What started as a hobby has turned into a part-time job, a passion and a way to get paid for something Gregoire Jules, owner of Imagery by Jules Photography, loves to do. For Jules, who works as a manager at a credit counseling firm, the passion behind his photography started at a young age, but didn't materialize into a business until 2012.
"As a child, I was really into the arts and didn't fully understand why," he said. "Now I know why. My parents are immigrants and didn't really push the arts. To them, it was more important to get a degree. As I got older and started to travel and experience different cultures, I would capture the memories by taking photographs. When my sister, who was an event planner at the time, approached me about taking some professional pictures, I gladly said yes."
Officially launched in February of 2012, Imagery by Jules Photography specializes in weddings, engagements, corporate photo shoots and capturing special moments in people's lives. Jules, who's originally from the Bahamas, built his business with steady persistence, passion and by taking the time to really learn his craft.
"At first, I didn't really know how to market myself or who to target," he said. "I started doing networking events and bridal shows. That really helped grow my business. I also volunteered for things like Career Day at local high schools. This got me out in the community, but more importantly gave me a chance to show kids that there are alternative job paths than your standard doctor, lawyer, fire fighter, insurance agent, etc. The more business I did, the more passionate I became and the more I wanted to learn about photography."
Jules has worked with the Miami Foundation, the James L. Knight Foundation and Bank of America, among many other corporate clients. He's passionate about all photography, but his favorite events are weddings.
"I just love the emotions around weddings," he said. "I love the reaction of the brides when they receive the final product. I'm able to create magic in a space that might otherwise seem empty."
Looking ahead, Jules would like to eventually become a full-time photographer and have several associate photographers on staff. Between his family and full-time job, trying to juggle the photography business on a part-time basis is not easy. He's working hard towards making his goal a reality.
What advice does Jules have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "You do not have to be perfect to start," he said. "Just start and don't procrastinate any longer. If you're passionate about growing your business and learning the ins and outs of it, you'll be successful. Also, connect with others in your industry. Learn from them. Lastly, never get to the point where you think you've made it, because there's always more to learn."