Over the last few years, Shannon successfully wins for the person who has received the most amount of, “Hey, wanna go on an adventure?” texts from me. Her track record for dropping everything and saying yes still amazes me, which I why I keep stalking her with my camera over and over again… 🙂 But the reason I love taking photos of her is that I always have a blast with her. Whether it’s watching her attempt to give me a serious face without smiling, or the amount of times random people pull over on the side of the road and walk towards us, causing us to run in the opposite direction, it is always an adventure!
Good friends are the ones who let you take hundreds of photos of them to try out new things. Great friends are the ones who let you keep taking photos after seeing some of the things you have attempted to do in-camera and have failed miserably – ha! Needless to say, after many attempts, some much better than others, here are a few of my favourites of this beautiful lady with some new flare!
Last summer, Brenna and I got to meet each other during a wedding morning that we were both vendors for. She was doing the bride’s make-up and I was the photographer. We connected over social media after the wedding day and then fast forward a few months and it turned out we were both heading to the same place for Christmas! Naturally, we met up and did a sunrise shoot on the beaches of Maui; I’d say it was a pretty great way to start the day!
Back when I was a Trinity student, I did about 20 dorm photoshoots during my time there. They were always a blast as I got to meet some awesome people. When Nicole, the RA of this dorm, contacted me, I was excited to get to re-live the fun of these shoots. I didn’t get to spend much time with these ladies, but it didn’t take long to see that they have truly created a sisterhood over their year together; it’s a beautiful thing!
As many of you know, my journey with photography began out of a heart to take a stance against human trafficking. It was Grade 10 and I had just finished doing Photography as an elective course. I felt like the Lord was affirming this gift and was opening doors for me to pursue it. I spent the next few years stumbling into various shoots as word of mouth was getting me different opportunities. It was in Grade 12 when I came to the Lord and asked him how I could combine my love for photography, heart to see an end to human trafficking, and this new passion for Cambodia that was developing. The result was getting to partner with Ratanak International. They are an organization that helps rehabilitate women who have bene rescued from trafficking in Cambodia. Part of this partnership was also influenced by my Grandad as he was a man who believed that educating women would end the cycle of poverty. He inspired me to use the resources that the Lord had given me to make a difference in little ways.
Over the past few years, thanks to every client that ever hired me, we have been able to donate $10,000 to various projects with Ratanak. This has included paying for women who have been rescued from human trafficking to receive therapy, as well as for their family to be able to come and visit them at recovery homes. Bringing the family back to visit their daughters is a powerful experience as the families are often the ones who sell them into human trafficking in the first place.
With this upcoming 2017 season, I have booked more weddings than I ever have before. This has been a great blessing, but also has challenged me to not let this business become an idol in my life or make me become greedy in a pursuit for more. To help me refocus my business, I decided to ask a bunch of women to help me celebrate what God has done. As I photographed this beautiful assortment of women, I was humbled many times.
The women in these photos are no different than the women we have been raising money for to be rescued from human trafficking. They have dreams, families, stories, passions, beautiful hearts, and a Father who loves them deeply. Spending time during this shoot reminded me why I got into photography and gave me great hope of the expectation of what we could continue to do through different partnerships in the future.
I am so excited to share that I have officially partnered with another fantastic organization: Lighthouse Voyage. It was started by a friend of mine from Trinity Western, Dave. He went to India and was deeply impacted by the women who had been sold into human trafficking and knew that God was calling him to do something.
“The vision of Lighthouse Voyage began when I was ministering in North India. I met an abused woman who was a victim of trafficking. As she shared her heart and story with me, she spoke the words that birthed Lighthouse Voyage: “Darkness is beautiful, and so is light. In order to see the most beautiful things in this world we need darkness; only then can the light pierce through.” Through her powerful words, I began to see a vision of broken lives transformed and light shining into that darkness.
During my time in India, I worked with both Believers Active Mission and Mercy Missions, the organizations that Lighthouse supports. I was blessed to have the incredible opportunity to work among the women and children who are suffering in the rural slums and brothels of India – I experienced firsthand what it is like to live in such conditions. Seeing the devastation of my home country broke my heart and tore at my soul. My heart yearned to see restoration for the women and children living enslaved.
My time in India radically changed me in numerous ways. I am so thankful for the people I met, the experiences we shared, and the incredible Christ-like love they have for others. They have not given up hope, and I will not give up hope for them either.
