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Meet Jenn Verme and Kaylinn Mayes of Bend the Light Photography in San Antonio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Verme and Kaylinn Mayes.

We go waaaay back. We can’t remember when we met (our moms tell us it was in the church nursery). At one time or another, we’ve been classmates, roommates, bandmates, travel mates, and best friends. We’re more like sisters, really.

We have been entrepreneur-ing since we were teenagers. In high school, Jenn was covered in face paint making animal balloons for children’s parties and Kaylinn was up to her elbows in hard disks, rocking eBay before it was cool. After college, we joined our boss-babe forces and BTL was born.

We’ve been wedding and personal branding photographers for 12 years, and our individual perspectives make us a great team. Jenn is our lead photographer. Kaylinn is our studio manager.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think our biggest challenge has been staying “relevant” in a market that is becoming more and more saturated. When we first opened in 2007, we were 1 of about 25 photographers in the San Antonio area. These days, there are 500-600 photographers, all competing for the same clients. Many of those are newer photographers that are undercutting the market, which makes it difficult to stay competitive at rates that truly reflect our value. We’ve had to pivot several times, change our marketing strategies, etc. in order to keep up. But we’re still here, thriving! 🙂 A little bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone!

Bend the Light Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As personal branding photographers, helping business owners STAND OUT online is our specialty. Through photography, we help businesses, large and small, elevate their brand, connect with their audience, and attract dream clients.

Confession: Our tagline is “Photography for real people”… mostly because “Photography for people who feel awkward in front of the camera and swear they aren’t photogenic but still need great photos” seemed a little wordy. 🙂 Our clients aren’t models, we just make them feel like they are with beautiful images that are full of light, color, and personality (Double-chin hiding, pretty-light finding, and unlimited hand-holding — that’s our jam!)

We take photography seriously. Ourselves, not so much. We are professional Netflix bingers, 90’s hip-hop connoisseurs, and over-protective-but-still-super-cool moms. We believe in laughing loudly, over-using emojis, and letting our hunky husbands do most of the cooking. (true story!)

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
We were one of the first companies to ever be inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame for wedding photography, which was an incredible honor. We’ve also won lots of other cool awards and have had the privilege of photographing Olympic gold medalists, television news teams, and other high-profile clients. Honestly, though, our greatest accomplishment is the feedback we receive from each of our clients. When they see their images for the first time and realize how happy/beautiful they look, that makes it all worth it.

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