spend a lot of time driving around, especially during quarantine, and this allows me to explore and scout out new locations to shoot at! Another huge inspiration is music, I'm a super visual person so sometimes images come to mind when I listen to music and i have to go out and make it real!

6. Who is a photographer you look up to?

My biggest photography inspiration is Marina Williams (@marinawphoto on Instagram) I am constantly blown away by her photos! I am very drawn to her minimalistic style and am always in awe of the coloring on her photos! She is also a young female photographer like me, so it's nice to see someone close to my age succeed in what I hope to succeed in. 

7. Do elaborate on some of your favourite works and the behind-the-scenes!

One of my favorite shoots I have ever done was a self-portrait series titled "I don't think we should see each other anymore." I shot these in March when quarantine was just starting to get serious where i live. I wanted to convey the concepts of social distancing and isolation but with my own twist. I decided to use a blindfold and telephone to show how disconnected you can be from people while still "connecting" online. This was my first serious attempt at self-portraits and it is still one of my favorite shoots I have ever done. Though I got impatient at some points, being both the model and the photographer while being blindfolded can be a tiring task, I am so glad I pushed through it. 

Another favorite shoot of mine was also taken in the midst of quarantine. I was sitting in my room one night and the only light on was my pink neon sign, i thought "I wonder what my room looks like from outside the window." And the next night I set up my tripod and got ready to shoot. I had a different vision in mind when I started shooting but it just was not turning out the way I had hoped, but I think I like the final product even more. These photos, which I titled "Reach out and touch it",  are a little different from my typical style but they are some of my favorite photos of the year. 

8. What kind of tools do you use for post-processing? Explain your workflow.

When it's time to start editing I upload my photos into Photoshop using camera raw, here it's easy for me to scroll through and select which photos I want to edit as well as do my basic edits to coloring/exposure... Then I pull all of the chosen photos into Photoshop to get into retouching the skin and cleaning up the photo. I like my photos to look as clean as possible so I could spend hours removing spots from a sidewalk. Then I save and share the photos with the client!!!

9. What equipment do you use and swear by?

At the beginning of the year, I took out almost all of my savings account to invest in a new camera. The one I had was slowing down on me and making shooting very stressful, so I upgraded to the Nikon Z6, and I love it! It's a mirrorless camera so the low light capability is incredible, which was a big thing for me because I had shot a few shows at the time but concert photography is something I want to get into more, whenever concerts are allowed again! As for lenses, I like to keep it simple with my holy grail 35mm f/1.8. Another one I enjoy for wider shots to get more of an "editorial look" is my 24-85mm lens.

10. What are the editing softwares and applications that you use and would suggest for beginners?

I do all of my editings in Adobe Photoshop. It can definitely be daunting at first but I think it's a software that can really elevate your work! I gravitate towards Photoshop more than Lightroom because everything is all in the same spot, no exporting back and forth! But for beginners, I think the most important thing is learning the basics of editing and working to discover your personal style, no matter the software!

11. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice when I started taking photos I would remind myself that everyone works at their own pace! It is so easy to compare your work to other peoples and get down on yourself, but everyone has to start somewhere!! I would also tell myself to not be afraid to charge what I deserve for a shoot. No matter the skill level, you are putting in your time and talent and deserve to be paid!

12. How has work been different during the pandemic and lockdown?

When the pandemic and lockdown first started, I was full of ideas and inspiration and time to bring those ideas to life! I took some of my favorite photos in March and April and I also got into taking self-portraits! Once I got an idea in my head I needed to make it happen asap and I was the only model available so I had to be in front and behind the camera! But unfortunately, this motivation did not last all quarantine, there were definitely periods where I had no ideas and no motivation to create, which I'm sure is something so many creators dealt with. But those times do pass and I'm starting to get back into the groove of things and it's becoming safer to shoot with models again (being outside and keeping a safe distance of course) Although staying inside was agonizing sometimes, it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone to create things I never would have if I wasn't stuck at home.

A little something from Morgan Delancy!

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