Why I am no longer the cheapest – with J Lawrence photography

Show notes:

Today I’m talking to wedding pro lounge member Jesse from Jesse Lawrence photography. He shares his journey of going from one of the cheapest wedding photographers around to charging his worth. We talk about why diversity matters to him and how he knows his ideal client inside out.

Find out more about the Wedding Pro Members Lounge

Visit Jesse’s website: https://www.jlawrence-photography.co.uk/

Follow Jesse on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jlawrence_photo/

Transcript:

Jesse: [00:00:00] I definitely feel like I had undersold myself throughout the business and. Actually having gone through the journey and spoken to people, I’ve never known someone who to put up their price that actually regretted it a year later. And it didn’t matter what they started with. If they put up their price a year later, they were still getting business in.

And so I think actually people, anybody listening to this, give it a go . If you haven’t already got someone shouting at you to put your prices up, I’m gonna start doing it.

Becca: I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business, marketing, expert, speaker, and blogger. And you are listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast.

I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get going with today’s episode. [00:01:00] Today, I’m chatting with one of my favorite wedding pro lounge members, Jesse from Jay Lawrence photography. I know, I know I shouldn’t have favorites, but let me explain from the moment I met Jesse, I knew he would be a great member. He shows up, he gets involved and most importantly, he takes big action on what he’s learning, which means he sees the results.

He’s a lot of fun and has a really big heart. Jesse welcome to the podcast. It’s great to have you. How are you?

Jesse: Yeah, I’m really good. Thank you. Very pleased to be

Becca: here. It’s great to have you, like I said, we can’t tell anyone, but you are one of my favorite members, so I’m really pleased to have you here on the show.

If people don’t know you, can you just explain to everyone who you are and a little bit about your business and what you do.

Jesse: Yeah, sure. So I’m Jesse, J Lawrence photography. I’m a wedding photographer and I basically specialize in working with couples who absolutely hate having their photos taken.

And that’s kind of what I’ve become known for in the area that I work in. I also have been on a little crusade over the last, I say 18 months or so of [00:02:00] trying to make sure that both myself and I start with myself, but, but generally speaking, trying to push with the wedding industry of being much more inclusive in the language we use, the messaging that we use and a lot of that sort of thing.

Yeah,

Becca: and it’s such an important message and we’ll get onto that a little bit later. So let’s go right back to the beginning to start with, because I think a lot of people, when they’re considering starting a business, they just don’t really understand how it happens. So take me back to the moment you decided to start Jay Lawrence photography.

How did it happen? Why did it happen and how did you get to where you are now?

Jesse: So I think the, the starting point was basically an accident. It’s kind of a funny story. Somebody, who was a friend of my wife at the, at the time, I didn’t really know them very well, wanted somebody to help out with a charity event, just taking a few photos.

And I was assuming, you know, bake sale or something. Cause I knew. PTA stuff and that sort of thing. And so I said, yeah, I’ll do it. I’m happy to help. She then explained that it was at one of the big wedding venues [00:03:00] in the new forest where I’m based, and it was a black tie event.

They had a famous news reader coming down as the patron of the charity red carpet, the full works. And I was like, are you sure you want me to do it? You might want someone else. Cause at the time I was. Many photographers, photographing flowers in the garden and all that sort of thing. She said, oh no, no, that’s, that’s, that’s fine.

You, you can do it. You’ll be fine. So I was thinking I won’t be, but ok. So I basically had four, three or four months and literally outside of work, all I did night and day was. Practice practice practice. I organized photo shoots with people. You know, I I’ve got models in to do very relaxed photo shoots, but just getting used to photographing people, and getting used to using the camera properly in a professional way, rather than just like I say, taking pictures of stuff in the garden.

After all of that, it went really well. And I thought, you know what? I’ve put all this time F in. A lot of what I thought at [00:04:00] the time was a lot of money on kit. I realise now it was small compared to what I spend these days but, what I thought was a lot of money and I thought, you know what, I’m gonna make a go of this and, and, and see, see whether I can do this properly.

