Senior grows photography business through senior portraits

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Bridget Overby

Senior Morgan Begley chooses to use her camera for work. Begley takes family, senior, and individual portraits. Her website is joyfullensphotos.com and her Instagram is @joyfullensphoto. “I love seeing people happy, and I love capturing their happiness and showing it to them later,” Begley said. “Their faces light up when I can make them feel beautiful, and they can look back on these photos and just smile.”

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Senior Morgan Begley focuses on capturing the stories and smiles of her clients while contributing to the well-being of others around the world through the charity and service of her business, Joyful Lens Photography.

Begley started learning photography in seventh grade, but it wasn’t until she got her own camera the summer before her freshman year that she said her interest and experience really took off. 

“I started by taking pictures of anyone that would let me,” Begley said. “I practiced a lot, and then started getting paid for family portraits for friends and teachers in tenth grade.”

As she grew her business, Begley said that she wanted the name, Joyful Lens Photography, to represent her values and the reason she loves to take photos.

“I love seeing people happy, and I love capturing their happiness and showing it to them later,” Begley said. “Their faces light up when I can make them feel beautiful, and they can look back on these photos and just smile.”

In addition to taking family and individual portraits, Begley is currently focusing on senior photos, and students can book a session with her through joyfullensphotos.com, or send her a direct message @joyfullensphoto on Instagram. She said she gets back to people within a day and can typically plan the shoot and get the final photos back to them within a week or two. 

“Senior portraits are what I love to do,” Begley said. “I love when people are able to bring their dog or their instrument or something, and I just love being able to capture people in this unique time.”

Begley said she has learned how to take better photos through her experience assisting Laurie Finkenbiner, a professional portrait photographer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Finkenbiner said she chose Begley because of her interest in photography, and that she is a huge help to her behind the scenes.

“She has been such an asset to my sessions, allowing me to focus more on my senior (clients),” Finkenbiner said. “Morgan knows what I need before I even have to ask for it. She not only is on top of her game as an assistant, but she is really fun to work with, too.”

In her personal business, Begley said that through engaging in conversation during shoots, avoiding repetitive photos, telling corny jokes to crack genuine smiles, and bringing a speaker to crank some of her client’s favorite music, she makes her sessions unique to each senior. 

“I understand what the current climate is like as a senior,” Begley said. “And I understand how much these photos can mean to (people) in this time,” 

Dedicated to helping others, at the end of each year, Begley donates a percentage of her earnings to the Global Women’s Fund, a non-profit organization that funds human rights initiatives around the world.

“Through the last couple of years I’ve figured out that service is a big part of my life, and I want it to continue to be a big part of my life,” Begley said. “I did a lot of research, and the Global Women’s Fund is a great organization, and I wanted that to reflect in my business as much as I feel it in my life.”

Begley wants to pursue a career in public health and policy but said she also wants to continue taking photos as a hobby and incorporate what she has learned from her business into her future career.

“I’ve definitely learned how to talk to people and interact with people, both in a business sense and just a personal sense,” Begley said. “And I understand the value of being able to make a quick connection with people because it makes everyone so much more comfortable.”