Easy One Pan Breakfast Casserole

 

This one pan breakfast casserole with sausage is very easy, and you can easily customize it by adding other ingredients. The sausage almost makes a crust at the bottom, giving your taste buds a nice surprise! 

 

 

Last weekend, my husband asked if I could whip up some breakfast for us and my mother-in-love, who’s visiting us. I knew we had some eggs we needed to get rid of, and we just bought sausage on our last grocery trip. So, I had the idea to make some kind of quiche. Mind you, I’ve never made a quiche before. So once I saw the time it took, I decided to go another route, making a quiche-like dish, which I settled on calling a casserole.

To lock in my idea, I scoured the fridge to see what all I could add. What I found was shredded cheese, campari tomatoes, and a bit of salsa, I liked where this was going and didn’t want to make it too complex. So, I settled on those ingredients. Making this was basically a shot in the dark since I was just winging the whole thing, but luckily, it turned out great, and was hubby and mother-in-love approved.

I finished the meal by just making a slice of toast for each of us, and I made us a Pineapple Fizz, which is just pineapple juice and Sprite. You can also substitute the Sprite for ginger ale, or you can add sparkling wine for a fancy mimosa. 

One Pan Breakfast Casserole

Alyse Nicole
This one pan breakfast casserole with sausage is very easy, and you can easily customize it by adding other ingredients. This dish would be perfect for breakfast or brunch!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • 1 deep 10 in pan

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz sausage choose your spice level
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup mild salsa
  • 2 campari tomatoes
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • seasoning to taste

Instructions
 

  • Set burner on medium high heat, and place plan on burner. Once the pan is hot, add sausage.
  • Break the into crumbles with your preferred cooking utensil (I used a spatula), and cook the sausage until brown.
  • While the sausage is browning, beat eggs and add your preferred seasoning. I used Sooo Matcha Soul seasoning from Caribreoso Flavor Boutique.
  • Add eggs to pan with sausage, distributing them evenly. Then let them cook for a few seconds.
  • Evenly pour salsa. Then add tomatoes, and let cook for 5 minutes, never stirring the ingredients.
  • While the casserole cooks, preheat oven to 400°.
  • Sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese on top of casserole, and place casserole in the oven, cooking for 15 minutes.
  • Check after 15 minutes. If the eggs aren't fully cooked, continue to cook in 5 minute intervals until done. I cooked mine for 10 additional minutes following the initial 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, slice into eighths, and immediately serve.
Keyword casserole, crustless quiche, eggs, salsa, sausage

I also recommend making this one pan breakfast casserole for brunch. It’s very easy and relatively fast to put together and cook. You can even make different variations for your breakfast and brunch guests to have  options. I plan to add spinach in the future to see how that meshes. The options are virtually limitless for this dish!

 

 

 

 

Thank you for checking out my recipe! Let me know how it turns out for you and if you customize it at all.

 

6 Unique Glamping Experiences to Book this Fall

 

Though  COVID travel precautions and requirements are slowly leaving, several people are still leery of traveling. So, I compiled a list of 6 beautiful, unique glamping ideas to allow you to travel while still keeping your distance from the masses.

The below properties are located across basically every region in the contiguous US. So, it’s likely you’ll find one within a decent driving distance from your home. Without further ado, here’s my suggestions of 6 unique glamping experiences to book this Fall.

 

1. The Spyglass: Fredericksburg, TX

This unique structure is part of multiple dwellings on a property near downtown Fredericksburg. Visitors say it’s close enough to enjoy downtown while still feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

The Spyglass’s cylindrical build is very astonishing, and the interior design is no different. Starting with the built in hot tub, to the kitchenette and the bathroom, it’s like a luxury suite in the woods.

Be sure to check out the other properties on the grounds with the Spyglass as well. They were all constructed to amaze!

 

2. Getaway House: New Orleans

One of Getaway House’s newest outposts, Getaway Homochitto, opened to guests in January 2022. Actually located 2 hours outside of New Orleans in Meadville, MS, this destination is perfect for those needing to disconnect for a while.

There’s no wi-fi, and cell service isn’t guaranteed. A lockbox is even available for you to place your phone during your stay to ensure you have no distractions and can fully enjoy this experience.

