Businesses that Make a Difference – Michael Murphy Photography #FrontStepsProject

Businesses that Make a Difference – Michael Murphy Photography

Michael Murphy, Photographer


Featured Company: Michael Murphy Photographic Studio & Gallery, Inc.

Owner: Michael Murphy

Business Address: 261 NE 32nd Court, Oakland Park, FL 33334



What year did you open?

I started taking professional photos in 1990 and I incorporated in 1992. We’ve been at the current location in Oakland Park since 1999. Our first studio was on Wilton Drive, opening in 1997, a few months before the street exploded.

How long have you been in business?

It will be 30 years in November.

Key people in your business?

I have one Office Administrator, Bill, and a few photographers that work with us at times. 

Tell us why you do, what you do, for a living.

I was a real estate broker for about 13 years and was bored. I wanted to do something creative, so I applied to a local studio to be a photographer’s assistant. I operated out of my home until I opened a small studio on Wilton Drive.

How do you help your community? 

I built my business on relationships and that means giving up your talents and time. It started in elementary school and just continued. I volunteer and donate to so many groups and organizations. I made the cover of a local newspaper in 1998 and the headline was “The Philanthropy of Photography”.  Being a part of Leadership Broward took my community activism to new levels. Heck, I really got an award one year that says “Always Donates Something.” 

Special community/philanthropic involvement, campaigns, contributions or events?

Through the years, groups like The Heart Gallery got most of my attention. This month it’s the #FrontStepsProject that has me excited and involved. During this quarantine time, photographers all across America are setting up a camera on the sidewalk or driveway and inviting the family out to the “front steps” for a super quick 1-minute photo session. It’s giving everyone a quick break from the craziness right now. We have a few laughs, wave goodbye and leave knowing we’ve given someone a gift they can treasure forever. And I’ve taken this a bit further and started photographing some unique families. Neighbors, group homes, local businesses, etc. 

Special assistance to individuals, customers or the community-at-large in connection to the COVID-19 crisis? 

In-studio we’ve changed almost everything about how shoots are handled during this pandemic. We have always been frontline with customer service and this time is no different.

What advice would you have for others in the business sector trying to make it day after day? 

Serve others. If you want support, GO support someone else. 

Anything else you would like to share. Feel free to edit the questions if needed to tailor business.

This project has saved my life. Like many small business owners, we operate week by week and this hit us hard. But now I have purpose again and I feel appreciated and relevant.  This is everything right now.

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