The PhotoSesh Story
PhotoSesh believes, first and foremost, in giving back to communities and individuals; true joy comes from helping others. Charitable service is at the core of the PhotoSesh culture as well as personal, family and associate fulfillment. And amazingly, it was this focus on philanthropy which first planted the seed for the beginnings of the PhotoSesh Community!
When founders Chris and Shari worked in their corporate environments, they tried hard to make time to give back, but ultimately scaled back the intense hours from their careers and together took a direction towards more family-oriented and philanthropic missions: they followed their shared passion for volunteering and instead focused on family, service, and helping at their local homeless shelter.
Along the way, two beautiful children arrived, and with them came an increased enthusiasm for making a real difference and giving back. With support from local community leaders, Chris and Shari initiated the “CarePacks 4 Homeless” program. Increasing the program’s publicity and managing its social media presence required quality pictures for sharing. And as the events grew in size, so did the need for a professional photographer.
With some trial and error, they learned that high-end price tags don’t always guarantee high-end results. So, they took to Craigslist and the classifieds only to find many talented and professional photographers who could use extra work to fill their schedules. They loved the quality and dependability available at a lower and more efficient cost however there was still quite a hassle involved with scheduling the right photographer, with the right event, for the right job, at the right price, in the right location. They made a lot of new photographer friends and learned a lot about the struggles and the triumphs of there businesses. Some of the stories have really touched their hearts. Then the chatter got more interesting as family and friends began asking for referrals to use these wonderful photographers. The favors requested for introductions came flying in. A few birthday parties here, engagement parties there, and throw in some baby & bridal showers to the mix. The time and effort added up and was a daunting task at times to find available photographers for their friends’ and family’s events. But Shari and Chris knew too many photographers to say no. So to say no to a friend’s referral request not only took away a gig from one of their photographer buddies, but it’s simply not what friends do. Friends and family help each other out. So although the process to book the right one with availability was still exhausting, there really wasn’t any other way. Until...
One night while watching TV with the laptop open…searching, yet again, for a photographer. Shari turned to Chris:
[Shari says]- "I wish we knew which photographers would be available in real-time for the animal rescue event.”
[Chris says]- “Yea, if only we had a simple platform where it lists all the photographers that were open for that date. “
[Shari says]- “Exactly, then we’d announce the gig to the ones we like with a push of a button. Kinda like first-come-first-serve.”
[Chris says]- “Yes, we need this now. I’m tired of all this back and forth. Peter’s got a wedding, Carissa is on a shoot out of town, and I’m still waiting on others to respond.”
Both realized there needed to be a better way. They just want to book a nearby, affordable, and talented photographer with a push of a button. They looked at each other in silence, and PhotoSesh was born.
Shari grew up in the Midwest, and spent summers helping her dad, professional photographer Jack Adams, in his Spring Lake, Michigan workspace. More than just a summer job, working at Adams Studio was family time; it was a hobby, and it was fun. Shari’s love of photography followed her to NYC. Although she did not pursue a professional freelance career, she is still an enthusiast and enjoys photography as a hobby. Shari captains the marketing efforts of PhotoSesh, connecting with like-minded mommy bloggers and parenting communities.
After stepping away from Wall Street and the corporate world to spend some time with his loved ones, Chris set his sights on family, service, and growing his and Shari’s charity initiative, “CarePacks 4 Homeless." His background in finance, customer service and business help him manage PhotoSesh relations and network with Charities and Non-Profits.
Together, Chris and Shari find ways to balance family, service and work. These family-friendly charity events allow for time spent and lessons learned with their two young children, Kensi and Christopher, Jr.
They are always pushing the limits of what it means to give back as a company. Currently, PhotoSesh donates time, photography costs and services to many charities and their events. This is atypical for a company in pre-launch and pre-revenue mode. In essence, they are currently donating more than they actually make. As for anyone that’s ever questioned it, the response remains the same:
In their own words, “We know it’s not the norm, but we feel it’s an obligation and a priority. If it wasn’t for hosting and coordinating charitable events, we might not have ever found this opportunity. So, giving back is something that will always be a part of our lives and our company’s culture.”
Shari & Chris
It all started with helping charity, then helping photographers find some more gigs, then helping customers connect to these talented photographers and save. Now with PhotoSesh, Shari and Chris can do what they love most with participating in many of these charitable events while being with their family.
Note from PhotoSesh: If you or anyone you know needs photography services donated for a Non-Profit charity event, please have them reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries! :-)