A family portrait with Max & Margaux Wanger
A family portrait with Max & Margaux Wanger
2018-06-20 - Dynamic husband and wife duo Max & Margaux Wanger run their own photography business and live in Los Angeles with their five-year old son Dash and fourteen-month old daughter Quincy. We caught up with them to talk inspiration and work, and find out more about what it’s like to travel as a family.
Max, how did you get into photography? We love the anecdote about you building your first camera out of paper at age seven.
Ha. Yeah, I think my interest in photography more or less started then. It was always something I enjoyed, mostly because I could lose myself behind the lens and “listen to my eyes.” For me, it was about play, instinct and spontaneity. And it made me happy. It took years of doing something that didn’t make me happy for me to find my way back to photography and eventually turn it into a full-time gig.
Margaux, can you share more about your background with photography and design?
To be honest, I learnt everything I know about photography from working with Max. He is one of the most talented, creative humans I’ve ever met, while I’m the more business savvy one. A couple years into our relationship, we decided to team up to start photographing weddings. Max had a vision of how it could be done differently and I had a vision for where we could go. With his sister as the bride and a friend as the groom, I helped design the “wedding” and he took photos the way he saw them in his head. I sent them out to a handful of our favorite blogs and within a month we were booked for the entire year. I still love taking photos, but I spend most of my time trying to balance running our business and life as a mama.
When did you take your first trip as a family?
We started traveling with Dash when he was six-weeks old and we took a weekend trip to photograph a wedding in Napa. It felt impossible at the time, but we just kept going and now he has been on over 60 flights. He’s honestly the most relaxed traveler you’ll ever meet. We definitely got lucky.
Did starting a family impact your work or your desire to travel?
Yes, both. Before having children, we didn’t think twice about being on the road more than we were home or saying yes to almost every job that came our way. Our life was a little chaotic and having Dash slowed things down in the best possible way.
Slowing down and trying to see the world through your children’s eyes isn’t always easy, but when you can do it, it’s magic.
What inspires you?
I know this is cliché, but travel is really what inspires us both – otherwise we wouldn’t be willing to do it so often. We love exploring new cities, restaurants, museums and so much more now that we have kids. Watching Dash (and now Quincy) experience a new place is the ultimate inspiration. Slowing down and trying to see the world through your children’s eyes isn’t always easy, but when you can do it, it’s magic.
How do you balance work and family?
Good question, we’re still working on it! A few years ago, we were able to move out of our tiny home office into a small studio about 5 minutes from home. It was a huge leap of faith for us financially, but it’s made all the difference for our work, family, relationship balance. One thing we’re always working on is being present when we’re with the kids and productive when we’re at work. When you own your own business and work with your significant other, it’s hard to shut it off, but it’s so important!
Where haven’t you traveled to as a family that is on your bucket list?
Bora Bora. We’ve always wanted to stay in an overwater bungalow, but we’re thinking it might be best (for our own sanity) to wait until both kids can swim. And New Zealand!
How many trips did you take last year as a family? Can you share highlights from your favorite places and experiences?
Quincy was born last February and we intentionally waited a few months to start traveling again. We jumped right back in after having Dash and felt like it might be nice to slow down a bit with our second. Our first trip was to Utah when Quincy was four-months-old and throughout the rest of the year we went to New York, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and various cities in California. The highlight was definitely our European adventure! We were basically hired by our best friends to photograph a “wedding tour” across three countries and five cities over the course of the month. We became good friends with our clients and had the best time exploring with some of our favorite families.
We know you’ve already been to Hawaii this year. Which destinations are on your list in 2018?
We just got back from Tulum and next on our list is Charleston and Japan. We’re bringing the family to Japan, so we’re super excited and slightly terrified all at the same time. Later this year we’ll be in Utah, San Francisco, New York and Hawaii again. Seems like a lot, but we tend to get a little bit antsy if we’re home for too long!
Can you talk about what it's like to travel with the Bugaboo Boxer and Bugaboo Bee5?
First of all, the Bugaboo Boxer is a total lifesaver – especially when traveling with small children who aren’t always the most helpful when it comes to pushing a suitcase. Before getting the Bugaboo Boxer we looked like we were moving to a different country every time we left town, now most of our stuff packs up into one super-efficient travel system that you can literally push with one finger. We can’t even count the number of times we’ve been stopped at the airport and asked about our luggage. It’s pretty awesome. As far as the Bugaboo Bee5 goes, we love how you can customize the fabrics, colors and accessories to really make it your own and it’s so easy to pack up when we’re on the road. Dash still loves sitting in the seat (which can be faced either way) and when Quincy’s in the seat he’s even more excited to ride on the wheeled board and make silly faces at her as we go.
What advice would you give to parents traveling with young children?
I wish there was some magical advice that would make traveling with young children easier, but my secret is really just to stop thinking and GO. You only get one life, so make the most of it. As long as you’re together, that’s all you really need.
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