 

3. Cloud Dome Treehouse: Campton, KY

You can knock off 2 glamping bucket list items by staying at the Cloud Dome Treehouse, which is a geodesic dome as well as a treehouse nestled high in the canopy of trees at the Red River Gorge in Campton, KY.

This dwelling is actually part of a treehouse village called Dome Town, which consists of 3 domes connected by rope bridges. Cloud Dome is the highest, hence the name. However, each dome has a unique view of the stunning gorge.

 

4. Willow Treehouse: Willow, WY

A one of a kind, geometric, custom built guest house imagined by Antony Gibbon Designs, the Willow Treehouse is a highly sought after getaway destination. It’s a lofted property just 15 minutes away from Woodstock, NY, and overlooks a pond.

The sleeping loft has windows on 3 sides as well as a nearby skylight, supplying you with a nearly 360 degree view of the land. It’s advised to pack lightly since you’ll be walking into the property as well as climbing up to the sleeping loft.

Also, this place sells out fast. So unfortunately, it may already be booked for the year by the time this post goes live.

 

5. The Missing Peace Chalet: Innsbrook, MO

The “Missing Peace” is an A-frame chalet located near 2 lakes (Aspen and St Gallen). Enjoy the Innsbrook leaves in the Fall, ice skating in the winter, and festivals in the summer.

The chalet holds up to 5 guests, with 3 beds (one being a sofa bed). So, it would be great for families.

 

6. ShangriLaLa Tiny House: Topanga, CA

Nestled in a sanctuary garden, the ShangriLaLa provides the perfect balance of indoor/outdoor living. The floor to ceiling windows make the home feel much more open, and the outdoor bathroom gives you the feeling of a tropical escape.

Due to the long, unrailed pathway leading to the house, guests are encouraged to pack light to ease their walk. This location is also not accessible to wheelchairs.

 

I hope you enjoyed my list of 6 unique glamping experiences to book in 2022. If so, stay tuned for my list of breathtaking rental houses across the US coming soon.

Have you visits any unique glamping or camping sights? Let me know in the comments.

 

Photos courtesy of Airbnb.

 

 

Hard Blueberry Lemonade


Hey y’all!  Welcome to my new series, Summer Sips, where I will share cocktail recipes featuring local or up-and-coming wines and spirits. Not to worry, though. If these brands aren’t available near you, there are other alternatives.

So lately, we’ve been regularly keeping alcohol stocked in the house, partly due to being partnered with a few brands, and partly from us actually purchasing it. Because of the increase, though, we’ve been getting more creative with our recipes. Then I thought why not share them with you!

Today’s recipe will be a hard blueberry lemonade made with Bomade vodka, a lemonade vodka infused with organic lemons, that recently became available in the Austin area. Oh, and did I mention it’s Black owned? This vodka is so smooth and light that it’s almost dangerous! The refreshing lemon flavor helps the vodka effortlessly blend with most mixes. To get your hands on a bottle, click here to check its available locations or to request it in your area. Now, let’s get to the recipe.

Hard Blueberry Lemonade

Alyse Nicole
This is a simple, refreshing drink to end an evening or to serve while entertaining. You can also interchange the berries and sparkling water to make it your own.
Prep Time 1 min
Mix Time 1 min
Total Time 2 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1 glass

Equipment

  • wooden spoon
  • jigger

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup blueberries rinsed
  • ice
  • 2 oz Bomade vodka
  • 1 can Sanpellegrino Limonata sparkling water
  • garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • In a highball glass, add blueberries. Then crush blueberries with wooden spoon.
  • Fill glass with ice.
  • Pour Bomade vodka over ice.
  • Finally, fill rest of glass with Sanpellegrino.
  • Lightly stir with wooden spoon.
  • You can stop there, or you can garnish the drink with mint.
Keyword blueberry, cocktail, lemonade, vodka

Once when I made this, I had a little peppermint left in my garden, one of the only plants that actually grew. So, I just added that for a little razzle dazzle.

Now all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy. Get you a good book, turn on some mellow tunes in the background, and take in the vibes.