So I started. You know, doing the usual things of doing a few free weddings and trying to photograph everything and everyone, in different events and then I just basically fell in love with wedding photography.

Becca: I love that it started by accident. I mean, so many people say to me all the time, I don’t really plan to start a business and I’ve ended up with a business at the end of it. Someone just asked me to do something. And I think that is so often how it works out.

Someone asks us to do something, we enjoy it. And then we realize, oh, maybe someone will actually pay me to do this. And I assume they liked the original photos from that first event. Did they enjoy

Jesse: Yeah, they loved it. Yeah. And actually, so one of my best friends now is a magician and. Our initial friend we got on while we were at the event, but [00:05:00] actually he, straight away, he was like, I love what you did with the photos.

Like I, he struggles to get photos. And I did that. Did the thing that lots of photographers forget to do, I think more than anything, which is actually send all the suppliers, photos and, and he was like, oh, great, thanks very much. And then we. You know what it’s like with the wedding industry, you start seeing the same faces around and we’d seen each other a few times and became friends and yeah.

And, I built a lot of good friends and relationships out of being in the wedding industry.

Becca: Yeah, it’s a fabulous industry to work in. So lots of people get to that initial stage where they get asked to do something for free, and then they realize they enjoy it. They think they’re gonna start a business, but it takes some confidence to then take it to that next level.

Where did you find that self-belief from to realize actually people will pay me to do this or was it a bit of a journey? It

Jesse: was a real journey for me. Like I, I think I see this a lot and now I look back, back at it. I don’t know if I took the [00:06:00] right route with hindsight. Essentially I was charging, you know, a couple of hundred quid to do a, a full wedding.

There’s a lot of photographers out there doing that, and, but basically, I, I was charging something that I felt comfortable that if things went wrong, I was only charging a couple hundred pounds, which is kind of ironic, really, because I. now I look back at it. If something had gone wrong, I don’t think the couple would’ve cared how much they paid for it.

Becca: That’s very true.

Jesse: So look at, I, I’ve got, I’ve got married since starting, and actually you look back at some of the, the mindset and you think actually from a customer’s perspective, a lot of those things that I, um, that I had in my mind were not really what the customer really cares about.

That’s so true.

And I think that’s a really interesting thing to consider actually, because you are right in that if someone has 200 pound budget for wedding photography, or if they have 10,000 pound budget for [00:07:00] wedding photography, that’s their budget that they can stretch to. And so they really value that money. So yeah, even if like, exactly, like you said, even if it had all gone wrong, they wouldn’t have said, well, I only paid 200 pounds.

Because for them in that moment, that probably was all they could afford. And actually, so often our pricing and our mindset around pricing is a confidence thing and a belief in our own worth rather than whether or not the customer will pay it. So do you believe now that you’re charging more, what you are worth in terms of photography, or do you think there’s still room for your confidence to grow in that area?

I think there will always be room for confidence to grow. And it’s one of the things that I’ve realized that, and this is kind of why I said, I’m not sure about I made the right journey, but because I look back now and realize that actually I’m still in five years time, I’m still gonna look back at now and feel the same way as I do.

Now, about five years ago, I’m always gonna [00:08:00] improve if I’m doing the right things. Which I think every business should be self-reflecting and improving themselves and change the way they do things. I think if I’m still here in five years time and thinking I’m doing things the same way, and I’m doing exact and I’ve got everything perfect, then I’ve not done it.

Right. Basically so, I think actually, Ignoring the, the self-belief and the confidence, and actually just going for it a little bit more is something that, that I think new people can do. And I’ve seen a few suppliers. Who’ve had the, I guess in some respect nerves to be a brand new supplier and, but start charging sensible amount of money and, and doing.

Straight away. And they’re doing just as well as the people who start really tentatively in fact they’re doing better, because straight away they can afford to, to upgrade all of their equipment and they can afford to get the best marketing and the best websites [00:09:00] and things. And so the, the, the learning curve, is very quick.

The process is very quick to go from, start to, to where they want to be and actually if you undersell yourself, at the beginning, it takes a lot longer. And I know that I could have been here where I am today, three years ago, if I’d just had the nerve to accelerate.

