We had the good fortune of connecting with Meg Morton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meg, has the Coronavirus Crisis changed how you think about work life balance?
As many small business owners know, the first few years of running a business involve a lot of hustle. To grow quickly, you have to work hard which usually involves long hours, weekends away from family, and a lot of time learning and mastering different parts of the business. I went full time in 2018 and was definitely in a season of hustling and working throughout 2018 and 2019, and constantly working and being ‘on’ had started to become the normal. I realized that I was getting burnt out and losing some of the excitement to come to work, so I started to limit my calendar and start planning more weekends. I don’t think I really realized how much I’d been working until the shelter-in-place was ordered and suddenly things slowed down. It has been a great time to reset, remember what it was like to be a normal person and spend weekends home and evenings home. I’ve been able to focus on other parts of my business and really think about what I want for my life and how to better achieve a work-life balance. With a lot of wedding photographers facing months of postponements with more to come, it can be a little scary to think about what life will look like as things start up again. This time has given me a lot to think about on how to really simplify my life so I can focus on being a person outside of my business and has made me more aware of the power of “no” and saving my best “yes” not only to better serve my clients but to better serve myself and my loved ones. Even with trying to be extra flexible for postponements, I’ve been trying to be careful about spreading things out, limiting my session work, and allowing myself more time to work on my business and to actually take time off.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I would say the main thing that sets me apart as a business is my focus on really educating my clients and creating a really comfortable, fun space to ensure we create the best work together. A lot of the early communication is focused on setting them up for success, from picking locations, planning timelines around light, educating them on structuring their perfect day, and empowering them to make decisions that feel right to them. And my goal is always to ensure that my couples feel comfortable and confident and really enjoy the whole experience. It’s taken me a while to grow my business to where it’s at and it hasn’t been easy – though some parts have been pretty fun! It’s required a lot of late nights, long workweeks, weekends away from home, and hard work to get to where I am. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to support me and my (now) husband with photography, but through a lot of education and hard work, I’ve been able to grow my business to support us both. Along the way, I learned the importance of networking and connecting with others. Honestly sometimes just introducing yourselves to other vendors or ensuring that you send over a final gallery to the vendor team can go such a long ways. Even making friends with fellow photographers can open up so many opportunities. I’ve also learned that the most important thing isn’t always the work you create, but how you made people feel throughout the experience. Even if you take the most insanely beautiful and technically correct photos, the memories won’t impact the clients the same as they will if they felt so much joy, love, warmth, and connection while they were taking them. The most important thing I want to share is that when you openly give and try to do good by others, you can go so much farther than when your bottom line is only focused on yourself. When you take a few extra minutes to respond with care or take the extra step to help a bride lift up her train or put out some tips and tricks to help others grow, people remember the positive impact they feel and will either give back to you or spread that positivity onto others. We grow so much more when we help others and focus on lifting all of us up.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Being up in NorCal, we have SO many good spots to visit. I’d say that spending a day along the coast of the San Francisco area is the way to go. Starting down by Fort Funston watching some hang gliders if there’s enough good wind, then exploring the most beautiful beaches out there. After that, taking a bike ride through Golden Gate Park or rowing around Stow Lake and heading to one of the museums in the center of the park. Then from there, getting some delicious snacks and drinks nearby before heading out to Crissy Field to have a picnic next to the Golden Gate Bridge. This SF area is one of my favorites because there is so much to do and see in such a compact area. From walking around Muir Woods and seeing the giant redwoods to walking along Fisherman’s Wharf and eating some of the best clam chowder and bread bowls around, you can get a nice mix of forests, beaches, landmarks, and city life.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are two groups that have really helped me along the way: 1. Other Photographers who have really taken the time to help put out quality education – from Adventure Instead to India Earl for putting out amazing online workshops – to creatives from Wild & Unwritten and The Experience Workshop providing amazing in person oppurtunities to learn. This education really helped me jumpstart my business and make better decisions early on to set me up for success. 2. The Photography Community – I’ve often heard about how competitive photography can be, but honestly the community of photographers has helped push me to become better and believe that I could do this. From zoom chats with some of my photographer friends to give us time to talk through everything, to coffee dates to talk through all our goals, and even to early meetups that helped connect me to a wider community. I’m forever so amazed that I never feel like I’m in competition and always feel lifted up by those around me.
Photo of Me by Nicole Catherine Photography