Thanks for tuning into my first Saturday Sip! I hope you liked the recipe. If you tried it, let me know. If you post it on social media, be sure to tag me @alysenicole85 and @bomadetexas for a shout out! Bye bye for now. See you at the next sip!

 

 

 

 

Spring 2022 One Room Challenge: Week 4

 

We’re at the halfway mark of the 10th anniversary One Room Challenge! Week 4 came and went before I knew it, and with it came another design change.

So, this week’s to-do list included pricing wood, buying the tile, and painting the walls. How many of these tasks did I complete you ask? Zero! Absolutely none of them! I did work on the room, though, just not on what I said I’d do.

 


As I’ve said before, this room needs a lot of foundational work before any pretty stuff can start. So I ended up being in the thick of figuring out how to fix/replace the moulding on the doorframe without having to replace the whole thing. That would need to be done before painting starts on that wall.

I’ve also decided to change the tile on the accent wall (where the washer and dryer are). Though the tile itself was a reasonable price for my budget, the shipping cost was not! So, I’m going to have to find something at Home Depot with free in-store pickup or free shipping because the budget comes first!

 

 

Since I didn’t do anything in the laundry room, I started back on the entryway, figuring out how I wanted our gallery wall. I also wanted to share pics of how it currently looks since you’ve never seen it at it’s current phase. So, those are the photos you see throughout this blog post.

 

 

Next week is William’s birthday. So, I don’t imagine I’ll get a whole lot of work done then because I’m a BIG birthday freak! I love celebrating birthdays, whether it’s mine, a loved one, or just a random person I see celebrating their birthday. Every year we’re still here is a gift. So we should honor that and celebrate it to maximum capacity!

 

 

Anywho, with that being said, I’m still stacking on the tasks for next week because I need to play catch up a bit. So, please hold me accountable to complete them!

 

 

Well, that’s it for this week’s updates. Here’s to a more visibly productive week next week and a happy birthday for my hubby. 😊

Also, remember to check out the other participants on the One Room Challenge blog!

 

Spring 2022 One Room Challenge: Week 3

 

Well well well, looks like it’s week 3 already. Seems like it was just 4 days ago when I posted my week 2 blog (because it was).

Weeks 2 and 3 kind of merged together because I started week 2’s tasks a few days before the week was over. So, here’s the progress from week 3.

 


So, if you saw my original mood board or have been following along on Instagram, you saw that I found my dream washer and dryer set that I didn’t even know existed. It was a brushed black Samsung set with all the bells and whistles. They’re truly beautiful! They were on sale for $798 each at Home Depot, and we were looking around hoping to find them for an even lower price.

Then, I was scrolling through Facebook on my work break and saw that one of my friends was moving and selling her basically new set for just $200! That’s the price for both, together!

 

 

Installing the new appliances, the actual process of hooking them up, wasn’t hard. The hard part was lugging these gargantuan things from the garage into the laundry room!

On a regular day, this is about a 2 step walk, but while dollying and maneuvering this 5’ tall washer and dryer, it was about 55 steps each! Did I mention there’s a step up from the garage to the laundry room?? Luckily William was able to borrow a dollie. Otherwise, they’d still be in the same spot! Oh, and shout out to our friend Mike for helping William get them out the truck. I definitely couldn’t help with that at ALL!

 

 

Now, in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have been worn out and would’ve painted the wall before we put the washer and dryer in the room, but this isn’t a perfect world. So, we- I’ll just have to deal with it. Hopefully it won’t be too hard or terrible.

As far as cleaning, the floors are completely clean now. So much so, that I haven’t let the dogs back in there yet. Now that the grout is dry, it actually does look like when the floors were first done. All it took was some toilet cleaner and a little bit of elbow grease!

The walls on the other hand . . . let’s just say they need a bit more work.

It’s been a while since I actually designed our laundry room makeover. I was just doing it as a type of daydreaming thing. Then our washer went out about a month ago, and I had my chance to make it a reality. When we started looking for a new washer, I saw it was time to register for the Spring round of the One Room Challenge for this year. So I pounced on the opportunity without a second thought!

 

 

Since it had been a while since I came up with the original mood board, though, some of the materials were sold out or just no longer sold altogether, the most important being the rug. So, that was part of my mission this week, finding a new rug that fit the room and also went with the new washer and dryer that also weren’t part of the original plan.