Becca: Yeah. And there’s so much in that, in that you are on your own journey and you’re right.

We should always be looking back and thinking, why didn’t I make these changes six months ago? Why didn’t I do that a year ago? And if we’re not self reflecting, we’re missing a trick. And I also think you’re right, because so many people come into this industry and they think I’ve got a charge. Dirt cheap prices to get books, and that’s the way I’m gonna make it.

And you’re right, because it becomes a self perpetuating problem because yes, they’re getting some bookings, but they’re the wrong kind of bookings and they’re not making the money and then they don’t have the money to reinvest. So I just wanna say, if that’s you listening to that and you feel like that’s, you stuck in this rut and thinking you’re not worth charging more, or you’ve always [00:10:00] gotta charge those low prices.

You are on your own journey and there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t change that journey now. And exactly like Jesse’s done. Look back on the time that you’re in now and think why didn’t I do that sooner? So if that is you listening right now, I encourage you reach out to Jesse, reach out to me and just say, look, I actually need help moving this forward and working out how to get the confidence to raise my prices.

So, can you help me do that now? So that I’m not still in this position in a year’s time now, Jesse, we’ve kind of touched on it a little bit, but when we first met, so when I first came across you online, I think it was fair to say you felt in a little bit of a rut with your wedding business. We were kind of in the middle of COVID so that wasn’t helping things, but you’d kind of got to a position where you weren’t happy with how things are going, but you didn’t quite know how to move forward.

Do you think that’s fair? Tell me a bit about that. That that’s

Jesse: yeah, exactly where I was, I think. I kind of knew that I had a few things that were important to me. Talking about the inclusivity side of things. I knew that was something [00:11:00] that I wanted to push as part of my brand, but just because it’s important to me personally.

 Also I think the it’s the same thing again with what we’ve just discussed. It’s that being able to project what you want coming in from a business point of view. I, realise now that I was very much undercharging, which meant that I was then getting. Budget weddings, which meant that my pictures were of budget weddings, which means that I was getting booked for budget weddings and it was self perpetuating.

 Whilst I always, I, had this thing in my mind that I didn’t really like the idea of doing like stylized photo shoots, because I was worried about something that looked very false. I had this, without really even researching it. If I’m honest, I just had this thing in my mind that, that I would do, if I did a stylized photo shoot, it would look like a magazine shoot that didn’t look like a real wedding.

I couldn’t use that in my portfolio. It wouldn’t look [00:12:00] like something that a wedding I’d shot and basically on the journey, working with you, looking at my branding, it was actually, I found it very weird because I, I guess it’s because. The the, the hardest part of that, because I I’ve got a marketing background, but when you’re doing photography in particular, but I think this is probably true of all the wedding industry.

You are, you are trying to get your, if you’re trying to be somewhere else rather than where you are, you know, you want that portfolio, you want to be doing those nice weddings. It’s how to make that jump essentially. and actually it also, I think all of us wedding suppliers are really impatient.

It’s like, I want, I wanna be there now and so that making that leap to working out how I can sort my branding out, what that means, how can I be consistent? [00:13:00] How can I make sure that I’m looking like that? My, my work is good enough to be charging the price that I really felt I should be at. And all of those sorts of things.

That’s essentially what I used. I had your help for, and really worked on with you to, to essentially make it happen.

Becca: Yeah. And what’s great about you and why introduce you in the way that I did is because you realised that you had that problem, or you were, were stuck in a rut and you knew you kind of had all the pieces.

And I see this a lot. Everyone has all the pieces, but they just need that help to put them together. Because when you’re in your own business, it’s hard to look at it from an outside perspective and it’s hard to move forward. And sometimes you just need someone to show you what that next step is. So we worked together, you went through my signature program, invisible to irresistible.

You’ve been part of my wedding pro members’ lounge. And there’s certain areas that we’ve worked on together, which I’d love to talk a little bit more about. So the first one is your message. So. [00:14:00] I love that when you came to me, you had a really clear message. You wanted to talk about inclusivity. You wanted to talk about diversity and you were really passionate about it.

