We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Jenks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, how do you think about risk?
I am definitely a risk taker and comfortable with taking risks in business – especially financially. I think that is what sets me apart from a lot of other photographers. I spend A LOT of money on my business, especially for marketing. I spend a lot on my branding, website, and ads. I spend probably around $1500 per month in ads, which is a lot for a lot of photographers. But that brings me in anywhere from $30,000-$50,000 a month in business, so I’m ok with it! But even spending $300 a month in the beginning felt so much! You just have to have faith in your services that you can offer what the people who are looking at the ads want, you will be ok!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My main business is a photography business, but my company also does so much more. We plan wedding/elopements, act as tour guides, connect vendors, officiate weddings (my husband is an officiant), etc. So, when someone is looking for a photographer and stumbles upon my page, they see that. And most other photographers don’t offer a package deal like this! There are elopement planning companies, but as some of my clients said “they seemed so corporate”. They like that they see what I offer, and how it’s personal – it’s me, and then I have team members to help me.
I always had an entrepreneurial mind (always had business ideas, plans, etc.) and as I was starting to actually build these businesses, I noticed I got stuck at the legal issues. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to go to law school. I always joke that it would have been a lot cheaper and faster to just hire an attorney to move my businesses along (lol) but now I feel like I can conduct my business without 100s of legal questions going through my mind. Besides that, I do love research and learning – and that’s a helpful trait to have when starting and growing a business. I wouldn’t say it was easy – it’s a ton of work, but it has been fun because it’s what I love to do!
For my photography business, I want people to know that I ABSOLUTELY do this for their legacy. It’s such a powerful and amazing thing to capture that 1/400th of a second that you can’t take back, ever. So if you want your important moments documented (whether it’s a newborn baby, wedding, or your last seconds with your loved ones), I am here for them.
For my broader story, I want people to know that if you figure out what it is that you truly love to do (it’s hard sometimes to even figure that out, it took me years of intentional exploration), you will be able to make a ton of money doing it. So keep going – pursue what you love, don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Keep working at it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh – so hard! This is SF – there are over 5000 restaurants. haha
I would say these will be the top places. I’m not that cool and don’t know too much about restaurants (I have two kids – I don’t go anywhere fancy) so I’ll keep to all the outdoor fun places!
– Lands End
– Grand View Park (my favorite view in the city)
– Palace of Fine Arts (I go there every week for photos but it’s still a cool place)
– Crissy Field
– Redwoods up north (it’s a secret spot I have in Marin)
– Oakland redwoods
– Point Reyes
So much more, but these are probably plenty for now!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Can it be my “village” of people? Just like babies, businesses takes a village too! Here’s my village that makes my business going.
– Tony (Husband)
– Kaz (My mom – who watches the kids)
– Launch Your Daydream (my branding and website people)
– Katherine and Kasey (my assistants)
I can keep going! (Laundry guy, housekeeper, other babysitters, etc.)
As I work 24/7, these people make everything else in my life run smoothly!
@ Yanamy Photography