Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessamyn Kryska and Bronwen Mosquera.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We met in March of 2015 at a park district tot class and bonded over our unique names and our realization that we were nearly next door neighbors. A few months later, Bronwen had mentioned getting into family photography as a side source of income and wanted to photograph Jessamyn and her son to build her portfolio. Jessamyn realized a couple days later that she wanted to get involved and proposed they combine creative forces and start a business together! (When Bronwen asked Jessamyn what kind of camera she used, Jessamyn’s response was “…uh…my iPhone? But I have a lot to offer – I know social media!”) Wanting to not go the course alone, Bronwen accepted Jessamyn’s proposal, and voilà, Sonder Lane was born in the late summer of 2015! Why “Sonder Lane,” you might ask? Sonder is a word we came across that means “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Pretty awesome, right? We thought lane (inspired by “memory lane”) paired nicely.
Without skipping a beat, we created a logo, a Facebook page and, 24 hours later, our website was up and running. Our early portfolio consisted only of our children, edited with free and very basic editing software. Knowing photography is a very competitive business, we knew the importance of developing our craft through workshops and online courses and upgrading our equipment (you’ll be happy to know that Jessamyn now owns a very nice professional camera). To build our portfolio and our client base, we relied heavily on the kindness of our friends and family who took a chance on a couple novice mamas hoping to get into the niche market of urban family photography.
To this day, we still laugh at what a crazy idea it was to partner up and start our business together. We were both warned about the challenges of working so closely with a friend, but we have found that, not only our friendship, but also our work product has become stronger through our partnership.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Photography and marketing has come very naturally to both of us, however, the behind the scenes components of owning a business (i.e. payroll, taxes, Articles of Incorporation, etc.) has certainly been a learning curve! Luckily, we have amazing husbands, who not only encourage our career path, but also have business wisdom to share when the occasional hiccup occurs.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We specialize in on-location, natural light, documentary-style photography. Our expertise is with families and newborns, either in an urban setting or in the comfort of our clients’ homes. We love capturing authentic interactions during our sessions, knowing that those photographed details will adorn our clients’ walls for years to come.
Ultimately, our goal is to capture life’s sweetest moments and produce rockin’ photos for the city family’s pleasure.
What makes us stand out from the rest is the fact that, typically, both of us are there for the session. We capture different angles and perspectives simultaneously (we each use a different lens), make sure everyone is relaxed and enjoys the experience (which we all know can be quite stressful), and we also have a bag of tricks to coax reluctant smiles while the other gets the shot.
We provide our clients with a digital gallery where they can easily select and download their favorite images (we do not sell prints at this time).
We only take on a select number of clients, annually, in order to provide the best session experience and edited image quality that makes us proud.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In order to keep a healthy work-life balance while we are raising our young children, we are running our business as a part-time gig. However, our long-term goal is to turn this part-time venture into our full-time career, continuing to specialize in family and newborn documentary-style photography in Chicago.
- Packages range from $295 to $995 (with families spending ~$450)
- We offer a limited number of mini-sessions throughout the year (starting at $195)
- Website: www.sonderlane.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonder Lane Photography