We had the good fortune of connecting with Mallory Haren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mallory, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I may not have been aware of it, but being an entrepreneur was modeled to me my whole life. My dad has owned his own business in downtown Encinitas for over 30 years and I grew up going to his store and watching him work. While I was in college at UC Irvine, I began my photography career, although I didn’t know it was a career at the time. It was just something I really enjoyed and had a unique passion for. After I graduated, I was about to begin my credential program when I had this realization I wanted to pursue my photography business full time. That was such a scary thought because I had always had this “plan” of being a teacher. But after much thought, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my wedding photography business. Honestly, looking back it was one of the riskiest, but most rewarding decisions I have ever made, and I am so glad I did. I absolutely love my job and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Photographing weddings and creating meaningful relationships with my clients means so much to me. It takes a lot to trust someone with photographing your wedding, and I do not take my job lightly. Everything has come full circle because now I also teach other photographers through the mentorship programs that I offer. I get to live out that dream of teaching and sharing knowledge as well, which is really special. I think if you are truly passionate about something, nothing will stop you on your journey to pursue your goals.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe that being a film photographer is something that sets me apart from others. It is also an aspect of my business that I am most proud of. Early in my career, I kept realizing that I was drawn to film photographs. I decided to purchase a Contax 645 and start incorporating film into my workflow. Now, clients hire me because I shoot film. Film is simply stunning. My favorite thing about it is how timeless it is. That is what I want for my clients. I want them to look back on their wedding photos in 20, 30, 40+ years and be taken right back to the feelings and emotions of the day. Film is a whole different ballgame, especially when shooting weddings because there are so many components, it truly is an art. But I love every part of it, and my clients do too. I don’t just want to be a wedding photographer, I strive to be an artist when I photograph wedding days. It warms my heart when my couples are truly in awe of their photos.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Coronado Island is definitely a sight to see! I absolutely love the little town and would be sure to take them shopping and end the day with a nice dinner out! Sunset Cliffs is another favorite spot of mine. The views are stunning and it is always refreshing to spend time taking in nature’s beauty.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a big shoutout to my husband who has been immensely supportive throughout my entrepreneurial journey. The road to get to where I am today has not always been easy and I still have obstacles to overcome, but he is always there to cheer me on and support my dreams and aspirations. I am so very grateful for him!
Mallory Dawn Photography