BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Monreau Morrison is an 18-year-old University Laboratory School student who is the owner of Alaya Valley Photography. For this go-getter, entrepreneurship came at a time when we were all just looking for something to do.
“So it was around Covid, I was in the house, I was bored, you know, Zoom classes, nothing much to do and I was nagging my aunt. She handed me a camera and told me to go take pictures,” said Morrison.
Now business is booming but this success story didn’t happen overnight.
“I started to take pictures at small family events and eventually when we started to post my work people started to inquire about my services and it took off from there,” said Morrison. “My first client was my aunt, she hired me for a birthday party.”
It was an “aha” moment that made her realize it was time to turn things up.
“It was downtown, we were walking, my mom and I started taking pictures of people on the road, just candids, and I posted them on Instagram and I’m like ‘I can be a real photographer,’ like these are good, I’m like, ‘okay, I have some real value here, y’all need to start paying me,'” said Morrison.
While wrapping up her senior year of high school, entrepreneurship is no walk in the park.
“Time management, of course, school comes first, I’m 18, I want a social life, I want to work, I want money. It’s like I have to balance everything,” said Morrison.
Self-taught, paid and professional, nearly 300 sessions later, Morrison’s work speaks for itself, but future customers might want to book this busy bee before she’s on the fly.
“I intend on going to Tulane and majoring in African Studies. I want to take the pre-med route and become a general physician someday. Anytime I come back home I’ll still be taking pictures for my loyal clients,” said Morrison.
While we can’t turn back the hands of time, a photo can lock in a moment forever. For Morrison, those moments have highlighted some major growth.
“It started off kind of shaky of course, I was learning so my pictures weren’t the best but looking back on three years ago I definitely see the progress in how I’ve improved and I’m proud of how far I’ve come so just trust the process. Continue to work and the results will come,” said Morrison.
Those interested in Morrison’s services can find her on Instagram at Alaya.Valley or www.alayavalley.com
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