As Director of Photography and Lighting Designer, among other roles, Donald (Don) A. Morgan's artistic vision, lighting design and technical skills have made a mark on the last 35 years of American television.
From starting out as a lighting engineer on hit '70s series including Maude and One Day at a Time, to becoming Lighting Director and Director of Photography on Good Times, The Jeffersons, Three's Company, Silver Spoons, Gloria, The Facts of Life, Golden Girls, Home Improvement, My Wife and Kids, Girlfriends, Malibu Country and Last Man Standing (to name a few), Don has broken barriers in the industry and opened the door for many behind him to follow. Starting out as one of the first African-American lighting directors at a major network in the early '80s, Don decided to disregard the industry's limiting view of television cinematographers and went on to shoot 4-5 TV pilots annually and over 1500 television episodes to date. From film and episodic TV to awards and variety shows, it is safe to say that Don has shaped the majority of popular television for the last 50 years.
In 1985, Don won his first Emmy for Outstanding Lighting Design on Mr. Belvedere. Don went on to earn another seven Emmy Awards for his work on Home Improvement and three for the Netflix series The Ranch. Don's peers at the Television Academy have nominated him a total of 21 times for his work that also includes the series Girlfriends, Baghdad Café, Saved By the Bell, The Conners and The Upshaws. In 2020, the American Society of Cinematographers honored Don with the Career Achievement in Television Award.
Not allowing himself to be stereotyped as a "television series cinematographer" that would limit his scope of opportunities, Don's portfolio also includes shooting the annual two-hour live NAACP Image Awards at the Kodak, the Shrine and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion each year between 2001-2011, as well as variety shows, MTV productions, and feature films he takes on during the Summers. Don has traveled the world for Sony International Pictures to consult on high-definition TV, and was the first to do a four-camera Hi-Def sitcom (the 1993 pilot Sunday in Paris).
Don is currently Co-Chairman of DEI for IA Local 600 Cinematographers Guild. He consistently pushes the envelope of foot candles in this medium, prompting lens and filter companies to evolve to accommodate lower levels of light, and allowing for atmospheric looks in four camera settings. Don's lighting innovation "bounce front fill" has become an industry standard. His most recent projects include Lopez and Lopez for NBC and The Conners for ABC.