The Minis: Morgan Stuber - Peoria
How did you start with photography? How did you get your current job at Zion Coffee?
Ever since I was young I had a camera on me taking photos. I started to get more into photography when I moved to Chicago for school and met other creative and inspirational people in the city. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by great friends who pushed me creatively and helped me find my love for creating beautiful photos. After four years in Chicago, I got married to the love of my life, Sam, and moved back to my hometown in Peoria, Illinois. Soon after I was married I took on a job as a 3rd grade teacher at a public school, which took up most of my free time, and I wasn’t able to photograph and work with companies as often as I use to. Luckily, Zion Coffee Co opened their coffee shop and kindly asked me to be apart of their team and provide images for their social media. I am extremely thankful to be able to teach and photograph for a company passionate about people, gathering, and coffee.
How do you usually start your day?
My mornings look very different during the school year than it does during the summer. My teaching mornings are groggy, quick, and end with a granola bar in the car. One thing I love most about summers is having slower mornings to take care of myself on the days I don’t work. My morning routine is pretty simple. I wash my face, drink lots of water, and check Instagram of course. I love having the time to make breakfast. My favorite is getting local potatoes and veggies from the farmers market and making a breakfast hash with a farm egg. So simple, yet so good. I also make lots of lists in the mornings so I know what I need to do throughout the day. Feels great to check things off!
What is your ideal home environment and how does your home influence your creativity?
Our home is small, cozy, and simple. I think everything we own could fit in a car. With that being said… it is very important for my house to be clean, organized and clutter free always. We have lots of natural light and there are always fresh flowers on the table. Sam made a lot of our furniture and our décor is a collection of pieces from our travels, small makers, and antique shops. My home environment reflects the same soft and simple style in my photographs and lifestyle.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
The most fulfilling part of my job is to be able to work with a company who is very passionate about people and trying new things. I love being able to photograph intimate dinners at the shop where people come to be together and enjoy amazing food. I love a good cup of coffee, farm to table food, and meeting new people, which makes working with Zion the perfect side job for me. A huge part of my life though is teaching. I love teaching. My students are like my children and I love being able to educate them and to also be someone they can go to for anything they may need. Being an educator is very challenging but oh so rewarding. I love photography, but I am passionate about teaching and loving those little ones. I can use my creativity in the classroom and in a coffee shop. I’m glad I am able to do both because they make up so much of who I am as a person.
What are some of your favorite places in Peoria?
Zion Coffee Co of course is my favorite coffee shop. They have the best natural light, service, and avocado toast!
Midnight Espresso is another favorite of mine. They have an amazing farm to table breakfast and great lattes.
Balanced Bee is a wonderful cold press juice company. I love their soul sister juice and bone broth when I am sick in the wintertime.
During the summers, I love to go to the Peoria Riverfront Farmers Market. They have lots of local farmers selling their produce and also Zion has a booth where they pour a mean citron and nitro brew.
Le Fleur is a beautiful local flower shop right by my house. The shop let’s you build your own bouquet, which is really fun.
Relics is a really cute gift shop that I go to for special cards, plants, and amazing candles.