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Meet Rachel Jay of France Photographers in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Jay.

Rachel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am part of an all-female team of photographers and entrepreneurs, so my story is their story as well… France Photographers started in 2012 when Sara France had a big dream for her business and life. She wanted a team of women around her – all equals, all shooting exquisite weddings, and all living their best lives supporting one another. This wasn’t an easy task when most wedding photography teams are either husband and wife teams or the “associate” business model. When we hear “associate” we think “understudy” and that’s the complete opposite of France Photographers’ core values.

I met Sara in 2012 when her idea of having a team was still just a hope for “one day.” I started interning for her that year and she, myself and her studio manager Jessica Van bonded as we worked together in Sara’s photography studio. In 2013 my internship ended and I continued pursuing weddings as a solo-shooter. Around that time, Sara proposed the idea of a team to Jessica and she hopped on board. It wasn’t long after that they asked me to join forces and France Photographers was born!

We easily could have continued as a team of three, but lucky for us there were many exciting twists and turns ahead. Since then we have added two more photographers and created a studio in Austin, Texas. Kiera Jane and Mikenzie Ryan have made our business that much stronger! In 2017, I met and married my husband who is in the Navy. He has orders to Oahu for the next 3 years which means France Photographers is on the road again with a Hawaii studio! One thing we have learned is that having the support of a team means you don’t have to shut yourself off from the surprises of life. As our lives evolve, the business can evolve right along with it.

From what started with one photographer in San Diego has now grown to 5 photographers in San Diego, Austin and Hawaii and we are not stopping there. We have our sights set on having teams in Orange County, San Francisco, Nashville, Denver, and Seattle! I am so thrilled to begin the France Photographers Hawaii team. It’s truly a dream come true to do what you love with the support of people you love!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our biggest struggle has been the general perception of what it means to be on a photography team. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked when I’m going to do my “own thing.” I always answer, “I already am!” There’s an idea out there that unless you make it to the top alone, then the success isn’t truly yours. We are here to challenge that idea because we believe sharing your success doesn’t make you any less successful. Solo-shooters who have spent day in and day out alone at their computers will tell you it’s not an easy road to build a successful photography business. And what’s the point of being “successful” if getting there is lonely and frustrating? France Photographers is about having the support of like-minded business partners who are talented, creative, and entrepreneurial. I am so proud to be on this team and wouldn’t want to do business any other way.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about France Photographers – what should we know?
France Photographers is focused on creating an extraordinary wedding experience for heartfelt couples who value photography. We are typically with our clients throughout their entire engagement journey which starts with engagement photos (or even proposal photos), then creating their wedding day timeline, shooting their rehearsal dinner, and of course photographing their wedding. Our ideal client is a couple who has deep ties to their friends and family. They are passionate and driven in their professional lives and head over heels in love with their partner. They soak up every moment on their wedding day and are always willing to be a little adventurous to get that epic shot! What’s sets us apart photographically I think is our attention to detail. We focus on two things: genuine moments and artistically composed images. We want every image to capture the mood and beauty of the day! And on that same note, our post production of the images is equally as important. Our editing style is “true to life color.” Nothing is over or undersaturated. We want our clients to love their images for decades, not just months until editing fads change. Bright images with true to life colors, natural looking skins tones and sharp detail will always be in style!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Sara France was my first and only mentor and I’m very proud to call her my business partner and lifelong friend. From the beginning she shared all her knowledge with me and every member of the team. She is generous in every way someone can be. Jessica Van is our “techy” and she has taught me so much about editing and graphic design. As our studio manager she is the one who helps us all through the natural hiccups of business. Kiera Jane is always willing to pick up tasks when we need it most. As you can imagine she is a tremendous source of support when we are all busy and bogged down. Mikenzie Ryan is our social media guru and content creator! She is a go getter and has inspired me so much to get out there and hustle. Each member of the team is absolutely essential which makes us so excited for any future members who join us. Every time our team has grown we’ve all thought, “how did we ever live without her?!”
 

Pricing:

  • 8 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage with 2 Photographers – $3,700
  • Engagement Session – $500
  • Wedding Album – $1,250

Contact Info:

  • Address: 4210 Ohio Street San Diego Ca 92104
  • Website: www.francephotographers.com
  • Phone: 619-795-7700
  • Email: studio@francephotographers.com
  • Instagram: @france_photographers / @france_photographers_hawaii / @france_photographers_austin

Image Credit:
All images are credited to France Photographers

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