In this interview with James and Melissa, we talk about their photography business, why this coworking space was more suitable for them than coffee shops (but not wine bars), and their love for agate hunting!
Rashod: Hey everyone. This is Rashod here at firework coworking space in Old Town Eureka, and this is our Member Spotlight with two of our coworkers here- we have James and Melissa. How are you guys doing today?
James: I’m doing alright.
R: Doing alright? Well, that’s good to hear. And so we usually start these interviews off with three sort of simple questions, before we get into the nitty gritty. So why don’t you start off by telling us who you guys are, what both of you guys do, and how you ended up here in Humboldt County if you’re not from here?
J: Alright, so we are James and Melissa of JM Photography. We are wedding and portrait photographers here in Eureka California. We also do other types of photography, as well, such as commercial editorial; we do product shoots and what not, as well. As far as us being here and ending up in Humboldt County, we both pretty much lived here all our lives. We are locals from Blue Lake.
R: Ok. How long have you guys had your business for?
J: We’ve been in business almost four years.
R: Oh wow, OK.
J: And so far so good, and we’re growing every year. It’s working out pretty well.
R: Sounds good. So you were getting into sort of what you do, how about you elaborate a little more and tell us what your day-to-day schedule is like- what do you do day-to-day in terms of dealing with clients?
J: We do a lot of editing when we’re not behind a camera and photographing a wedding, or doing a portrait session, or headshots, or something like that. It’s pretty much sitting behind a computer, making phone calls, a lot of scheduling, a lot of editing.
J: Blogging is another one we do. A lot of networking with other small business owners and entrepreneurs, as well.
M: Typical market research business stuff.
R: Cool. And have you guys had a unique working experience being a part of a coworking space?
M: Its nice having a place to meet clients that is not a coffee shop, or… the wine bars always nice actually, but its nice having a designated space, so when people see their images for the first time they can actually enjoy them, rather than having a baby crying behind them, or what not happens to be going on in the background. That’s the difference.
J: It’s also nice to have a space where you don’t have a lot of interruptions and what not, as well. And then of course, part of the coworking space is you get to kind of network with other people and feed off of their energy, creativity, and all that, as well. A couple things that we like.
R: Nice. And have you guys, by chance, worked with any other coworker? Any photography, or projects, or anything?
J: Not yet. We do have possibly a couple things that we’ve been thinking about, and we’ll see how that goes.
R: Yeah. Sounds good. And you were kind of talking about this. What would you say is the best benefit of being a part of a cowroking space for you guys?
J: I’m going to say networking with other people. Getting some insight into what they do and how they run their businesses or whatever it is. And for me, it’s all about the networking.
M: For me, it’s about having a space that’s not at your house, so you’re not distracted by the TV or what ever else happens to be going on- like the cat wanting attention.
J: It’s also nice to have a space that you’re not stuck into a crazy lease or anything like that.
M: That’s a big bonus.
J: You know, we’re worried about a lot of stuff that comes with going and leasing a space under a two, or three, or four year contract and all the drama that comes with that.
M: There’s more flexibility.
J: Flexibility is really nice.
R: Yeah, I would agree. And I guess to get some more info about you guys; what are some maybe hobbies or things you like to do on your free time?
M: We like to go agate hunting.
R: Agate hunting, nice. Agate beach?
J: One of our big past times is agate hunting. Do we really have time for hobbies?
M: No, but in the winter we can agate hunt. In the summer it’s pretty much work.
R: Have you guys found some big ones yet, or?
J: Yeah, we’ve found some pretty good sized ones.
M: He has. I find tiny ones.
J: When we’re not doing that, we like to go on road trips and just jump in the car and drive and go to new places and see some new things. Kind of take break from it all. I don’t know if you consider that a hobby, but it’s definitely something that we enjoy doing quite often.
R: Was photography maybe a hobby before you guys opened this business?
J: Photography was for me. Initially it was a school curriculum that kind of developed into a hobby, that developed into the business aspect.
M: Yeah, same for me.
J: It something that I’m good at and it something that I really enjoy doing.
R: Nice. Well and I guess to sort of wrap it up, is there maybe any other closing statements you’d like to say about firework?
J: I can’t think of any off hand. If you’re considering joining a coworking space, or need that spot to kind of get away and do your thing without the distraction of the public and everything, it’s a pretty good deal.
R: Totally. Well that about wraps it up with this interview. Thank you for scheduling time out your day to do this with us. If your listeners out there would like to know more about firework and what we do, come check us out in Old Town Eureka or visit our website at firework.space. Until next time folks, take it easy.