Updated: Nov 23
A little gratitude goes a long way.
Here in 2022, we have a lot to be thankful for.
After 23 years in Law Enforcement, I was able to retire. We managed to turn this photography side hustle into a full time, full service photography business. With this change, we wanted to represent ourselves in a more fitting way and we rebranded as
Magnolia Gruene Photography, LLC. We switched site hosts and our website took on a whole new look and vibe.
Somehow through all of it, we've had our most successful year in our existence and we are blown away. We've had multiple return customers who have brought us along on their life journeys: Wedding, Family Portraits, Gender Reveals, Maternity, etc. While remaining in the category of Client (simply because we strive to provide them the best services possible), they also deserve to be in the category of Family and Friends.
We've seen a new influx of clients, of complete strangers, who by my word of mouth have come to us for their photography needs. I've always said it amazes me that complete strangers will hand over their hard-earned money for what we do. We can't express how grateful we are for everyone who posts our images on their social media, tags us, or leaves reviews.
We've done some research and invested time in building our business and marketing. This is new territory for us but we've already seen some benefits from it all. Two authors that I absolutely must mention are Gary Vaynerchuck (aka: Gary Vee) and Donald Miller. For the time, energy, and knowledge they poured into their books, we are so thankful. I have never read so much in my life! In fact, they are the reason we have this blog in the first place.
If you are a small business owner, check them out - you will not be sorry.
Business being as good as it is, we managed to take some time to give back. We offered our services to a couple of graduating high school seniors who otherwise may not have been able to have Senior Portraits done. Knowing these students since middle school, I've seen them grow and mature over the years. It was an honor to be part of their last year. They may have gotten some pretty good photos, but the fulfillment I received was priceless.
Likewise, we participated in a themed photo session benefitting Cigars for Warriors, an organization that provides cigar care packages to US Military members serving in combat zones.
Some of the images from this session have been auctioned off to raise money for the foundation, thus getting some quality smokes in the hands of of some deserving troops.
Aside From Photography...
For those that don't know, we also own a digital photo booth rental company, Booth or Dare. We don't know what happened in 2022, but our bookings skyrocketed! We've been having a great time providing some serious entertainment to Birthday Parties, Graduation Parties, and Weddings. Just like with our photography business, we found non-profit organizations to partner with such as the New Braunfels Food Bank for their annual fundraising gala.
We were also lucky enough to team up with a local cigar shop, The Republic Cigar, for their Inaugaral Block Party to raise donations for Cigars for Warriors (are you seeing a trend here?)
Lastly, Gina dove into her passion and launched her own travel agency, Growing Legs Travel, LLC! It's been amazing watching her power through her classes and onto booking her clients for their dream vacations! And hey, we're gonna take a few trips of our own.
From the Heart
In closing, we're grateful to everyone who has supported us in their own ways. We couldn't have gotten this off the ground without all of you. We'd like to give a special shout out to the following:
To our daughters -
Chelsea for teaching us how to use Canva and getting us more involved in the vendor community,
Madison for picking up the kids from school on occasion and helping out around the house when we're "short staffed",
And lastly Nanette (Granny) for always babysitting while we are at events or just for an afternoon reprieve. We hope that we somehow have been as much of a blessing to you as you have to us.
We've learned a lot over our eight years, but most of it came post-Covid. We have a lot to learn still and even more to look forward to in 2023 and beyond.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and everyone of you.