And the thing that I identified very quickly when we started working together was that there was a disconnect so that you were saying to me, one-to-one, this is what I’m passionate about. But outwardly in the marketing world, people didn’t know that message and that’s something you’ve changed. And I know that’s been really successful for you.

So what have you changed? What have you done differently to help that come into.

Jesse: So for a start working out my branding, making sure that from whether it’s sorting out consistent coloring styles, you know, I felt it was a little win in my book when I, I was doing something, I think it was even possibly with you, but a couple of times now where somebody’s gone, where I’ve done something with someone and they’ve gone, oh, do you have.

Colors or fonts or brand guidelines. And I’ve literally gone. Here’s a document that it’s a really brief, but it is, this is what I do. This [00:15:00] is who I am as a business, and it makes life really easy. Actually, once you’ve got that in place, it’s so much quicker because you’re not redesigning everything every time.

So that was a big step because then I knew that you. What words that I, you know, what I wanted people to get from my business when they that three to 10 seconds that they initially see my business, I know what I want them to get from that. And that was really a really big part of it for me. The second thing was getting my head over the fact.

Your, the style shoots can be what you want them to be essentially, and actually it was interesting because talking to other people in your pro members lounge and, and really getting that feel for people from people who are doing styled shoots that actually, you know, You’re using, you can use real couples.

And I never really even considered that. I just assumed that we’d get some models, random models in, and they would have [00:16:00] to pretend, but actually it makes such a big difference getting real couples in. So, so now my, those that styled shoot that I would do would look like a real wedding, because they’re really comfortable around each other, and then doing the styled shoots meant I had real looking real wedding looking images for, you know, LGBT couples, mixed race couples, those sorts of things. So I had images to stick on the website and I could put pages together about those things specifically. You know, as, as a person who has a lot of L G B T friends, and as an ally, it was important to me to make sure that I had a, a page on my website that literally just talked about that.

And, and. You know, a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have had any images to put on that page. and it’s exactly what you were saying. You know, I, would’ve put, had a load of, you know, straight white couples on my website and, and that was it,[00:17:00] which is fine. And I still have plenty of straight white couples on there, but the idea is inclusivity.

So I’ve got everything, everyone on there. Lots of different styles of weddings, people with different body shapes, everything on there. It almost makes me laugh, looking back that I hadn’t had that outside view of just looking at my website and going well, you’ve got none of this

Becca: yeah, I remember that very vividly because we did a bit of an audit didn’t we?

And I said, you’re saying to me everywhere, you want diversity and your LGBTQ plus friendly and all these things. But when I come to your website, all I see is a. White couple, a heterosexual couple, which is what I see on every other website. And that opens up a whole other conversation because I hear people say to me all the time.

Yeah. But I wanna do these weddings, but I haven’t done these weddings yet. And you’re right, because you have to get over that thought of, I don’t wanna do a styled shoot. I don’t wanna force the matter because ultimately it’s marketing. And at the end of the day, people can’t buy what they can’t see and they can’t believe what they can’t see.

So it’s hard for them to believe. Yeah. Jesse’s really inclusive. When they can’t see any evidence of that. And [00:18:00] as soon as you start showing evidence of that, and that’s the same with all sorts of things, if you wanna shoot more weddings in barns, well, you gotta go out there and get more images of weddings in barns.

If you wanna shoot in high end hotels in London, you need to show that you can be in those hotels even before your books. And what happens is then people see that and think, oh, they’re the person to book for this kind of wedding. And then you have to get over that feeling of, I don’t wanna do this, this isn’t me and realize actually sometimes.

Maybe we’ve just got to push ourselves a little bit to get those images. And I think you’ve done a huge, benefit to your business by pushing past that block. And that’s hard to do so you should be proud of that. So you talked a little bit about your message and how important that message is. Why do you think it is so important for you to talk about people that don’t like having their photo taken or to talk about the diversity thing?

