Los Angeles Photographer

Portrait | Documentary | Sill Life | Urban Lifestyle

Megan Pennings (she/her), a Xicana educator and artist originally from Baldwin Park, California's San Gabriel Valley, is deeply entrenched in photography, education, and community involvement. Her photographic repertoire spans portraiture, documentary, still life, and urban lifestyle, intricately intertwining social media, culture, and community themes and delving into the complex relationship between identity and social expression.

In education, Megan is an adjunct faculty member in Ethnic Studies across various California Community Colleges. She shares her expertise as a Digital Photography instructor at the high school level. Her academic journey reflects a profound dedication to understanding and tackling societal challenges, boasting an MFA in Photography from the Academy of Art University San Francisco, an MA in Mexican-American Studies, and a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cal State Los Angeles. Megan holds dual BA degrees in Sociology (focusing on Inequalities and Diversity) and Mexican-American Studies, accompanied by a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, all from Cal State Los Angeles, along with an AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Mt. San Antonio College.

Beyond academia, Megan actively mentors with Las Fotos Project, a nonprofit mentoring program empowering teenage girls and gender-expansive youth through photography. Her involvement with Mujeres de Maíz, a collective advocating for women of color, underscores her commitment to fostering inclusive spaces for empowerment and representation. Megan's co-curation of their annual live art show and exhibition stands as a testament to her ongoing efforts in amplifying marginalized voices and driving social change within her community.

PHOTO BY: Anthony Hjaltalin (Hjaltalin Imgery)

The camera is more than just a device that captures moments. It is also a way to preserve and document moments within communities. Using a form of storytelling within photography provides a view that allows others to understand how cultures and communities are connected within our society. I became interested in photography to capture candid moments of people within their natural environment. My choice of subjects comes from my interest in social media, culture, and community and how these aspects have become a form of expression within photography, which is the subject matter for my ongoing projects that focus on identity and social expression. Recently, I have focused on documentary portraits that capture communities based around the American subculture of bearded social clubs, which used social media platforms as a form of expression and to document and digitally archive the clubs' culture and community.

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”