In Behind TSLN, I’ll delve into some of the people who help make this website work. I’ll ask them questions about their time in The Show Last Night, along with questions about their own endeavors. Because hey, we’re all entrepreneurs here.
I decided to sit down with Tanner Morris and ask him some questions. Tanner is more than just a person who works for this publication. He is the co-founder of this publication. Tanner started The Show Last Night a couple of years back and has watched it blossom into what it is today. It only seemed fitting to start this series with him.
What motivated you to start The Show Last Night?
I just wanted a job that allowed me to have a lot of tattoos. Haha but really, it boils down to the simple fact that I enjoyed being out photographing shows. It’s always been something that’s intrigued me. I wanted to shoot for an official source so I could have a legitimate reason to receive photo passes other than just for my own portfolio. I wanted it to be an extension of my own freelance photography business, but I wanted it to be able to provide more than what I could on my own. I wanted to create something where I could be my own boss. Where I didn’t have to work for someone else. I wanted to work under my own standards. Not someone else’s. Between my freelance photography career and my work with TSLN I’m in a happy place.
What were the biggest challenges you found in the beginning?
Building the site, creating content, getting people involved. The whole beginning process was a big task. We started out with shows that I already photographed. We made posts off that to just get the website started. It took many hours of myself and co-founder Ryan Cutler sitting in his office working on WordPress trying to make the site what it is today. But our biggest challenge was trying to stay motivated when the work outweighed the reward. When we saw little to nothing come out of what we were so passionate about. But we haven’t given up and now that we’ve kept pushing, we’re seeing much growth within The Show Last Night. Another huge challenge was quitting my full-time job to pursue photography. It was a huge leap of faith that ended up being the best decision in the long run.
Have you experienced failure at any time during the start of the publication?
The biggest failure we’ve had in the beginning was not being granted access to photograph certain shows because the publication wasn’t as recognized. Now that we’ve grown as a publication, we have a way easier time receiving passes to photographs shows.
What have you learned from it going forward?
I learned that all good things happen in time and that the best thing to do is to just keep pressing forward.
Do you have any advise for anyone who is just starting out?
Yes, the best advice I can give is to be available. Half of the battle is being there. Doing it. Whatever ‘it’ is. If you’re ever wondering whether or not to show up to something, do it. And just be nice. People like working with people they get a long with.
What is something you wished that you could have done sooner?
Be more open-minded in other genres that I wasn’t personally into photographing. There are other photographers out there that are more interested in shooting shows that I normally don’t shoot. Now that we’ve got more photographers to cover those different genres, The Show Last Night has become even more diverse than ever. Also, If I could have quit my full-time job to Pursue photography years ago, I would have.