Shortly after returning from Desert Shield/Desert Storm (and while still serving in the US Navy), William opened his first photography studio in Oak Harbor Washington. William focused almost exclusively on the newly popular boudoir portrait market. Since he typically ran a Navy workcenter on a graveyard shift, William would sleep on a beach chair in the studio during the days – waking to answer phone calls and schedule photo shoots. William studied his craft through books and magazines, and credits his lighting skills to what he learned from Playboy photographer Kim Mizuno and reading publications by Arny Freytag. William would eventually have an opportunity to photograph several Playmates and numerous Playboy models — not for the magazine, but for his portfolios and other opportunities.

commercial photography by William Morton used for product packaging in the UK

Upon transferring to southern California William worked as an Assistant Manager at a busy mall portrait studio. He closed the studio most evenings after teaching Navy and Marine avionics students at NAS Miramar during the day. This experience reinforced his mindset to get good shots with a minimal number of exposures, typically having only 8 shots (and occasionally a 9th frame) to capture a family portrait session. From here William once again opened his own studio in 1995, shortly before exiting the Navy. He began expanding from boudoir portraits to model portfolios and model/actor headshots. The modeling photography in particular led to photographing his first commercial assignments for (of all things) Yellow Pages ads, and even product packaging for a teeth-whitening company in the U.K.

William Morton teaching photography posing
William Morton teaching at San Diego City College

In 2001 William moved up to the Long Beach area. He freelanced while in the Los Angeles area, but in 2004 he was lured back to San Diego to train portrait and event photographers for a new franchise company. Over the next five years William helped to open 2 new portrait studios and over a dozen on-location photography franchises. Defining techniques and processes, and providing ongoing support, he helped to develop new photographers and their businesses. The franchisor shut down in 2009, and William founded Morton Visuals to focus exclusively on commercial and corporate communications photography. William still values the friendships he made with the franchisees, and is still in contact with many of them. And William has continued to teach, including web graphics design at DeVry University as well as seminars and workshops.

William joined the American Society of Media Photographers in order to learn more about the business of commercial (media) photography in 1999, and is still a member to this day. He served on the San Diego Board of Directors for about 11 years, including two terms as President – twice. He subsequently served as President of the Dallas chapter of ASMP.

Commercial photographer William Morton in Dallas, TX

Relocating to Texas at the end of 2015, William helped open Camera Ready Studios – a beautiful rental photo studio based in north Dallas. Morton Visuals had to start all over again, from scratch. Although a number of William’s clients hold conventions in different cities from year to year, and he could still travel to service those clients in any location, he had to establish all new local clients. This has been a definite building experience, and has allowed Morton Visuals to morph somewhat. To see more of hisĀ business photography, please visit his website and browse the various portfolios. Or follow his photography on Instagram, which contains a mix of portfolio images and behind-the-scenes images of his photography.