I love photography. I love how one single lens can capture a memory that will last a lifetime. So, this week I’m featuring the husband and wife wedding photography and videography duo behind the talented company, Turnquist Collective. Their work is stunning, they have captured some of my friends most special moments, and they are a small local business based out of Hudson, NY. So, let’s meet Rebecca and Jesse and the story behind their impressive business.
Business Name: Turnquist Collective
Owners: Jesse & Rebecca Turnquist
Established Year: 2008
Location: Hudson, NY
Tell us about your business and the story behind its creation!
We are a married couple of 20 years with 3 boys living in Hudson, NY. But the start to our business story begins back in 2008. As someone who always had a love for photography growing up & taking photos of everyone & every place, the idea of starting a photography business seemed like a good idea. Well, having no background in business I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I think deep down inside I thought this would be a small side gig to help support our growing family. At the time we had two boys, who were 4 & 6 when I started on this journey. I began answering craig’s list ads for couples looking for a wedding photographer. Yep, you heard that right. Not my finest hour, but we all begin somewhere. My first year I was able to shoot 6 weddings & by our second year I have tripled that number. This is when I began to realize that maybe this side gig could actually become a real business.
The first few years I was really trying to figure out who I was as a photographer & my style (which seemed to be ever changing) & just crafting my skill. When I began in 2008 digital photography was very new & I had only a film camera. So we made the investment in a digital camera (A Canon Rebel 2000…gulp. Again, we all start somewhere). Being a FT mom to our two young boys took a lot of my time but thankfully once they started public school, I had my days free to really learn how to use my camera. I won’t get too personal or bore you with too much details, but when I started this business it was during a rough time in our life financially. Remember it was 2008 (another year I’d like to forget) & I built this business from scratch with the absolute bare minimum. But with complete determination & a real dream to turn this side job into my dream job & then my husband Jesse deciding to join me on this journey we were able to quit our other jobs & pursue this as our full time career for the last 8 years.
What products and services do you offer? What makes them unique?
Jesse is a videographer and I am a photographer. Being a husband & wife team with 20 years of marriage experience we feel we have a really unique service to offer our clients. Not only are we a one stop shop for their photography needs, we are 100% invested in this journey with them. We truly love weddings and all they represent. A couples journey to marriage isn’t always an easy one, but when they decide to make it official & start this new chapter in their lives, we are so honored to be apart of their story & are able to document it for them so they can always look back on those moments & feel all the love, excitement & raw moments they experienced on their wedding day. Those are what make what we do so gratifying. We are part of creating those images & video that will be carried on for generations, a couples legacy. This is our why. Side note, as a mama I also have a sweet spot for families. So I photograph pregnancy, newborns, childhood, seniors & family. I have limited availability for these as weddings are our priority.
What do you love most about running your own business and being a business owner?
Back to parents of 3 boys, we realize how important it is to present in their lives as much as we can since they grow up so fast! We love being able to make our own schedules & allowing more time to be with them & traveling as much as we can. Obviously COVID-19 has put a halt on that, but we’ve been finding ways to still have great experiences & make some new memories in the meantime.
What has been one of the most memorable experiences or opportunities that you’ve experienced since opening your business?
Having a client message you after a wedding or portrait session & sharing with you how much a specific image captured by us really meant to them is always so incredibly humbling and really a reminder of why we love what we do. To be able to create images & video for others that have so much meaning & value is absolutely amazing!
What advice would you give to aspiring business owners?
So many businesses have been built because it started out as someone’s dream. If you really have that desire to pursue something, then give it your absolute best & put 100% of yourself into it. Most businesses don’t have the luxury of being successful right away, so be patient & stay motivated. And always remember your Why. That will be your focus so you get back up when you fall down.