 

 

So, behold my new design idea for the laundry room. It’s mostly the same idea, just rotated and adjusted here and there. It should make for a good adventure, but before we can get to the cute stuff, we need to fix/replace these door mouldings and tear some stuff up.

In other words, I’ll see you next week for week 4’s progress report. Let’s hope I keep my promise of posting on time. Also, remember to check out the other participants one the One Room Challenge blog!

Spring 2022 One Room Challenge: Week 2

 

I promise to post on time next week! 😩

It’s week 2 of the Spring ‘22 One Room Challenge, and my entire design is about to change because of this great deal I got on a new washer and dryer! More about that next week.

 


This week, I didn’t really do much, just found the new laundry set and started cleaning the laundry room this morning so we can put the appliances in tomorrow. In my mind, I thought I’d paint the wall today too, but that grout scrubbing (see pictures) wore me out!

I saw a hack a few years ago to use toilet bowl cleaner on your grout (and a bunch of other places) for a deep clean. I use to do it as a spot treatment and clean it up with our steam mop, but our mop fell victim to this hard Texas water. So it’s been a while since I’ve done this.

 


Since it had been so long, I thought I’d treat the whole floor. So I went to work covering every centimeter of grout with the cleaner. I waited 10 minutes then scrubbed it with a brush. Then, I waited another 10 minutes before removing it. When the second 10 minute marker came, I realized I had no clue how to get this stuff off the floor. We don’t have a conventional mop, just one of those in the style of a Swiffer.

After thinking for a sec, I said it’s time to go old school. So I pulled out the biggest bowl I could find and one of our kitchen towels on its last leg and began scrubbing the floor, tile by tile. I worked my way from the front right corner all the way to the back left corner. Afterwards, I mopped the entire floor with Swiffer’s cousin, just to make sure I got everything up.

 


What was left was a new, squeaky clean floor. It’s not as white as it used to be, but it’s leaps and bounds better than before I cleaned it!

Next week’s projects will be a bit more fun.  They include redesigning the room, possibly painting, and finding a rug. For real time updates, tune into my stories on Instagram! See you next week for my Week 3 update, and be sure to check out the other One Room Challenge participants here!

Spring 2022 One Room Challenge: Week 1

 

AHHH!!! I’m so excited!!! I get to participate during the 10th anniversary of the One Room Challenge!!! This year, I’m going to try my best to document everything on my blog, as well as Instagram.

I attempted to document my Spring 2020 challenge here after the fact but failed epically. In my defense, I had just started this blog and was still working out the kinks, as well as discovering my writing style. So, maybe I’ll give it another shot now that I know myself.

Anywho, you’re not here for that existential babble. You want to know what room I’m working on and what my design idea is. So, let’s get to it!


For the Spring challenge, I’ll be finishing our entryway (yes the entryway from the Fall 2020 challenge
🙄) AND reviving our laundry room!

I shared my mood board in my stories on Instagram, and only 14% of the participants guessed that it was for the laundry room. I get it though. Who cares what a laundry room looks like? It’s not like we’re  hanging out in there, reading and the like, but what if part of what makes laundry so unbearable is because of how the room looks?

Usually, laundry rooms are pretty neglected, with dust everywhere from the dryer lint, maybe a cobweb in the corner, plain white walls, etc., but I want every room in our home to have a personality, a story even, and yes. That includes the laundry room. Plus our poor laundry room has been THROUGH it because it’s the dogs’ room.

It’s where Riggs and Murtaugh (bonus points if you get their names) eat, where they stay while we’re out if the weather’s bad outside, and sometimes where they go for time out when they’re acting up. YES, WE PUT OUR DOGS IN TIME OUT! Moving on.

 

 

Because of this, though, the room is even dirtier because they drag in dirt from outside and just reek havoc in there sometimes! Plus, when Riggs was little, he had separation issues. So, he decided to try and eat his way out the room one day while we were gone. He literally ate part of the doorframe, the drywall under it, AND chewed on the beam inside the wall!

 

He luckily is past that now, and they don’t dirty the place up as much anymore either. So, I plan to repair/replace the doorframe, deep clean the room, and somewhat doggy proof it, while making it a bit more modern and fun.

