We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike & Jenn 🙂 Edwards and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike & Jenn :), Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Our business is based on a foundation of serving our clients. It’s through this that we can offer the Mike & Jenn Experience. We don’t want to be known as a business that takes photos. We want to be known as the business that serves their clients with integrity and value. We are not in the photography business, we are in the people business! We know that the average person isn’t looking at the quality of the photo or video, even though that is what we produce. What people remember is the way they felt while we were capturing these moments. Helping them to be the best version of themselves is what people remember. It’s our responsibility to create an environment that helps them become the best version of themselves. Whether it’s straightening his tie or fixing her hair. Playing with the kiddos, whatever it takes!! Keeping them engaged, laughing, chatting with each other, having couples whisper sweet nothings…… These all create moments in time that we want to freeze and capture. These are the things they will remember from their time with us. The Mike & Jenn Experience is about serving our clients with excellence and providing an unparalleled experience of hospitality, attention to detail and FUN!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Mike started this business before I was on board. I was working in a full time career at the time that required many hours a day and a week. Overall very demanding. But then again, Mike is the visionary! He saw the potential in us. He knew that we were created for greatness. Being married and building a business together is exciting and challenging 🙂 It wasn’t easy learning what each of us brought to the table. Mike wanted me to become the best photographer alongside him. I knew that I had more of an administrative skill with an eye for detail. While we both had been passionate about photography most of our life, we had to figure out where we both belonged and how to do it together. We have learned to stay in our own lanes…… for the most part! I often times will pick up a camera during a shoot, however I know my main responsibilities can’t be sacrificed for that. My responsibility is ensuring the client is happy and confident and being the best version of him or herself. We work really well together. It’s a compliment we get on almost every single shoot we go on. We constantly remind ourselves of our “why”. The Mike and Jenn Experience can’t be forfeited for any reason. We go on every shoot together, no matter our schedules. If we aren’t together, there is no Mike & Jenn. It’s like that on-set and off-set. We share an office too! We know our own roles and responsibilities when it comes to post processing. We each have our unique strengths and we stick to that. We also cross lines when helping each other when needed. We got each other’s backs. We are on the same team! We know that growing this business is going to stretch both of us. Our marriage is obviously more important than anything and we’ve been able to thrive in our marriage while running a business together. We love it! I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. We love living life together, building a life that reaches beyond us. A life that makes this world a better place. A life that builds others up, encourages others, helps others grow in life and business. A life that gives back. We know both work in our business full time, having left our careers behind. Mike was a scientist for many years and I left a 20+ career in fraud investigations. It’s different and we wouldn’t want it any other way!! We will continue to grow, continue to learn and continue to advance. Here’s to a growing business that reaches beyond ourselves!!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We love San Diego!! We came here on our weekend honeymoon back in 2011 before going on a bigger trip later that year. And we are foodies!! Boy are we foodies!! Depending on the time of year, hiking is a must. While there are lots of popular hiking trails, I prefer a little less people 🙂 Even though it’s a bit of a drive, Lake Cuyamaca is a great place less than 1 hour away. As well as local hiking trails around our neighborhood. There is a trail here that takes you all the way to the beach from the 15 freeway!! Mike loves coffee and so do most of our friends who visit. He loves making them coffee at home but if we go out, he will find a unique place like Bird Rock, Better Buzz, Moniker General, etc. Places we love to eat….. I am a burger girl. My favorite spot for burgers is STP Bar and Grill, http://stpbar-n-grill.com/. Best burger joint in SD and the absolute nicest people!! We do go to Phil’s BBQ now and then and also love a good acai bowl. R3fresh Juice Bar has my favorite Acai bowls https://www.r3fresh.com/. I’m a pretty selective eater so I choose places based on quality of ingredients and customer service. No food is worth eating if it isn’t the best. And no establishment is worth going to if the people aren’t nice 🙂 One of the places we frequent is The Lafayette Hotel. https://www.lafayettehotelsd.com/?utm_source=google%20my%20business&utm_medium=listing&utm_campaign=visit%20website. This little quaint hotel has a pool and you can get a day pass. They also have great food and drinks. You can spend the day at the pool, ordering food and drinks and it’s very reasonable. There is no other hotel or pool I’d rather hang at. The team at The Lafayette are very hospitable and welcoming!!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people to acknowledge and books we’ve read!! Just to name a few, wish I could name them all….. Full Time Filmmakers (a FB group); YouTube in general has been instrumental in us learning all we know! I’m a member of BNI (a networking group); a co-worker who was the first person to ask us to take photos of his family; our close friends…. The Hartmans & The Brays, who always inspired us and encouraged us to push harder; Zack & Jody Grey (A wedding photographer couple); FroKnowsPhoto.com and so many others. I’m sure I am missing lots but this is just a few BOOKS we read would include……. “How Successful People Think” by John C. Maxwell; “Your Financial Revolution” by Gary Keesee (3 books in all, 4th book on backorder); “The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard; “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker; “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kyosaki; “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz; “Success, Motivation and the Scriptures” by William H. Cook; “Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Martin (doing business with your spouse requires prayer:)); The Bible by God 🙂 and many more books! We read a lot
Mike & Jenn Photography 🙂