Welcome to my November roundup!
The holiday season officially getting into full-swing with trips galore and trying to madly budget and plan when I realized I probably should have already started ordering all my Christmas presents already 🙈
Now for context, the image on the right is usually me, come November:
(I’m sorry, I’m a little bit of a stickler for Christmas starting in December), but this year around mid-November when I started making frequent trips to Michael’s (thanks to all the Christmas crafts I was seeing on instagram…) it started to grow on me.
My reasoning: In one week Thanksgiving would be over anyways, so what the heck? Let’s get nice and cheery early this year!
So besides diving head-first into Christmas crafts and drooling over all of the Christmas decorations I definitely shouldn’t buy, and lighting up a million Christmas-scented candles in the house, here’s what else was going on in Morgan Potter (Photography) Land!:
Some of you may or may not realize this, but owning your own business by yourself as a solo-preneur means that you wear many hats. And by many, I mean ALL OF THEM.
Accounting, client management and communication, editing, shooting, contracts, marketing, pricing and finances, social media manager, blogger...you get the point.
I take my role as owner very seriously and investing in education is one of the many things that I do to keep making my business the best that it can be! If I’m going to be learning everything I at least need to know how to do it right! And Katelyn James is a total boss babe where education and photography is concerned. Her work is gorgeous, I feel like we actually have similar personalities and share a very similar outlook on business so I love learning from her!
I’m only two modules into the KJ Business Course (out of ten) and I’ve already learned so much. (Yes, I’m a weirdo that likes learning about all these things! Who knew business was actually this fascinating…?)
Anyway, if you’re a fellow photog reading this and are looking to improve the back end of your business I highly recommend this course!
We had our second Mastermind meeting on Monday the 18th and it was our first meeting with everyone in attendance! It’s such a fun group and as we get a few more sessions in the books I’ll be writing a little more about how awesome and beneficial this group is and why you should start your own! But for now I will just say how much fun it is and I’m learning a lot and leave it at that!
THE NEWEST ADDITION TO THE MPP FAMILY
(No, it’s not a baby)....it’s a CAMERA!!!
Now, just to clarify, investing in a better camera does not make you a better photographer. It does, however, help you push yourself, enhance and broaden your skills, and make you more valuable and reliable thanks to higher-quality gear. So I should specify I did not need a camera, but that this would be a huge investment for my business if I were to go through with getting a higher-quality one.
But as Black Friday drew closer (because as I’m sure you know, this is the best time of the year to buy electronics- especially cameras), I really struggled with what to do. A new camera would certainly take my business and credibility to the next level and also open up a lot of second shooting jobs that require more advanced full-frame cameras, but like I said, that’s a lot of money.
So the fact that I booked four new jobs in the space of one week while contemplating this choice (when I hadn’t booked anything for over a month) was surely a sign that I was meant to invest in my business and my future.
So I bought the Canon 5D Mark IV. (Thanks for the nudge, Camera Gods)
WHOOOOO it was scary. And in my excitement I messed up on my billing info and so my camera wasn’t shipped out until three days later and now it’s not coming until December 2nd, BUT I WILL HAVE MY OWN FULL-FRAME BABY AND I’M VERY EXCITED!
FAMILY PHOTOS & VIDEO WORK
And of course, November is always a huge month for family portraits - everyone suddenly realizes that their whole family is in town and that Thanksgiving would be the best time to do portraits! Not that I’m complaining- I love photographing big families!
Among other jobs, I got to work a very last-minute shoot at the Black College Expo at Sac State mid-November as well as did some commercial videography for an awesome company called The Motion Bureau that one of my old classmates at Sac State actually owns!
So behind-the-scenes a lot of work was still going on, but the biggest parts of November for me were the family trips and fun projects!
