3 FUN FACTS ABOUT #MAETOG:
1. The MAE stands for my father’s initials. He passed away when I was 11 years old & I knew that one day I wanted to do something to memorialize his legacy. We grew up with taking tons of family photos and video footage from special occasions, holidays, birthdays & family get-togethers. Having these moments captured became very important to me, as you can imagine. That is why our slogan is, “... for generations to come” because your photos will be around for the future generations and transcend time.
2. I began taking photos while in university because I was a super broke college student and needed some grocery money. I was offered an opportunity to photograph an event by our cafeterium janitor, who was unable to cover the event and asked me if I would be interested. That was the first time I tried my hand at photography. He loaned me his Nikon D90 for the evening. When I returned the images to him, he told me I had an eye for it & offered his camera for me to continue shooting. I charged $20.00 for photo shoots to friends, fraternities & sororities on campus, and others... just enough for my Chic-fil-a obsession. It was after another 2 years of continual shooting that yet another person invested in my “hobby” and gifted me a camera. From there, the hobby turned into a passion and developed into my first entrepreneurial endeavor. I am always humbled to remember these beginnings and thankful to God who put people in my life to keep inspiring me, pour into me and provide me opportunities. As I like to tell other creatives, just keep working on your craft - whatever it is. And, do not forsake or despise the days of small beginnings! They are honestly the most beautiful part of your story when you look back and tell others where you came from.
3. This is my favorite happy accident. TOG is short for #phoTOG - a little something that was adopted from one of the photographers on island that inspired me (@firetog_ ). I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out that MAETOG spelled backwards was GO-TEAM. This took my imagination to another level... I began thinking less about ME and how to make it about WE. Now, my gears were thinking - team building, community, expansion, and branching. This portion of my business is still in the “seed” stage and I’ve learned you have to choose carefully who you build with, but I truly believe that #MAETOG will be comprised of collaboration with other local artisans (i.e. videographers, make-up artist, artist, etc) as it’s rooted in the belief that there is enough room for everyone to flourish. • • • “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”