Morgan is one of our "OG" Charlotte Bride Guide members and she is ALWAYS up to something fun! After moving back to Charlotte, from Atlanta, Morgan has worked hard to establish a presence for herself in the Charlotte Wedding industry and she's certainly done just that! Today we took time to hear more about her new podcast, Queen City Connect. Here's what she told us:
Tell us about yourself! My name is Morgan Leatherwood and I am a professional wedding and portrait photographer residing in South Charlotte, NC. Just in February 2022, I launched a podcast called the Queen City Connect Podcast. On each episode, I have an informative, engaging, and FUN conversation with a local small business. The tag line is, "We may have small businesses, but they're fueled by big dreams." I have released about a dozen episodes and have recorded even more that are getting ready to release. Episode guests have included, Confetti Castle, Sort and Store, The Old Fashioned Mobile Bar, The White Bounce House, Madison Perk Coffee Bar, Charlotte the Figgy Car, and many more! I have had a BLAST creating this podcast and I love that I can support local CLT small businesses in this way. I am still building and trying to spread the word about the podcast and would love for everyone who listens to share on socials and with friends and family. What prompted you to start a podcast? I have wanted to start a podcast for a few years now. The whole idea of just getting to talk into a microphone about something I loved made me happy. Maybe that’s the enneagram 7 in me?! The problem is, I love a LOT of things. So how do I narrow it down?? Well, when I moved back to my hometown of Charlotte, NC in 2021 to grow my photography business, I knew I would have to work really hard to make connections and grow my clientele. We all know that slowly creating organic relationships with people is the most time-consuming yet rewarding use of our time and emotional energy. I came to Charlotte looking for vendor relationships and clients but deep down, I was also looking for friends. Aren’t we all? So this is when it clicked for me. The Charlotte small business community welcomed me with open arms and the friendships I have already established with so many means the actual world to me and I cherish each one greatly. “That’s it.” I thought. “I’ll create a podcast with my small business friends and we will have fun conversations about them, their dreams, their family, their business and we will laugh just about the whole way through. We can even have a game show in the middle. This is perfect.” Queen City Connect Podcast was born. How has the podcast impacted your business? The podcast is still very new. I began releasing episodes in February 2022. However, the podcast has already opened doors for my business that I didn't expect. Every guest on the show gets to shout out another small business that they love. This has created new friendships for me personally and sometimes out of new connections and friendships, come new clientele. I have expanded my photography business to now include business branding and headshots and HOLY COW we have so much fun elevating businesses through high-quality photos that are aesthetically beautiful and tailored to each individual client’s needs. What has been your favorite moment of podcasting thus far? Wow! I have had so many amazing moments. The feeling I get when space has been created for my guests to speak what is on his/her heart brings me so much joy. I want this podcast to be a space where people not only feel heard and valued but actually are heard and valued. Also, the ‘This or That’ game show we play on each episode is hysterical. How have you tied podcasting to your photography business? Before the podcast, my main photography focus was on weddings and family sessions. It still very much is, but since the podcast, I have been able to photograph businesses here in the Queen City. These sessions have included fresh individual headshots and team photos as well as branding of real-life-in-the-work-place photos. Where do you hope to see the Queen City Connect podcast in the future? Is the Tonight Show too big of a dream?! ;) I would love for this podcast to be a household name in the greater Charlotte area. If it expands further, GREAT! But serving the local people of Charlotte is my highest priority. I hope every guest who comes on the show gets exposure, business, recognition for their insane hard work, and appreciative comments from our listeners. Likewise, I hope the listeners learn so much about the incredible talent here in North Carolina and are educated about the privilege and amazing opportunity they have to support local creatives. Share with us anything else you'd like about your podcast. At this stage in the game, we are still an infant podcast. Steady, healthy growth is what I am striving for as we continue to grow and mature. I am humbled and sincerely grateful to get to be the person having these conversations with each creative, and it is not something that I take lightly. If you listen to the podcast, would you please rate and review it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify? That really does help other people discover the podcast. And if anyone reads this who is a small business owner, YOU CAN APPLY to be a guest! To apply, find us on Instagram @queen_city_connect_podcast_, give us a follow, and then click the link in bio to fill out an application. Share with us anything else you'd like about your business, personal, etc. Come join the fun with me!! I’m always up to something adventurous in my stories and if you haven’t met my mascot, Canon, yet, you’re in for a real treat. My Instagram handle is @morgan.amanda.photography. I provide a luxurious full-service studio and help my clients create tangible memories through prints, framing, and wall art design. All of my services include a complimentary in-home installation as well. If you are interested in booking a wedding, family portrait session, or business branding/headshot session, you can inquire on my website, https://morganamandaphotography.com/contact.