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Art & Life with Mei Lin Barral

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mei Lin Barral.

Mei Lin, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I began my journey with photography alongside the animals I grew up with. Once I knew I wanted to learn how to properly use my camera, I would spend hours photographing the dogs, cats, and horses around me. They had the most patience when it came to my learning and they were the only ones who were okay with being in front of a camera. Because of their patience I was able to take my time and learn what bokeh was (though at the time I didn’t know that term) and learn how to use the manual mode on my camera. After that I began my business with my first (human) portrait session. The following year I expanded to include weddings and now I love to photograph the four-legged ones with my couples.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a wedding and animal photographer as well as an entrepreneur. I photograph couples in love and four-legged people. I have always been an observer. I love to notice people’s interactions with one another and I found the best way to showcase that is through photography. I create images that reveal couples for who they are. Finding small, honest, and reflective moments fuels my passion for documenting momentous moments in a couple’s life whether that be their engagement, wedding, or anniversary (the first or the fiftieth). Photographing animals is the other half of why I love photography. I grew up surrounded by animals and have loved so many more. I truly believe that animals are people too and I have as much passion for animals as I have for couples in love. Photographing animals in their homes or where they feel most free and comfortable is crucial in being able to show their emotions and their personality. If there’s one thing that I hope people can see in my work is the authenticity of emotion.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
The great thing about being a wedding & animal photographer is that I am surrounded by diverse people. Firstly, by my amazing clients (those with two legs as well as four) and secondly by the great community of photographers and creatives alike. My advice would be to network with compassion and honesty. The act of networking can seem a bit distant and cold when said plainly, but when your goal is to meet new people, create new relationships, and learn from each other all while adding positivity and growth to a community, it is the best kind of networking you can do. The common misconception about networking is that it has to be by people in suits handing business cards to one another and communicating only through voicemails and business luncheons. With social media it is easy and effective to find people within the same community of creativity, passion, and business. Moreover, because it is so easy to find people, it’s incredibly easy to get in touch with people. It never hurts to reach out to people, no matter how many followers they have and regardless if you think they’ll respond or not. Passionate people attract passionate people and you’d be surprised by what can come of a simple message or email (trust me, I know).

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can find my work online on my website and social media accounts as there are full galleries of weddings, engagements, and animal portraiture. With my clients I offer archival print photographs for them to display their four-legged family as well as themselves on the walls in their homes. For those people who aren’t interested in personal photography experiences, I have recently become an artist on Society 6 which is a website and platform for artists to sell products with their art printed on it. There are archival prints and canvases available featuring artwork exclusive to Society 6. My favorite things from Society 6 are the mugs, throw blankets, and pillow cases. I have photographs from France, Vermont, Boston, & more.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mei Lin Barral Photography
Andrea Porretta (Personal Image Illustration)

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