Hopefully you stick around to see the magic happen. To see it in real time, tune in to my stories on Instagram, and also be sure to check out the other participants on the One Room Challenge blog! See you next week!

 

2022 Woman on the Move: Keyheira Keys

 

Keyheira Keys, have you heard that name before? Do you know her? You should, and you probably know some of her work or efforts, but not the woman behind them.

Keyheira is an Arkansas native but has been in Austin since 2000. She wears several hats and is a creative’s advocate, while also being a creative herself.

I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions recently to try and get a more behind the scenes look at how she’s able to do so much. After reading her answers, I think you’ll better understand why I chose Ms. Keyheira Keys as my inaugural Woman on the Move for International Women’s Day 2022.

Thanks for talking with me! It’s a true honor. So, for starters, tell us about some of the hats you wear.

By day, I work for the City of Austin in the economic development in cultural arts department as a cultural strategist. I also do consulting for Black and brown business creatives and entrepreneurs.

Most recently, I launched my radio show, Keys to the Streets, on KAZI. All my occupations deal with performing arts, fine arts, and the culinary arts.

 


How long have you lived in Austin?

Since 2000. It was a bit of a culture shock due to the diversity in races and cultures. I came from a city where there were basically only Black or white people. I also couldn’t understand the big difference in cost of living, but we eventually embraced the city and began to love and thrive in it.

 

How do you find time for everything?

It’s (the arts) always been a passion of mine. So it doesn’t seem like a lot of time, and I’m willing to put even more time towards working because of that.

 

Tell us about your time at Baylor.

Talk about a culture shock! After finally being adjusted to Austin, I went somewhere that was, again, a polar opposite.

Ohio State was my first choice, but due to financial reasons, I had to stay in-state. Baylor and UT were tied for my second choice. So I chose Baylor to get away a little.

I went from the world being 2007 to 1907. It was very segregated, and I was expected to only hang out with the Black students. So that was a social culture shock for me because I had a very diverse group of friends before attending.

 

What gives you such a passion about sharing and preserving Black culture in Austin?

It started from  the love East Austin shared with my family when we moved here. The community literally embraced us as their own. Then after going to Baylor and studying sociology, I learned how important it is to preserve stories as well as to tell stories so they’re not lost.

I started doing non-profit work for businesses in East Austin to help preserve the culture for the next generation. I feel it’s important to be able to create your own history while respecting the history and culture of the past.

I want the memories to be around for my children and more children to come.

 

Do you have a mentor? Do you mentor others?

Absolutely! I have several mentors, in different industries. In music, public relations, art, etc. I love learning from those more experienced than I am.

I also mentor others in the various industries I work in. I seriously loves helping someone move up in their industries. Since there’s so few Black women in my industry, I feel it’s my responsibility to help bring more on if it’s something they’re interested in or passionate about.

 

Tell us more about “Keys to the Streets”.  How did it come to be?

It’s a radio show that comprises all that I do in different industries and the multiple markets I work in. I helped bring a lot of new talent to KAZI during their rebranding. So they asked if I’d like her own show, saying, “you’re the key to bringing all this together.”

I originally said no, but after thinking it over, I realized I had a lot to share and offer. With everything I do, I usually like to stay in the background, but when I heard an interview with Issa Rae where she said “it’s looking a lot like me season”, it really resonated with me! So I said yes.

It took me 4 months to record my pilot episode because of fear and nerves, but when I submitted it, the station and listeners loved it!

You can tune in at 9:30am on Monday’s on 88.7, KAZI FM, or online at kazifm.org.

 

If you could share one piece of advice with someone afraid to take their first step towards their dreams and goals, what would it be?

It’s definitely a journey, but it starts with you seeing it for yourself and believing in yourself. I’m just starting to see the harvest from the seeds I planted 5-6 years ago, but you can’t make it anywhere if you don’t start.

 

 

Thank you so much Keyheira for speaking with me! You’re a true role model and silent superhero in our community. It’s great seeing you publicly receive your flowers more and being able to give them to you as well. Congratulations again to our 2022 Woman on the Move, Ms. Keyheira Keys!

