Today we’d like to introduce you to Maggie Morris.
Hi Maggie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Back when I was in high school, my mom brought our family DSLR to take photos of me before every prom and homecoming dance. She’s always thought I looked beautiful no matter what, and as a result, she never cared much about the most flattering angle or the best camera settings. Every time I saw those photos, I didn’t like how I looked or felt. My mom got fed up with my critiques and basically gave me the camera! I went on to college, camera in tow, and was regularly paid to do portraits, student org photos, and promotional work for sororities and fraternities. Top of mind for me was ensuring that people felt beautiful and confident in the images I made for them. Never did anyone tell me this could be my career. When I graduated, I spent two life-sucking years in a job that didn’t inspire me, doing photography on the side. But when I started to make more money from photography than from my corporate paycheck, I quit and never looked back.
Weddings became my niche because at my core, I am a storyteller. I think everyone thought I’d grow up to be a writer, and I am, in a way. Weddings enable me to tell a couple’s full story as opposed to just a part of it. I love the intimacy and trust I get to build with my couples before, during, and after their wedding days. Ultimately, I pride myself in creating joyful imagery for folks who want things documented exactly as they felt.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh man, there have been lots of bumps in the road. When I quit my job, I had less than $500 in my bank account. I had no real template to go off of, and although I had made some connections with full-time photographers, I didn’t have an official mentor. I truly had no idea what I was doing business-wise. All I knew how to do was make and edit photos.
Through the help of a credit card, I was able to buy everything necessary to grow and scale my business, but it was a massive upfront investment that I’m still working to fully pay off.
There has been month+ long periods of time where I didn’t book a single thing. Those were rough patches, financially and mentally. This is a business that ebbs and flows, and it takes experience to learn that those ebbs and flows are natural and are not a reflection of you or your work.
It took a while to learn how much to charge and what the difference was between things I wanted for my business and things I needed for my business. I think now I’ve gotten the hang of it.
There was never a day where I doubted my decision to leave corporate life, but there have certainly been days where I’ve wondered “am I cut out for this work?”
Being a business owner is incredibly fulfilling but it’s also not a glamorous job. It can be grueling and tedious at times, and there’s a lot more to it than just the photography piece. At the end of the day though, I know this is what I’m meant to be doing and I love it with all my heart.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Wedding photography is my bread and butter. I coined the phrase “emotional time capsules” to describe my style because I strive to document wedding days in a way that transports my couples back to that point in time so they feel the day all over again. I’m not the photographer who shows up with a Pinterest board and a shot list. Rather, I believe that every couple and every wedding is unique and should be approached as such. I prefer to observe and document what’s happening. Orchestrating contrived moments is not my cup of tea. I like the real stuff.
At the root of my work is joy. I lead with joy in my daily life and on wedding days, and I believe it’s that joy that sets me apart from other photographers. I think joy is a little bit more than just happiness; it’s more profound and connective. I’m a joyful human, who is joyful about her work, and who looks for joy: a hearty laugh, a soft smile, people busting it down on the dance floor. And my secret sauce is caring a lot. I get to know people, I ask questions, I listen. That builds trust. Earning your subjects’ trust is the foundation for creating beautiful images.
I pride myself in not making assumptions or having expectations but rather telling the honest story of a wedding day as it happens in front of my eyes. It’s important to me that couples see their photos and say “wow, that’s so us.”
I recently did a values assessment that determined that my top two values are connection and authenticity. That’s how I prioritize my personal life, but it’s also how I operate as a professional and a photographer.
I offer digital and film options for all weddings and sessions. But film is my favorite because of how intentional it is. Digital isn’t going away anytime soon because it’s so reliable. If you love film and want to talk film, I’m your girl.
Alright, so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
The best way to inquire with me is via the contact form on my website (themaggiemorris.com/contact). If you’re a fellow creative or just someone who wants to chat about entrepreneurship, life, anything, please connect with me on Instagram at @themaggiemorris. That’s also the best way to get a taste of what it’s like to work with me and who I am.
You can support me by interacting with my content on Instagram and fueling the stupid algorithm 🙂
- Weddings start at $4,500
- Sessions start at $500
- 35mm film add-on available
- Polaroid add-on available
- Website: https://www.themaggiemorris.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themaggiemorris/