Our vision is that everyone will see the beauty and value in the lives of these women and children. Every human being needs to be seen, heard, and loved. Every person deserves the opportunity to embark on a new voyage in life.” – David Punnamannil of Lighthouse Voyage
Photographing these women humbled me in so many ways as I was reminded of how deep the Father’s love is over every one of His precious daughters. He is sovereign and He is a God whose heart burns for justice.
It is with GREAT joy that I get to announce this new partnership between Megan Benger Photography and Lighthouse Voyage. This means that a portion of all money earned from my photography will be donated to various projects with them. It also means that for every bride and groom, they get to pay their deposit knowing that it is being given away to help rescue women in India from slavery.
To the women that are in these photos – thank you for giving your time to come and help celebrate this new journey. People like each of you bring me such hope.
To all my past, current, and future clients, thank you for joining in this cause with me!
Here’s to all God has done, is doing, and will continue to do!
Today is the day that I knew would eventually come, but seems harder than ever to believe is actually here. My dear friend Jen (more commonly known as Jenny Wenny), got on a plane this morning to start an incredible journey. She is going to make her new home in Niger, West Africa; where she will do life in the local communities there. Jen has spent a few years there already, and it has been incredible to get to see what God was able to do through her.
I met Jen when I was going into Grade 10 and still to this day, she represents one of the most tangible answers to prayer in my life. I was really struggling in High School and prayed for a friend who would walk alongside me through the good times and the bad. It was around this time that I met Jen.
She became a solid rock to me in so many ways. She taught me so much about what it meant to be a faithful woman with a heart that chased after the Lord. This began the years of Starbucks dates where we would be the loudest ones in the room, cooking catastrophes that usually ended up in us burning something, adventures where we almost guaranteed would get lost, beach walks where we somehow managed to talk about everything and anything, family hangouts where she sincerely felt like another daughter in our home, flour fights in fat chef costumes that got out of hand, and most importantly, endless moments to pray together and encourage each other in different stages of life.
On our last day together, we went down to Crescent Beach which is such a special place for us. We managed to survive about 10 minutes there before we couldn’t feel our limbs, but I was so glad to have taken these photos before we left.
It got a little windy…
Jen – your BC community is so behind you in this journey. You are such a testament to boldly and courageously leaving everything and following Him. We will miss you greatly, but know that you are in hands far more capable than ours. Just do us all a favour, and stay your weird self so that we recognize you when you come back 🙂
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh
It was the start of our Grade 8 year; our first year of highschool. We were sitting in socials class and Mr. Augustus told us we were doing a group project and needed to be in groups of 3. I quickly found myself in a partnership, but realized we needed one more person. Moments later, this crazy free-spirited girl came up to us and asked if she could be in our group. Little did I know, I had just entered into one of my favourite friendships of highschool.
Dominique is one of those people that says exactly what’s on her mind, spends a great deal of time laughing at herself, and is such a joy to be around. Take photo #1 + #2. I texted her to tell her I was running about 5 minutes late, and I pull up to see half her closet on her car, awaiting my approval for what she should wear for the shoot. Even though I hadn’t seen her in over a year, I smiled as I loved seeing that some things simply don’t change 🙂
So good to see you again Dom! Let’s not make it a year until we see each other again!
Oh my, this lady is a treasure. There are people you meet who just seem so alive; like something has been ignited within them. Kaitlin is just that. She’s got the passion to change the world, the care to make you feel so loved, and the mouth to speak the most encouraging and uplifting words. And as a bonus – she is absolutely beautiful!
Thanks for all the joy you bring me Kaitlin!
When you’re friends with a photographer, sometimes you get texts that say something like “We’re going to go to the Tulip Festival in Abbotsford and I’m going to take pictures of you…sound good?” It’s always a bonus when they so eagerly agree!
We ended up timing our visit perfectly – we were able to get our Timmy’s dinner in, then sneak over to the tulips right in time for the beautiful sunset! I hope these photos inspire you to go check out the festival! So worth it!
The result of telling him to “do a cool pose…”
Today, I got to spend the morning photographing these nine lovely ladies! They are all Residence Assistants (RAs) for a Resident Building at Trinity Western University called Northwest. Getting to take their photos was such a fun experience as it gave me a taste of who they are as a team. A few things I learned are: they are willing to walk on the beach in high heels (win), they make each other smile VERY easily, and they clearly love each other a LOT. Northwest is clearly a very fortunate building to have these wonderful individuals as their fearless leaders!
Thanks for the fun morning ladies!