TRIP TO RENO
Going to visit my brother and his girlfriend in Reno the first weekend in November with my sister and our boyfriends was so much fun! We got to visit lots of cool hipster spots around Reno, the trees were all in FULL Fall-mode there, we ate a ton of good food and played a lot of games. Oh, and of course you know I made time for some photos ;)
I wrote a whole blog for this trip because it was just so awesome that you can read about and check out all the photos and stories here!
I’ve officially started on a personal project this month that I’ve had cooking in my brain for over a year now that some of you may have seen the behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of in my instagram stories! The project is called “Roots” and it’s a family documentary in which I interview all of my family members about their lives, how they grew up, what they’re lived through, etc (as it correlates to “my roots”)!
I think it’s quite sad and frankly, shameful, that a lot of us don’t know a whole lot about our family and our parents or grandparents beyond what little snippets and stories we’ve gathered from old photographs hanging in the living room or from conversations to which the stories were applicable.
I am a huge story, culture and history-lover and also as a filmmaker. So why am I not utilizing my skills to tell the stories of the people closest to me? Why am I sitting on such a huge and exciting treasure trove of history and not doing anything with it?
I cannot just let years of living, breathing, personal history and experiences pass before me without doing it justice and capturing it - if only to benefit my own enjoyment and intrigue!
It’s a bit of an interesting project as well because a lot of the planning and story is being created on-the-fly (like I said, I’d been sitting on this idea for years and eventually thought “to hell with it, I’m starting!” even though I had zero plans).
That being said, all I’ve done is one round of filming with my Nana and Grandad and also captured some headshots of all the family members at Thanksgiving, but it has officially started!
It’s a huge undertaking and I’ve no idea how long it will take to finish at this point, but I am super excited to push forward!
A week later, my sister and her roommate (our friend Amanda), hosted their annual “Friendsgiving” on Saturday the 17th, and boy was it gorgeous! Amanda is a huge decorator and talented party host right along with my sister and our other friend Rachel (who, coincidentally, is a MPP Bride), did all of the florals kudos to her floristry business, Sugar Magnolia Flowers.
I was asked to snap a few pics of the decor, and as you can see below, it turned out stunning.
Not to mention it was literally THE tastiest Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever stuffed my face with before (and for those who know me, I’m a hugely picky eater- I don’t even like turkey and especially not turkey gravy)...except this one time. It was all delicious.
We wrote down what we were thankful for (mine of course was “mashed potatoes” haha), took naps on the carpeted floor before dessert and had a grand old time. Thank you to the Wonderfully Wenchy hosts to another Friendsgiving well done!
And of course the real Thanksgiving was just as good! Damon and I spent a lovely evening at my parent’s house in Auburn with my grandparents, cousins and sister and it was super yummy and as aforementioned, I was able to set up a mini studio upstairs and get some quick headshots of the family while they were all under one roof!
We headed out to do some Black Friday shopping (actually in-stores) and we didn't get trampled to death! Thankfully I think that fear is a thing of the past as everyone just shops online before Thanksgiving and practically nobody goes out anymore. We pretty much had Target to ourselves and I got about 90% of my shopping done!!
BOOK(S) OF THE MONTH: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
TV SHOW OF THE MONTH: The Holiday Baking Championship (and also The Profit started its new season as well!)
FAVORITE PART OF NOVEMBER: Getting festive
BIGGEST BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: I don’t know if it’s so much of an “achievement”, but MY BABY
MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH: As of right now, New Year’s! I am going to a 20’s Gatsby-themed party and my dress for it is super gorgeous….
I’ve already got a few family sessions scheduled for December that I am really excited about! In addition, I’ll slowly be adding in all of the festive reds and greens to my instagram account which I find super enjoyable (I’m a huge nerd, I know)
In terms of life, the Christmas season is always a hugely fun and nostalgic one for me and I can’t wait to set up the decorations, wrap and make all the presents (I’m looove giving gifts! Especially handmade ones!) and spending a lot of time indulging in good food and with family.
What was your favorite part of November ?!