Jacobe Photography: A couple coupling business and studies

Joshua Jacobe has been interested in photography since he was a young child after being influenced by his parents who were always keen to document their family life. BQ found out how he got into business with Jacobe Photography.

It wasn’t until Joshua started a family of his own that he decided to turn his hobby into a business.

Teaming up with his wife Amanda, the duo decided to launch a family photography business called Jacobe Photography, and with the help of the SPEED Plus project at Coventry University, they were able to get the idea off the ground.

After building up a portfolio of pictures, Joshua and Amanda now hope to help other families capture their own special moments.

The couple met through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2009 and were married three years later at a ceremony at their church in Solihull.

When their son, Joseph, was born in August 2014, the pair couldn’t wait to share the photos they had taken with their family and friends who lived abroad.

Joshua said: “When Joseph was born we were taking lots of photos and that’s when I really started to think about exploring and trying different techniques with the camera.

“Photography has always been a passion and hobby of mine and friends and family had often said that I should try and make it into a business.”

Joshua is a Coventry University student studying for a joint honours degree in Spanish and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

Over the last six months, the couple have built up their photography portfolio by asking people within their church network if they can photograph their engagements, weddings, maternity shots, new-born babies and family portraits.

The couple work together to produce the images with Joshua as the main photographer and Amanda, who studied product design at Birmingham City University, as the editor.

After attending the SPEED Plus business seminars at Coventry University and receiving support from a specialist business mentor, Joshua and Amanda were able to identify their unique selling point.

To stand out from the crowd the couple aim to turnaround projects within one or two weeks, providing images through cloud storage so they are easy to share online as well as giving clients the option to take away a polaroid from the shoot.

They also used £1,500 in grant funding to purchase a new equipment including two lenses, lighting equipment and a studio backdrop.

Joshua said: “We were keen to find out people’s honest opinions and get constructive feedback so we could make sure we were offering the best possible service.

“We want our clients to feel relaxed and enjoy the photoshoot, and by taking the majority of our photos outside, we are able to capture more natural shots of families and couples.

“We have learnt a lot in such a short period of time and now have a greater chance of following it through to success.

“We gained invaluable insight and my business mentor really helped me to consider how best to launch a business alongside my studies and with a family at home.”

The Jacobe Photography website www.jacobephotography.com was launched at the beginning of May, and Joshua and Amanda already have two bookings lined up for the summer.

Looking forward, Joshua is set to graduate from Coventry University this year and move to Worcester where he aims to start a PGCE course teaching French and Spanish to secondary school pupils.

He hopes to expand the family business with Amanda taking more of a lead as he continues his studies.

“The most challenging part of launching the business has been managing my family, my studies, the business and voluntary service with our church,” he said.

“But having these different strands really works for our lifestyle because it’s something Amanda can do at home and something we can both do on the weekends and evenings.”