Jesse: I’m really glad you asked that because. One of the big things that I think people that I’ve really noticed since I’ve basically sorted all my branding out and [00:19:00] everything on is that for, for couples that have never heard of me before. So obviously I get referrals from people, but for couples that come to me via my brand, my marketing.

It is really common now. Like I would say the majority of couples that come to me, they say, I really like what you said about this. I really like that you do this. And so not, you know, it’s not for everyone. So like not everybody has to do the same thing as me. But knowing who you are and knowing what you stand for and what you, what you project and how you work with your customers and your style.

You know, there’s some, I know a photographer who, who only works with like model looking couples for one of a better word. And they, and they have very, they have a very high end look very, very, they, they were predominantly a model photographer doing fashion and things like that. And [00:20:00] so, so that was the style that they wanted to go with.

And that works for them, but they were really clear about that. And so I think. Couples need you get really good customers for whatever your business is. If they know that they’re the right customer for you and you know that they’re the right customer for you. And once you start projecting what you want from them and what you have to offer for them, they’ll come, they’ll come to you without really any questions. It’s not then a how do I decide between all these people, they go, right? I’m interested in.

Becca: That’s so right. And it comes from a place of authenticity as well. So you have to know who you are, what you believe in, what your values are, who you want to attract as a person.

And why? Because if you try and do it from a marketing perspective and you see this, especially in the LGBTQ plus space where some people think I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon and I’m, I’m gonna promote this, but they’ve got no heart or value behind it, then. It stands out a mile off as a [00:21:00] marketing ploy, but actually when it’s authentically, what you’re about.

And I see this through you, especially with your piece on people who are uncomfortable in front of the camera, it’s an authentic message. And you see that coming through in your testimonials because when people leave testimonials on your website, they say things like I was so uncomfortable in front of the.

But Jessie made me feel so comfortable. So it’s really important isn’t it to come from that place of authenticity?

Jesse: Yeah. And like, I, it’s funny, sometimes I look at the testimonials and I think I could have written that for them. It’s so good. But the reason is because they kind of know what to say because they’ve already seen.

That kind of messaging. So they, that’s why they came to me. And so therefore they appreciated that bit and that’s then they write a testimonial that backs it up. But also, like you said, about jumping on the bandwagon, I think there’s, if it’s important to you, you’ll spend the time to research it. Like I say, I, the L G B T Q plus side [00:22:00] of my business was important to me because I’ve got so many close friends, like really close friends to me that are part of that community. And once I made that decision and started projecting that my branding, it gave me it actually, you know, I didn’t assume that I knew everything about it. It meant that I actually went and asked the questions and made sure I got feedback from the right audience, all of these sorts of things.

You can, you can then get, become really good at these things. It, it doesn’t, you don’t have to be the expert straight away. It just needs to be really important to you and then you can work at it. Yeah,

Becca: absolutely. So you’ve been going for a while now, and we’ve talked about a few different things that have been going on for you in your business and changes you’ve made as you look back over the last few years, what mistakes do you think you’ve made that people could learn?

Jesse: So I would say probably the, one of the [00:23:00] things that I’ve always struggled with is patience. Cause I’ve known where I’ve, I’ve always, I wanna be there. And actually, you know, when I did your course, I actually had a really strong sense of frustration because then I knew what I wanted, but actually I got there.

It took a few months, which feels like forever. And actually in the business world a few months, isn’t that long, especially if you are gonna be a business that’s running for decades and prospering, actually a few months in the scheme of things, not the end of the world. So I had to learn patience, on that side of things, I definitely feel like I had undersold myself throughout the business and.

Actually having gone through the journey and spoken to people, I’ve never known someone who to put up their price that actually regretted it a year later. And it didn’t matter what they started with. If they put up their price a year later, they were still getting business in. And so I think actually people, anybody [00:24:00] listening to this, give it a go

If you haven’t already got someone shouting at you to pick your prices up, I’m gonna start doing it, and actually I know a lot of people it’s not really about, it’s about two things with the price. It’s partly, it’s making sure that you show people that you have the quality because there are couples out there including myself.

