Behind the Scenes: Daniel Meigs

Daniel Meigs joined the Nfocus staff just two years ago, but it's hard to remember a time when he wasn't an integral part of our team. From wrangling Jack Hanna with a penguin to elegantly posing the ever-so-lovely Kelsea Ballerini and Zac Posen, Daniel has photographed some of our most striking covers, and his positive attitude and relaxed demeanor bring a certainje ne sais quoi to every shoot and party. He may be a newer face on the social scene, but it feels like he's been part of our family forever. We chatted with him recently about his time at Nfocus, his start in photography and some of his favorite haunts in Nashville in hopes of giving you a chance to see the world through his lens.

Name:Daniel Meigs

Profession:Nfocus staff photographer

Years in Nashville: 12

Hometown: Claremore, Oklahoma

Number of cameras you own: Four working cameras

What is your favorite Nfocus cover? The Zac Posen and Kelsea Ballerini cover for our Symphony Fashion Show issue [May 2017]. I remember being beyond excited to photograph them — like for weeks beforehand. The day before, I came down with a fever. I never get sick. I was so weak I needed help lifting equipment, and I just felt terrible. We didn’t think the set was going to work at first, but after some test shots, I had this little burst of energy, and everything fell into place. Zac and Kelsea were incredible, they brought so much life, and I just sat back and captured them doing their thing. I’ll never forget it.

Whats the most technically challenging Nfocus cover youve shot? Probably July’s Gatsby-esque Swan Ball co-chair cover [with Beth Alexander and Patti Smallwood]. We had a lot of things going at once, and I’m sure I looked pretty ridiculous running around Cheekwood setting everything up. You may have to wait on the talent, but if you can help it, the talent should never wait on you.

Whats your favorite shoot youve done for Nfocus? I really enjoyed getting to photograph ballerinas with the Nashville Ballet this year. It’s so incredible to see them move with such precision and grace.

What is your favorite event to cover and why?Symphony Fashion Show has got to be one of my favorites. Everyone is dressed to the nines, but in a different way. People take risks with their wardrobe choices, and it’s the best event for people watching.

Whats your favorite part about your job?Getting to work with the Nfocus team. I’m amazed at how well we all mesh together, and I’m always telling friends how lucky I am to have a work family like this.

The hardest part about your job?Occasionally I end up having to photograph someone who just doesn’t want to be photographed, and that’s tough. But I’m always up for a challenge. 

Whats your favorite venue in town?I really love the way Frist Art Museum is done up for the Frist Gala, especially this year. The outside area under the tent was so beautiful.

What was your funniest/craziest/most entertaining moment at an event?Seeing all the costumes at Anything Goes at Cheekwood this year. Holly [Hoffman] and I were entertained the entire time just looking at what people wore. Someone dressed as Beetlejuice and was screen-ready!

What was your coolest/most surreal moment on the job? Spending almost a week in Alys Beach covering beach homes with the Nfocus team. I remember thinking, “I can’t believe this is my job,” every day of that trip.

Who would you like to see perform at Swan Ball?Leon Bridges, hands down

What was your best celebrity encounter? This happened years ago when working as an assistant on a Vogue cover shoot. I was getting breakfast at the craft service table, and I bumped into Reese Witherspoon. I didn’t recognize her at first, and she was an absolute sweetheart. A lot of people on that level won’t bother to talk to assistants or behind-the-scenes people.

What is your best job perk? Meeting so many inspiring people in this town 

Whats your favorite restaurant in Nashville?Rolf and Daughters — and a dozen other places

Who would be your dream portrait subject? Barack and Michelle Obama. Because of all the hope they’ve brought Americans, and they really seem to adore each other. I want to hear them talk about anything for hours.

What drew you to photography?It was just figuring out that I had a knack for it and hearing people tell me they loved my pictures.

What did you want to be before you were a photographer?It was the first profession I remember seriously considering.

What photographer (living or dead) would you most like to meet? Jacob Sutton, Nadav Kander or Miller Mobley. There are so many. I can’t choose just one!

What do you like to do when youre not working? Running, watching movies and keeping up with my two kiddos

Whats the thing about Nashville that you hope never changes?Mitchell Deli

Whats changed the most since you started working at Nfocus? I would say I’ve changed the most — for the better.

What has been your favorite person, place or thing to photograph in your career? It’s impossible to say my favorite person I’ve photographed, but I will say roaming through Northern Italy last year with my camera was pretty spectacular.

What are some things about yourself that most of our readers dont know and would find interesting? I’ve run a marathon, and I traveled to six continents before I was 24.