In the offseason, soccer player Megan Aaron launched a photography business. She now travels around the country, capturing photos of couples in love.
Before January, Aaron said she hadn’t yet found the balance to make time for her interests outside of soccer and school work.
“We have a little more free time (in the spring), so I kind of took it and ran with it and got really passionate about it out of nowhere,” said Aaron, senior graphic design major and entrepreneurship minor from Sacramento, California. “I started to save up for it, invest in it and then it kind of just took off.”
Although she officially launched her business in January 2018, Aaron has been taking photos as a hobby for many years.
“Up until then, I didn’t really balance everything,” Aaron said. “It was all just soccer and school.”
After gaining momentum in her photography endeavors throughout the spring and summer, Aaron realized she would have to take a step back during soccer season, blocking off August through November as unavailable.
Former collegiate team mate Amber Harless, a senior communication major from Alabaster, has been modeling for Aaron for the past three years and has played a key role in helping Aaron cultivate creativity.
Aaron said Harless has always helped her get out of creative ruts by encouraging her to come take photos together for fun.
“We call each other our little creative souls because honestly you rarely find those people… who have that certain something that just like connects you and makes you just feel so comfortable around each other,” Harless said.
Harless and Aaron joined the soccer team at the same time as freshmen.
“I think we really started developing our friendship later on in the season because when you play soccer, it takes a while to warm up to people and know them off the field,” Harless said.
Harless said she couldn’t even begin to explain how commendable it is for Aaron to pursue her true passions during the business of everyday life.
“As much as you love something, it’s really hard to pursue it while doing those other things,” Harless said. “She’s just always done well about realizing what her true passions are, and I think that’s what a lot of people lose sight of.”
Aaron said her initial excitement when chatting with a new client is as if it’s her “first time, every single time.”
One of the first things she does with a new client, before they ever get in front of a camera, is ask them about their story to get to know them.
“Half the time I’m teary-eyed like ‘Oh my gosh. I just love these people,’ even though I’ve never met them before.”
While she currently does a variety of photoshoots, Aaron said her heart is falling more in love with couples’ photography and the artistic side of that.
“To me, there’s something more personal about a couple shoot because it’s just me and the two people and like you get to know them on a personal level,” Aaron said. “You can literally go into a forest and there’s no one there but them and their love and you’re just taking pictures of it and how they interact with each other.
“It’s just so much more intimate to me.”
Aaron’s plan after graduating in May is to move to California to live with her best friend, while continuing to grow her photography business and do free-lance design work.
“And if I can live off just those two things alone, then I’ll be the happiest person in the world,” Aaron said.
Harless described the obvious growth she has seen in Aaron over the past three years and added, “Even just monthly, she gets better and better at what she does.”
“I really do think this is just the beginning for her,” Harless said. “It makes me so excited as her friend.”