When I went to book, it was funny. I was charging a couple hundred quid for a wedding, but when I went, went to book a wedding photographer, I was not looking at that because. I was, you know, I was like, I don’t want somebody who’s new starting out. And I’d been doing it for several years by this point. And I was only charging a few hundred quid and I was thinking, actually, why an earth

what am I charging a few hundred quid? Because I know that I’m not gonna be looking at that. I’m just not even starting at that point. So yeah, and, but also businesses cost a lot of money. And the more you go on, the more you realize that if you’re doing things professionally and you’ve got branding [00:25:00] and you’ve got social media and you’ve got accountants and insurance and all these things and websites to pay for it all adds up.

And actually, if you don’t put your prices up to a professional level now, but you are trying to do everything else professionally, you’re not gonna make any money to live off. And then you don’t have the work life balance, because you’re just working really hard. for not actually really getting any reward out of it.

Becca: I think that’s a really interesting insight where you talk about how, when you were planning your own wedding, you just discounted the people who were basically charging what you were charging, because you didn’t think they’d be good enough. And that’s a lesson for all of us, isn’t it? Because so often we have this mindset, especially when we come into the industry.

If I’m the cheapest, everyone will book me. If I’m the bottom of the rung on the ladder, everyone will book me and yet. So often not true because there’s lots of people out there that only book the most expensive thing, because they wanna prove that they’ve got more men than everyone else.

And there’s other people exactly. Like you were [00:26:00] saying, I don’t wanna book the cheapest because I think if they’re charging more, it shows that they know what they’re doing now. We all know that’s not necessarily true, but there’s definitely that perception out there. So you’ve gotta have the confidence to charge what you’re worth.

And that’s why it’s so important to talk about the numbers. Now, another thing I know we’ve worked on together as part of the course and in the membership, I talk about it all the time is actually knowing your numbers and planning ahead and thinking about how much this business has cost you. What impacts that has on you?

Jesse: It’s’ really good for as a driving force, to know where you are focusing on, for a starting point..

So, if you are, if you don’t know how healthy your business is and what bits are weak, at what point, then you are just, you’ll, you’ll just end up doing the things that you’re comfortable with. And, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the best thing for your business. It actually, I found it really helpful because there might be something that I wouldn’t necessarily go to as my, you know, to spend my time on go and do the [00:27:00] X, Y or Z, but actually as part of my business it was really important.

And if, you know, if you’ve got a good understanding of how your business is operating and doing like the numbers with you has been really helpful from that point of view, it means that I could know, oh, okay. I need to go and do. I need to go and do this this week. I need to make sure that I spend some time on this, but I think there’s a more profound effect on.

You as a business owner of knowing your numbers as being, making sure you’ve got records of where you are at, because we all see our businesses on an hour by hour, day by day basis. We do not see the changes as clearly as, other people and even. In the last six months of looking at my social media, I’ve realized that while I don’t think I’ve grown things.

And even when I have a quiet month, like in last month, I was absolutely manic and I didn’t do very much social media. It still grew, and I didn’t realize that it was growing and how much it’s grown in the last six months has been [00:28:00] huge. And actually you look back at that and from a positive point of view.

Believing in yourself and all of these things is really important.

Becca: That’s so important to track what you’re doing. So you can look back and congratulate yourself really, because like you said, we live it day by day and we’re always looking forward as business. What we gonna do next?

What are we going to do next? And sometimes we forget to look back now that brings me on to my next question, actually, because we talked about business being a journey, and we’ve talked a lot about how you’ve got to this point. I’d love to know where you’re looking to get to next, what’s your next plan, what do you want to see over the next year?.

Jesse: I still work full time at the moment and I do a lot of different things. One of the things that I’ve really wanted to do is focus much more on the wedding photography. So I’m very much looking at how I can do more wedding photography over the time, and, and see how I can. I can do that, but also I’m going, I very much I’ve really actually fall in love with those styled shoots.

