Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Hauge.
Molly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
From a very young age, I was lucky to be surrounded by a family of creatives. My mother was an art director and teacher and is a goldsmith. My sister had a knack for details and artistic vision, and has largely been involved in event production most of her professional life, so I guess you could say it was in my blood. My mother gave me my first camera as I was heading off to summer camp, and to say it was likely one of my most prized possessions is an understatement. I loved that camera and each one I’ve had since then. Looking back, the photographs I have might be mediocre, but the memory and thrill of pushing that shutter peaked my interest in creation.
As I attended college, I started taking photography classes but really felt like my heart was in fashion. I was fortunate to be enrolled in the Liberal arts College of the University of Minnesota where they just rolled out a new degree that focused on individualized arts, where I was able to combine my passion for photography, design, and retail management. After a semester abroad in London and working for a fashion company, photography became a side note to my career aspirations. I moved to LA shortly after college to help out some family, but stayed for the opportunities. After working in the fashion world, I quickly realized that it was not an industry that I wanted to be a part of and promptly started weighing out my options. After years of being a personal assistant and nanny, photography was the only thing that continued to last through the years. It was then I decided to take a leap and attend Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA to obtain my Masters in Fine Art Photography, with hopes of teaching in a college or university someday.
During the nearly 3 years in that program, I started doing photography jobs here and there as a way to make extra money and keep my creativity flowing. Since I had been working in the wedding industry as an assistant coordinator, it was a natural progression to have friends ask me to photograph their weddings. It wasn’t until my 4th or 5th wedding that I thought to myself, maybe I have something here! So without intention of it turning into a business, I started photographing weddings. I often say it chose me, but looking back after 8 years of weddings in the books, I couldn’t imagine doing anything different. I love that my work takes me to all corners of the world like France and Switzerland to photograph love stories. I love this industry and the photographic craft itself, because there is always an opportunity for improvement. I love going to workshops and learning new techniques, and since photography education is a love of mine, I am building a workshop platform of my own that will specialize on helping photographers find their style and photographic voice while building a recognizable brand.
After spending years in industries that did not excite me and working for other companies and people, It was thrilling to create a space in the wedding industry for my business and to thrive in a creative field when so much of our work is subjective. What I love about being a wedding photographer is not only that I get to help preserve a day in time, but also that I am able to provide an experience that will live on in my client’s memory for generations to follow.
While Molly + Co has come a long way in the past decade, we are at a launching site of some pretty incredible things and I’m excited for this ever-surprising ride!
Has it been a smooth road?
I think most entrepreneurs will tell you it is not always smooth sailing. For the first 6 years of my business, I always had other gigs and jobs shooting for other companies or working in a gallery because my fear of failure was overwhelming. The uncertainty of it all was too much. Once I took that step and trusted myself to provide a service that my clients would love and gladly refer to others, I knew I would be okay. There have been learning curves along the way because let me tell ya… starting out as a creative and then turning that into a business can be tough!! Most creatives and artists don’t have the same business thinking that other entrepreneurs have, so learning those habits and continuing to improve upon them has been my biggest challenge in building my business.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Molly + Co is a Southern California based photography company that specializes in wedding and engagement photography for the modern couple that is design focused and detail oriented. Approximately 1/3 of our business is destination, and we love traveling with our couples! Aside from providing authentic photographs for our clients to enjoy for generations, we pride ourselves on creating a special experience from our first consultation to the delivery of the wedding books. It is that extra feeling of working with a friend rather than a vendor, and trusting our team to get every shot, and also get that glass of wine you’ve been craving. Our job is to make our clients feel supremely special so that they can look at a photograph on their 50th wedding anniversary and remember how amazing they felt that day.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Los Angeles is an AMAZING place to be in the creative industry. It is one of the few places that you can create a career in the arts and not be in the minority. That being said, the field for wedding photographers in LA is so densely populated that you really have to provide a service and value that sets you apart from the rest. I often see young photographers who are undervaluing their craft by under-charging. Not only does that cheapen our industry but it does a disservice to the rest of creatives who see the value in charging a fair wage. While we all start somewhere, I’d recommend practicing and working as much as you can so that you can establish yourself in the industry and not feel like you need to discount your services. Los Angeles has work for everyone, so you just have to find which market you want to be in and go for it!
- Website: www.mollyandco.com
- Phone: 920-819-5246
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/mollycophoto
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/mollyandcophoto
Molly Hauge, Molly + Co