We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Elizabeth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Showgirl Studios helps women love themselves and their bodies through a boudoir photoshoot experience. Of course my clients love their images – but they also tell me that they feel more confident and comfortable. They feel effortlessly beautiful in their own skin, and are emboldened to embrace their sexuality, which helps them lead happier and more satisfied lives.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I first picked up a camera, I was eager to shoot everything, but I was the most satisfied when a photo made a person feel seen and when I made a woman feel beautiful. I wanted to capture genuine expressions and create vibrant, expressive, and intimate images. To me, intimacy is a feeling of familiarity, warmth, candor, and confidence – and it doesn’t require nudity (although I encourage my clients to step outside of their comfort zones.) Wanting to feel desirable (and to be shown that you absolutely are) is innately human and universal, and a boudoir session is therapeutic and even liberating. Showgirl Studios is a boudoir brand built on affirming the virtues of self-acceptance and creating captivating art during a glamorous and validating experience. Self-taught photography requires hours of practice and an ability to honestly self-critique and identify shortcomings. It’s terrifying to publish ameatur work, even on social media, after studying the techniques of masters. The process can be discouraging, particularly for those sensitive to criticism, but even incremental growth is motivating when you first break through a new technical barrier. My background in biological engineering has trained me to see the world a bit differently. I’m used to distilling complex real-world systems into key factors that can be controlled and optimized. When it comes to developing a formula, reaction kinetics aren’t all that different from neck angles, lighting, and composition. I am fortunate to have burlesque performers as friends, so my portraiture practice was symbiotic – they needed images to advertise upcoming gigs, and I needed to work with people who knew their angles. Bunny Galore, an international burlesque performer and personal friend, was uniquely able to articulate and instruct as she moved. I used our time together to develop fluid posing progressions that result in organic, natural, and candid images. I’ve borrowed from the stage for many of my studio props including Catherine D’Lish robes, vegan feather boas, pasties, and tassels. I’m excited to use the audience I’ve gained to pull photographers, models, and creatives together for unique and collaborative portfolio-building experiences. Upcoming workshops include mermaid tails, floating wings, goddesses, vikings, snakes, smoke bombs and witches cauldrons, rococo picnics, and voodoo. I enjoy facilitating the growth of other artists, and believe that we are better when working together.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston is a unique city with a diverse and large enough population to support a vibrant arts, culture, and food scenes – especially with respect to cultural fusion like Korean BBQ or Indian tacos. When I visit a new place, I want to feel the rhythm of the city and experience the best of everyday life. My mornings start with espresso, so we’d have to visit my favorite coffee shops like FIX (their honey lavender lattes are an addiction of mine), Antidote (pumpkin muffins!), and Black Hole (open until midnight – try the cajeta latte, it’s like Mexican dulce de leche.) Free arts events abound in Houston. Opera on Tap features professional opera singers in a casual environment (have you ever had a wine flight with pairings for each aria?), and the calendar for The Miller Outdoor Theatre is full of events like Shakespeare plays. It’s so easy to bring a blanket, wine, and charcuterie and sit on a grassy hill and listen to the Houston Symphony. We could visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science (two words: Sloth. Zilla.), the Fine Art Museum (I saw King Henry VIII’s portrait!), The Menil Collection (outside of which you’ll always find people doing acro yoga) and the Rothko Chapel (for a non-denominational meditative experience.) To enjoy nature, we’d visit Buffalo Bayou near downtown, or drive to Brazos Bend, and the Shoveler Pond Trail at the Anahuac Wildlife Refuge. Brazos Bend is full of alligators, and Anahuac’s driving trails feature fluffy white egrets, ibis with their recognizable curved beaks, great blue heron that remind you of dinosaurs, beautiful iridescent purple gallinules, and plenty of dragonflies. Dive bars in Montrose have wonderful cash specials (try the chai tea and whiskey at Avant Garden). There’s a monthly queer burlesque show at Pearl Bar called The Aphrodisi-Acts, and regular standup at The Secret Group. For a stereotypically Houston experience, we can always visit NASA, and drive to Galveston to stay at a historic bed and breakfast near the beach. I once estimated with a friend at brunch: Even if we went to brunch every weekend, we’d never run out of places to visit.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve listened to hours of banter between two bold, witty, and self-aware women named Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, and attribute my successes to embodying their energy. I admire vulnerable and authentic artists who normalize imperfection and de-stigmatize anxiety as they share creative work that is both purposeful and entertaining.
Models Include: Clairise Lambs, Kaela VanGilder, Nikki Knockout, Lou’a Louise, Moxie de Milo, Bunny Galore, Jaxxy Oh, Unikorn / Alex Marie
Nominate someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.