So I’m gonna be pushing to do a lot more of those. I really enjoyed them. And yeah, just seeing how I think we get tied up [00:29:00] very much in, in the business from a, a business point of view and growing the business. But I, I kind of wanna see what I can do that’s like making, adding the passion project side of the business in, you know, like doing, doing the rebranding and making sure that I cover the LGBTQ plus, element of my branding has been great, but actually I know there’s more I can be doing there.

So, that’s not just in my business for outside and, and in the, in the world of the wedding world as a wider, as a wider thing,

Becca: This is the coaching part of me talking now, Jesse, but have you made a plan about how this is gonna happen? Have you made a plan? Are you going to drop hours in your day job to do more wedding photography?

Jesse: I have, I do! Because I always have your head. shouting at me, right. I need to do a plan. Otherwise Becca will Becca will be on me.

Becca: Absolutely because it’s easy to sit there at home and be like, right in a year’s time, I wanna quit my job. And people say that to me all the time in a year’s time, I wanna quit my job in a year’s time. I wanna go part-time [00:30:00] wedding, business, part-time business. And I say to them well, how are you going to do that?

I don’t know. And actually, if you want something to happen, it’s absolutely possible, but you’ve gotta get your head into the business and look at how it’s gonna happen. If you wanna drop so many hours in your job, well, how much money do you need to make to make up for that? Or how much can you afford to do?

Or is there savings you can make in your household in able to able you to do that? Otherwise in a years, time, you’ll still be sat here saying in a year’s time, I wanna quit my job. If you don’t make a plan. So it’s music to my ears, Jesse that you have a plan. Of course you do. That’s why you are one of my favorite members.

Love it. Okay. Jesse. It’s very exciting. Okay. Because I’m gonna introduce a new feature to the podcast this week. It’s called now it’s a working title. I feel like we might need to improve it, but right now it’s called wedding pros it’s time to take a break. Now, one thing that I’ve discovered. And it seems to be coming up more, and more recently is that wedding professionals and business owners in general are terrible at taking a break.

We work way too hard. We stress out all the time. And so I wanna have a little segment [00:31:00] on my podcast to encourage people that sometimes they need to take a break. So I’ve got two questions to ask you. The first one is I’d love to know. What do you do to chill out? If you could get away from your business for a few hours, what would you be doing?

Jesse: I do quite a few things. I’ve got a dog, so taking the dog out for a walk is nice and I’d love to go out on my canoe and, and just if I wanna get away from everyone and just be with my thoughts, I go out on my canoe, and just, just chill out on the water for a bit.

But yeah, and that, that is my main go to, but on a day to day, obviously that’s quite a bit of effort. So on a day to day, I’m a bit of a gamer and so I’ll, I’ll either be playing games or watching streamers and, and things like that. So a bit of a geek at heart

Becca: Jesse, how did I never know that you have a canoe that needs to appear on your social media more often? Because that sounds idyllic. I’m just imagining you out on your canoe. There’s definitely a styled shoot in there somewhere too. [00:32:00] Okay. And my second question is because we all like to chill out in front of the TV sometimes and if you’re anything like me, you don’t have time to search through what to watch. So I’d love to know if there’s any TV series or films that you’ve been watching recently that you recommend to people listening?

Jesse: Do you know what from a chill out point of view the thing that I have been watching for probably about two months now is old Friends. I’ve literally, I’ve gone to Netflix and I’ve started from the beginning.

I can’t believe how out of focus some of the camera shots are I, and I can’t believe how terrible some of the building of the characters is, is at the, in the early days, but I’ve gone through I’m nearly at the end now. So I’m going to be actually listening, listening out to what other people say on, on this section for, for my next thing, because I’m nearly at the end of.

Of the entire Friends series, but that’s what I’ve been doing is on Netflix and listening, watching some Friends

Becca: I love Friends. Isn’t it just the amazing that it’s a show, where you can watch it. You can literally dip into any episode at any time at any point in any series [00:33:00] and it makes you laugh, even if you have seen it 5 million times before.

Jesse: And it’s one of those things that I don’t mind if somebody like, you know, like watching, watching stuff together in a household, I always struggle cause my wife’s in the ambulance service. So we’ll end one of us will end up getting impatient and what, going ahead and watching things in series.

