2019 Year in Review

I published my 2020 Business Goals blog post the other day, and it completely skipped my attention that maybe I should have mentioned some of my successes in 2019. #pregnancybrain

I was always afraid to mention to clients that 2019 was actually Morgan Dove Photograpy’s first official year in business!

Did you just gasp?

But I’m doing it now. I’ve been shooting portraits since 2000 and shot my first wedding in 2006, but back then my camera was parked on Auto mode, I didn’t know how to use it, and I just edited the CRAP out of every image in Photoshop until it looked somewhat decent. And let me tell you that “somewhat decent” is the biggest understatement of life.

Because I didn’t know how to create the images I wanted in-camera, I was spending SO.MUCH.TIME trying to “edit” something that I could deliver to my clients. As I said, I was a Photoshop wizard, at least I thought I was. I spent so much time editing a single image, that I would deliver 50-100 images per wedding! Yep, for a 6-8 hour wedding, you could expect a whole 50-80 images!

It was bad guys.

But people were hiring me, so I kept on doing it!

When I met Muscley Arms (Chandler), I put away my camera for a few years. I was having too much fun dating, and then getting married, and becoming a mom all while working full time and still in school.

In 2017 I FINALLY learned how to use my camera, and shot 20 FREE mini sessions to begin building a portfolio.

In 2018, another photographer randomly found me on Instagram and asked me to be a 2nd shooter at one of her weddings. She introduced me to another photographer who has since taught me, mentored me and let me second shoot 4 weddings with her in the Fall/Winter of 2018! I also shot 44 mini sessions for families!

In 2019 I registered my business and officially became Morgan Dove Photograpy, LLC. I purchased almost ALL of my current equipment, business insurance, and multiple education courses, including a Photography Business course, and a course on Flash Photography. I purchased, designed and launched the Morgan Dove Photography website, and social media channels, created and implemented a social media marketing strategy, and began to blog again (after nearly 6 years of not doing it). I designed and published my Investment Guide and Wedding Experience Magazine, and for the first time ever, gifted all of my 2019 #dovelycouples a Christmas gift!

In 2019, I also photographed my first proposal, and photographed Engagement Experiences for 3 couples who don’t even live in California! While I only shot 3 Family Portrait Sessions, I booked and photographed 6 weddings and 6 more engagement sessions between June and November and was the 2nd shooter for 9 weddings throughout the year. I also attended multiple styled shoots where I was able to collaborate with and learn from other photographers and wedding vendors.

I met and became lifelong friends with multiple photographers, wedding planners, and other vendors in the industry! I also taught myself Adobe Lightroom, and can (but don’t) edit an entire 8-hour wedding in just a few days! And while my editing style is ever-evolving, I know how I want my images to look (which is half the editing battle). I also out-sourced much of my editing to a professional editor because I just didn’t have the time to keep up with all of it!

During the year, I was guilty of falling into the comparison trap multiple times. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough, or doing enough. I would compare myself with others who started at the same time as me, and with others who have been in the industry for 10 years. I often felt completely discouraged.

However, when I look back on 2019, I am SO PROUD of everything I accomplished. I reinvested nearly every dollar I made back into my business and was able to further plan, and set things in motion to make 2020 amazing!

Morgan Dove Photography year in review wedding photographer at the fairmont grand Del Mar

January 11, 2020