10 Questions with Archie J Jenkins, Owner of 180 Lyfe

 

During Black History Month, I’m interviewing Black business owners and founders to help bring more eyes to their products and services and also to celebrate them. My final interview features Archie J Jenkins, the owner of 180 Lyfe. I asked him 10 questions. Keep reading to find his answers.

 

How did your business come to be? What was your motivation?

My motivation comes directly from my past. In my early adult years, I was charged with a few felony convictions. During my incarceration, I began reflecting on what mattered most to me and 180 Lyfe was created. I’ve always been a visionary, but once I wrote the vision and made it plain, things began to shift in my life.

Giving back to others has always been a passion, but I got to a point where I decided to give back to myself. I knew in order to walk in my purpose, I had to get outside my comfort zone and truly change my mindset.

 

Did you face any adversities or obstacles in the beginning?

I am a creative and entrepreneur with ADHD but I’ve never let it define or cripple me. Also, remembering that being my true authentic self is what has gotten me this far, not faking it or being what others expected me to be. I refused to be put in a box. 

Another obstacle that I’ve had to overcome was mistakes I’ve made with finances. However, I’ve learned from each and every one of them. When it comes to business, I believe that the key to entrepreneurship is budgeting and money management. For example, I know that just because you earn $6,000.00 one month, does not mean you go out and buy a Mercedes Benz because you may only make $1,000.00 the following month. That is the risk with entrepreneurship as a whole, nothing is guaranteed.

 

Did you have a support system starting out?

180 Lyfe was started from the ground up. I took my time to build/nurture relationships, grow my network, and collaborate with other business owners until I was able to stand on my own. It is my desire to be a valuable resource for the community.

 

What void would you like to fill in the Black community with your business?

I am a visionary, and I am passionate about helping other individuals who desire to start a business but do not know where to start. I want to inspire my community and show them that they can take a little and build a lot with the right resources. 

I am also a Youth Advocate, and I am especially interested in the holistic development of our young Black men. I want to help them find their voice because I know the huge impact it can have on one’s life. I would like to use motivational speaking as an outlet for 180 Lyfe to reach the masses.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated to keep going?

I made a commitment to myself and my dreams. A commitment that my God given gifts have laid the groundwork for. With 180 Lyfe flourishing and thriving, I’ve learned a lot, the most important thing is that with hard work, persistence, faith in God and prayer, all things are possible. 

Who, if anyone, has inspired you during your journey?

There are many Greats that have inspired me but one person that stands out is Tyler Perry. Seeing someone that looks like me and has overcome everything from homelessness to rejection. When I learned that early on in his career, he invested his last in a stage play and no one showed up, it made me value his resilience even more. I admire anyone who eliminates the excuses and has the steadfast faith to never give up.

 

How can we, the community, help you exceed your current level?

The community can help me elevate by supporting my events and spreading the word about the 180 movement. Whatever I produce, my goal is to inspire, whether it’s through my magazine, my affirmations book, or a motivational speech, I need help bringing more visibility and exposure to the 180 brand.

Do you have any announcements or good news you’d like to share?

Last year, I was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year and that really gave me some great momentum at the start of this year to maximize all of the great connections I’ve made the previous year. On April 9th, I am bringing the 1st Annual Creative Connections Conference to Houston, TX. This conference will truly embody the “No Creative Left Behind” motto with panel discussions, spoken word performances, networking, live music, book signings, extraordinary vendors, and more.

We hope that this conference will bring forth fruitful relationships, collaboration, and networking opportunities for everyone that is involved. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone starting the business owner/entrepreneurial journey?

 

BE CONSISTENT AND SHOW UP NO MATTER WHAT!

 

How can we find you to give our support? What’s your website and social media info?

You all can find me at www.180lyfe.com where you are able to shop, support, or leave a review. Follow me on Instagram at 180lyfe_180show. For booking inquiries, please email 180lyfe180show@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Archie, for this great interview! Be sure to check out the 180 Lyfe website to see everything they have to offer!

 

10 Questions with Viral TikTok Photographer, Michael T Davis

 

During Black History Month, I’m interviewing Black business owners and founders to help bring more eyes to their products and services and also to celebrate them. My next interview is with Michael T. Davis, owner of Michael T. Davis Photography, who recently went viral on TikTok. I asked him 10 questions. Below are his answers.

