Community Connections: Profile of former Times intern Megan Maki
What year did you work in the Crookston Times newsroom?
What was your favorite part of your experience at the Times?
When writing local stories for the paper, it was also a responsibility to photograph the subject matter as well. This is when I discovered that photography was not only a passion of mine, but had potential to transform into a career as well.
What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself and/or the biggest life lesson that you took with you when you left the Times?
It didn’t take me too long in my working career to realize the 9-5pm office job wasn’t the best fit for me. Photographing events and socializing with others during this internship opened up my eyes to where I felt most productive, and I’ve been chasing that rush ever since. Truly believe if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.
What have you been doing since? Give us an update on where you’re at, what you’re doing, who you’re with, etc.
After obtaining my degree in photography I moved to Fargo where my business took off. Thousands of hours behind the lens later, countless coffee meetings and learning the Instagram algorithm for the millionth time, I was hungry for my next big challenge. An opportunity in real estate presented itself in the form of a marketing coordinator position. Fast forward to today, I’ve opened my own real estate company, continue to grow my photography business and have recently acquired a property that will soon be transformed into an event center. When I’m not in business mode, you’ll find me catching flights and being the designated cool aunt. (Best gig I ever had)
What are you passionate about these days?
Personal and professional growth are a big priority in my day to day. I’m a firm believer that our comfort zone isn’t static, and the biggest rewards in life come when you are willing to take a risk and be bold. If you follow me on any social media platform my message is simple, your life can be exactly what you want if you are willing to be uncomfortable first.
You said you were interested in photography from the moment you walked into the Times newsroom, and that interest has stuck with you, personally as well as professionally, today. Withphone technology and filters, etc. making just about everyone a half-decent photographer, how do you set yourself apart as a professional photographer?
It’s true, the ever evolving world of technology has given us the gift of professional grade quality that fits in our back pocket on the daily. I’ve been very fortunate over the years to grow a loyal client base and the majority of my business is referrals and word of mouth. Social media has also played a huge role in ensuring my photography is being seen by my ideal demographic. I would attribute most of my success in this field to consistently posting content, relating to my audience and a few redbulls for those late night editing sessions.
Tell us how the pandemic impacted you/continues to impact you...
Initially when the pandemic hit, I took the opportunity to finish renovating my home and tackle a few Pinterest projects. Once cities started opening back up again, the real estate industry picked up and I was eager to jump back into the grind.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’ve got hefty goals each year regarding where I want to travel and new experiences. My next big adventure has my site set on Iceland. Might take a while to make this one come to fruition, as travel isn’t available at this time from the US.
Look in your life’s crystal ball: Where do you think/hope you’ll be 10 years from now, and whatdo you think/hope you’ll be doing?
With so many ventures I’m looking forward to exploring it’s hard to say for sure. I’m interested in owning multiple properties over the states as investment and vacation spots. The world of e-commerce is fascinating to me, I’m sure it won’t be long and I’ll be dabbling in that. As always, I plan to keep my family close and continue to surround myself with people who feel like sunshine.