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The Future Is Picture Perfect for Fidelio Photography

by Jamie Laliberte Whalen, Staples® Staff Writer

Meet Jessica Weiser, who founded Fidelio Photography with her husband, Lyle Kohenlein, in 2005. Weiser says her biggest achievement as a small business owner is being in business for eight years when so many can’t even make it to five. In fact, her business has thrived. The pair’s work has been featured in Seacoast Bride, Real Maine Weddings and Southern Bride, to name just a few. When meeting this talented duo, you can’t help but be inspired. Learn how Weiser’s passion for photography and the ability to leverage the Internet contributes to her company’s success.

How did you get started in photography?

I have been a photographer most of my life — it has always been a passion of mine. I started taking photos when I was nine, continued in high school and college, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism in 1999. For a while I had other jobs not related to photography, but once digital became more popular, my husband and I started to shoot more together and eventually we were getting a lot of requests from people to do their portraits. In 2005, we decided to officially begin Fidelio Photography, and from that point on, photography is all we have been doing for a living.

What is the one item or tool you can’t run your business without?

The Internet. A few years ago we were very busy and let our Web site sit for a long time without any updates. We really dropped in Google’s rankings, which of course affected the number of inquiries we were getting. When things got really slow, we eventually figured out why, but it took quite a while to recover from that. It was just a reminder that we have to constantly be on top of little things like that, and that marketing and the Internet are such integral aspects of running a small business.

What are your three biggest pain points in running your own business?

1. Not having the time to do everything that I want to do to make my business bigger and better.

2. Email. It is the bane of my existence. I love responding to everything personally, but it takes up a large part of my day. As an artist, I'd rather be spending that time out shooting.

3. I work too much! Some people probably do a much better job of dividing their time between their business and personal life. Unfortunately I am a workaholic, and I have a hard time taking time for myself.

What advice do you have for someone else looking to start their own business?

Take advantage of any local resources for help and advice on starting and maintaining a small business available in your area before you start. Also, know that you will likely work harder than you ever have in your life to run your business.

How does your business make more happen? We want to know! Share your story with us in the Comments section below, and we might contact you for a future article.

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