So we always start a series together and finish it in our own time. Whereas with Friends, we can, it doesn’t matter if someone jumps ahead a few episodes, I kind of know what’s going on. .

Becca: That’s very dangerous to your relationship, Jesse. I feel like if I jump ahead with my husband in a series, he is not happy about it. I would have to watch it a second time with him so he didn’t know I had watched it in secret!

Jesse: We used to do that, but we’ve got to the stage where like, we will communicate with each other and go, I’m gonna carry on watching this now on my own. And we go, okay, no problem.

Becca: I love that. Now, if you’re listening to this, of course, I want you to be accountable to me. You’ve probably got my voice in your ear already saying, when are you taking a break? So if you watch [00:34:00] Friends, if you do any of the things that Jesse suggested, go out for a dog, walk, even go on a canoe, then take a picture, add it your stories, and tag me in it so that I can see that you are taking some time for yourself and it’s not all about work.

Okay, Jesse, before we finish, we have to do the quick fire quiz. Now my last fewguests have not really understood the idea of a quick fire quiz in that they’re really slow to answer the questions. So I give you the question you give me the answer as quick as you can.

Jesse: Absolutely, I’m all up for being as quick as possible, please don’t cancel me!

Becca: . Okay. Are you ready then? Would you rather get married in a barn or a Manor house?

Jesse: Manor House

Becca: DJ, or live music?

Jesse: Live music,

Becca: summer wedding, or a winter wedding?

Jesse: Summer Wedding

Becca: Chocolate cake or lemon cake?

Jesse: Lemon cake.

Becca: Would you rather watch true crime or some comedy light relief?

Jesse: comedy.

Becca: Would you rather advertise on a wedding directory or at a wedding fair?

Jesse: Wedding Fair

Becca: Instagram or Facebook?

Jesse: Instagram

Becca: Are you an early riser or a night owl?

Jesse: night owl.

Becca: And do you work too much or you easily [00:35:00] distracted?

Jesse: Work far too much

Becca: At least you are honest and you were fairly quick. I’ll give you that, although I feel like in my Instagram versus Facebook question right now, everyone is choosing Instagram! I feel like Facebook isn’t getting any love any more!

Jesse: Do you know what I had some trouble answering that because, I’ve heard so much over the last year about different guru’s saying, oh, Facebook’s dead. And, and what have you, but actually I’ve found over the last six months, my Facebook has grown massively. There’s an awful lot of family members, you know, because I think there’s an older generation now that are using it.

And they actually really like getting involved with the pictures and things I’ve got, I’ve got a really good following on Facebook now. And I, I would say if you’ve got the time, don’t ignore it.

Becca: Yes, you’ve heard it here first. Facebook is going to make a comeback, I believe it’s true and you’re right. There is a massive [00:36:00] demographic on there. And if we’re honest, everyone is still on Facebook. Even if they’re not active on Facebook, I guarantee you, most people you bump into in the street have still got an account and they’re still scrolling. So don’t give up on Facebook. Okay. As we bring the interview to a conclusion, Jesse, I ask the same question, which is, is there one thing that you wish you’d known sooner in your wedding business?

Jesse: Yeah, I guess I probably wish that I had known that it’s okay to be whatever I want to be as a business, rather than trying to be whatever is the generic view of what a business should be. Just go your own way with it. And it’s okay. Find your niche.

Becca: Yes. Find your niche and go for it. Jesse, it’s been such a pleasure to have you on the podcast if people want to find out more about you, where’s the best place for them to do that?

Jesse: Probably Instagram is the easiest one. So, Jay Lawrence underscore photo, all my website has all my links on it.

Becca: Amazing. I’ll post all of your links below in the show notes and Jesse is very approachable. So if you’ve got questions for him, if you want to talk to him more [00:37:00] about his journey or find out why he loves working with me so much, I’m sure you can drop him a message and maybe you too could be one of my favorite members in the future. Jesse, thanks for your time. I’ll speak to you soon.

Becca xo

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