Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph and Stephanie Ellis.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, I’ve really been a photographer almost as long as I can remember… I got my first camera when I was about 10 from my dad and we set up a darkroom in the basement of our house and I’ve been shooting and printing pictures ever since.
At the beginning of my career, I started as a photojournalist working for my daily college newspaper and some of the local daily papers as an intern and stringer. That time in my life really taught me a lot about how to capture moments and tell stories in photos. The love I have for that part of my career has remained my driving force to this day.
After finishing college out on the West coast I moved across the country to join my family who had relocated to Dallas and from here I began searching for jobs. It was also during that first year after school that I photographed my first wedding; which definitely planted a seed that maybe it could be a way to both be a photographer and an entrepreneur which I always felt was my goal in business.
It was about a year or so later that my dad and I founded Joseph Mark Photography and began getting work. In the first few months alone we went from having no weddings to an almost fully booked year. It was an amazing time for wedding photography because so much was changing, There was a strong movement towards a more journalistic approach away from the traditional and digital cameras were just becoming mainstream. As a photographer who had been retouching images in Photoshop since it’s early days and as someone who deeply loved unscripted moments I rode that transitional wave right into the career I have today.
About 5 years into the business I was introduced to my wife at a wedding (ironically) and we’ve been inseparable partners ever since. My dad had moved to California not long after we started the company and was booking work out there so I convinced Steph to come to a wedding as my assistant and she immediately fell in love with the bride, the emotion of the day, and working as a team. That was maybe 500 weddings ago and we still love it now. She also brought next level skill as the organized side of our team; she is what makes it work with communication, scheduling, and research which is critical to our business.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would imagine the biggest struggle any husband/wife business team has is the same one we face every day, and that it is simply that it is very hard to turn off that side of ourselves and have personal time. When you’re not working for your business you’re working on it and if you’re not careful you can neglect many other aspects of your life.
We also managed to have two amazing kids during the last few years and I think new parents can get pretty lost in the weeds at times, but what strikes me as the most challenging is that your circumstances as a family/parent really change your goals in business as well. We pursue different weddings, financial goals, and relationships than we did before kids and we have had to learn how to adapt there too. Recognizing change in yourself is often even harder than understanding changes in our industry.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Joseph Mark Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a wedding and portrait photography studio probably most well known among our peers as experienced and hard working creatives who emphasize capturing beautiful moments and being true artisans with light. To brides, we are known for those same photographs but also as a worry-free, calming force on what can be a fast-paced and emotional day.
Things we’re proud of:
1. Creating a beautiful life together doing what we love for the past 16 years
2. The trust we receive from our clients and colleagues who refer us
3. Knowing that we have been witness to, and captured images of, moments that mean so much to the families we have had the privilege to work with.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
To my mind luck only happens if it finds you working. What we know is that good things will come as long as we are striving to do the best job possible, are always trying to improve, and can be found constantly in pursuit of our goals.
What I believe, is that the only thing we really have control of in life is our effort… and to that end, we try to finish each day exhausted from the pursuit of our dreams. Honestly, getting to do what we do every day already makes us lucky.
- Address: 1409 S. Lamar St. #235
- Website: www.josephmark.com
- Phone: 2144977159
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @josephmarkphoto
- Facebook: @josephmarkphoto