Photographer Spotlight: Maegen Leake

I’ve loved taking photos from such a young age; photography has always been a creative outlet for me. There’s something so natural about having a camera in my hand, capturing candid and authentic moments around me. Translating the aesthetic and mood of a scene and presenting it to the rest of the world is so inspiring and challenging.

I would love to teach beginner photographers someday. There are so many things I wish I would have known starting out and now I know how important it is to have a welcoming, encouraging voice to help nurture you along the way. I’ve had some bad mentoring experiences that felt financially driven instead of genuinely supportive and uplifting, and that’s not how it should be. Community over competition, always.

Photographer Breakdown

WHAT’S IN HER BAG: Canon 5D Markiii + 35mm Sigma lens, Minolta SLR that my aunt gave me (which I’m super excited to be learning how to use), tripod, printed directions to the scouting location (I’m old school), and a Clamato (I know, ew) partnered with my YETI koozie because there is nothing worse than warm beer.
HER STYLE: This is a tough question! I feel like my style is constantly evolving as I continue to learn and grow as a photographer. What comes natural to me is candid, authentic imagery of people in the outdoors and capturing unique perspectives. I’m also very drawn to photojournalism.
PHOTO HACK: This isn’t necessarily a “hack” but I wish I could’ve told myself to not buy every preset pack under the sun. At the beginning, you won’t know your style (I still don’t) so clinging to someone else’s style seems easy. The truth is that you just need to start experimenting with different editing tools–the hard way. Yes, presets help to get you started but you don’t need all of them!
POST-PROCESSING TIP: Two things come to mind: first, organization. Having two external hard drives and a file naming convention has really helped me. I import and copy my photos to my hard drives so nothing is saved on my computer (otherwise it’ll really start to slow down.) Second, I use Ctrl+Shift+S for synchronizing photo edits to other images in Lightroom.

Maegen’s Field Scout Trip Highlights

Glacier Mountain Camp, CO

These photos are a gentle reminder that I live in such a beautiful state. Simple, breathtaking mountain views similar to this one are in my backyard. There is really nothing like waking up with the sun to a view like this. I also love the unique perspectives captured here.

Rocky Mountain High Camping, CO

More photos that contain so much of what I cherish. My outrageously funny and amazing friend and her dog, my pup who is my absolute world, and a beautifully lit campfire. This day was “cloudy” which made for really rich and dreamy tones as well.

Holy Cross Refugio, CO

I adore these photos so much because this was my first Hipcamp trip! It combined so many things that I love: backpacking, mountains, and amazing friends who put up with my adventure idea shenanigans with little to no information prior. I also love the composition and tones of this scene!

More of Maegen’s work

See more of Maegen’s adventures on her Hipcamp profile and Instagram. Check out her guide to solo photography here!

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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