 

How did your business come to be? What was your motivation?

I photographed my first wedding in Philadelphia, on August 20, 2011, which was also my 1yr wedding anniversary, and my wife has yet to let me live it down. It came about because they saw some of my work on Facebook and decided to reach out. The experience was such a blast! I learned so much and really enjoyed the entire process. Prior to this event, I’ve never photographed a wedding before. So it was a leap of faith that they loved my work and trusted that I would do a great job.

11 yrs later, I photograph weddings full-time, educate others on how to run profitable photography businesses, speak at photography conferences and on podcasts, etc. Some would consider me an expert in the industry. I just consider myself a storyteller and wedding photographer

 

Did you face any adversities or obstacles in the beginning?

The biggest obstacle was learning about the industry. I didn’t know anything about weddings before photographing my first one. So, I did tons of research on timelines, the do’s and don’ts, gear, etiquette, etc. After my first wedding, I began to bring my camera to weddings when I was a guest and photographed that.

About 1-2 yrs after that I was approached by a wedding company in Baltimore to join their team. It was here where I gained the much needed experience and portfolio. I was a 2nd photographer (one who assists the main photographer) for about a year. Then I was promoted as the main photographer. I developed a close relationship with the owners of the company and began to get a better insight on the business side as well.

 

Did you have a support system starting out?

Starting out, I mostly relied on my friend network to practice my photographer skills. They were great at getting in front of the camera so that I can refine my techniques. My wife was, and still is, my biggest advocate. She has been extremely supportive both mentally and physically. Without her, I would probably have never made it because imposter syndrome is so hard to get over without the proper people in your corner.

 

What void would you like to fill in the Black community with your business?

I want to preserve the stories of black families. One of the largest gaps in our community is that we pass down our verbal stories but not the visual ones. I find that it’s mostly because as a whole we don’t prioritize documenting our journey as much as our white counterparts. I want to change that narrative. As a storyteller and photographer, I am using my talents and skills to help black families, not only take more photographs, but hang them on their walls and shelves. Our children need to see themselves hanging on the walls and when they look through albums.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated to keep going?

I surround myself with the right people. I have people in my corner who are further along in the industry, as well as those who are a few steps behind me. This allows me to stay inspired and inspire others in the process. It allows me to practice humility and still grow as an artist and an educator. 

The 2nd biggest motivation is my family. I want to redefine what success looks like for my children. I want them to believe that they have options and that it’s possible to do what you love and be profitable at the same time. They are watching all of my accomplishments as well as setbacks, and it’s important for them to witness what entrepreneurship looks like in real-life, not just in theory.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you during your journey?

My biggest inspiration has always, and continues to be my wife. We had our first child when she was 19. She never took a break from college. She even continued on to get her PhD from Johns Hopkins. Now she is one of the foremost scholars of the history of Black women athletics in the 20th century. Her determination to always push forward, even through the darkest times, keeps me motivated. I push her and she pushes me to be the best for our children, our crafts, and ourselves.

 

How can we, the community, help you exceed your current level?

The best way to help is to hire me and tell others about the work that I do. As a storyteller and photographer, I follow my couples’ journey from the aisle to their 1st born graduating college and beyond. I am my family’s photographer for life.

Do you have any announcements or good news you’d like to share?

This past week, one of my weddings went viral on TikTok. It has had over 7 million views within a 4-day span. I’m so excited that I get to share my work with millions of people around the world! Watch it here.

 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone starting the business owner/entrepreneurial journey?

You can’t do everything well. Invest in yourself. Hire a mentor. Outsource where and when you can. This will allow you to only focus on the things that matter most to you, while everything else is working in the background. This will also help avoid burnout and lead to sustainability and longevity.

How can we find you to give our support? What’s your website and social media info?

website: www.mtdphotography.com

IG: @mtdphotography1914

tiktok: @mtdphotography

FB: Michael T Davis Photography

 

 

 

I’d like to thank Mr. Davis for taking the time to do this interview. Be sure to follow him on social media for more behind the scenes content, and head to his website to book him for your next photography session.