We had the good fortune of connecting with Margo Moritz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Margo, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

Becoming a photographer never started as a business idea for me. It came through an unfolding of following what I loved to do, recreating who I thought I “should be,” and letting my gut guide me through the meandering process of discovering who you are.

Initially I thought I wanted to work in advertising in big NY firms, so I took office jobs in marketing that I thought would get me there. I had this vision of myself working long hours on huge ad campaigns, living the frenetic NY lifestyle and wearing business suits and heels everyday click clacking to my big job. Somewhere along the way, that vision broke apart when I realized I was vying after some abstract ideal society had crafted for me but that was not my authentic self. What remained underneath that jaded vision was my passion for photography and desire to live a creative life outside of the normal 9-5 framework.

I went back to grad school for photography in San Francisco in 2006, which helped me turn a lifelong hobby into a more focused career path. I started by saying yes to every photo shoot opportunity that came my way and it gradually built itself into a lifestyle that I could sustain by creating imagery for people and businesses through my own lens. Somehow I still ended up sometimes working in the advertising world, but from a different role in the team than what I used to think I would be. I ditched the business suit and picked up the camera. I’m very grateful to have gotten to where I am from letting my passion unfold authentically and building from the ground up.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

For years, I’ve had a special personal project of photographing teenage girls. There’s something about that age that’s a beautiful mess of awkwardness, budding self-awareness, and bridging the worlds of girl and woman at the same time. It makes for a special recipe for portraits and authentic moments.

When work slowed down during the pandemic, I started an online school called GIRLS PHOTO CLUB to empower young women through photography. With so much emphasis on how we LOOK in social media, I wanted to focus on how girls SEE and give them a platform to express their vision. So we turn the lens around to have less selfies, more self-confidence. I opened up the school to teach women of all ages and actually fell in love with teaching adult women as I discovered the power in opening up creativity in women of all ages. I now teach these classes online and in person in addition to photographing lifestyle commercial jobs.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My partner and I just moved to Highland Park from Echo Park so a lot of my new favorites are on the east side. Go Get Em Tiger has a breakfast sandwich that reminds me of a fancy egg McMuffin but really yummy (and more expensive). Amara Kitchen is my favorite hidden local secret. I like going on a bike ride along the LA river from Frogtown and stopping at Spoke Bicycle Cafe for a fresh watermelon juice. I’m a lover of noodles and found a really special place that has a 36-hour bone broth called Bone Kettle in Pasadena, where you might even catch the restaurant owner filling water glasses and clearing plates from your table.

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?
It’s so true that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of many key players along the way who took chances on me and believed I could step up to new challenges. James Chiang put a camera in my hand when I was assisting him on an editorial shoot while I was still a student, which got me my first published magazine work, Thomas Heinser always had the courage to let me know when I needed to see more nuanced quality of light, and Will Mosgrove hired me as a college professor when I was still very fresh in the industry. These mentors and guides have helped create new openings in my journey.

Website: www.margomoritz.com

Instagram: instagram.com/margomoritz

Other: www.girlsphotoclub.com

Image Credits
Photo of me on red carpet: Tom Kubik All others: Margo Moritz

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