Hey, Boss Babes! Just wait until you get to know Jessie Stehlik of Foto Bohemia. Jessie & her husband run a photography business in Tampa, Orlando, & soon to be Miami that caters to both couples that are soon to be married and photographers looking to shoot those weddings. Jessie has a wonderfully bubbly personality & carries an aura of positivity and enthusiasm with her everywhere she goes. She has a ton of small business wisdom to share in her interview & video feature below. Enjoy her words & be sure to check out Foto Bohemia’s upcoming wedding & fitness festival, VKNG BOHO later this month. Stay boss. xx
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
We are a husband and wife team of wedding photographers that opened our studio in Tampa 20 years ago as of 2018. We have since grown from a 2-person studio, into a community of photographers who share our style and personality and have a love for people of all kinds.
How did your business begin?
My husband (Pavel) was a photographer in the Czech Republic. He visited Florida and we met scuba diving. Several months later we realized we were inseparable and he decided to move his photography business here so that we could continue it together. I first started out as his assistant, but gradually he taught me the craft of photographer and we became teammates shooting weddings.
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
Challenge: Learning how to communicate with clients while they are in the middle of an emotionally charged process has been one of the most difficult but rewarding challenges we’ve had. Knowing how to comfort different personalities and make at least the photography portion of their day less stressful is one of our favorite things to do. Success: Finding our “place” in the photography industry. We’re so proud that FotoBohemia has become a bit of a refuge for both photographers and clients, and we’re so excited to see it growing.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
“Don’t apologize so much.” I am a peacemaker and when I was first starting out in business I was a bit too willing to not stand up for myself because I didn’t want to appear rigid or not empathetic. But I’ve learned that it’s not an “all or nothing” game, and that standing up for ourselves in business can be done with kindness and humor so that everyone stays happy.
When are you at your happiest?
Watching the sunrise on our balcony with Pavel and our puppy - coffee in hand - gearing up to take on the day!
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
“In a year I’m going to think back on this fondly.” Some of the most heartbreaking and stressful moments have been the most influential and helpful memories for me to look back on. Each hard thing we overcome molds us and guides us outside our comfort zone and into something more beautiful that we never would have thought possible.
What are you grateful for?
That we’ve built our business in an area that has grown in such a beautiful way, filled with amazing people. Tampa really has that “big little city” charm where everyone knows and supports each other. We know that not every area is so keen on community, so we feel so lucky that some of our best friends are also our “competition”, and helping each other out makes us feel like home.
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
Personal goal: make more time for friends.
Business goal: Delegate a bit more of our day-to-day work to make more time for focusing on our big picture plans.
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
On my laptop editing a wedding.
How about on a Friday evening?
With a glass of wine + Netflix.
A Sunday morning?
We have a Sunday morning tradition where I make a celebration breakfast of crepes and jam. Our dog even gets excited about it. Little joys that set your whole week off right.
Finish these sentences:
I love: that my husband is my partner and friend.
I’m always looking for: a new challenge.
My inspiration is: everyone I meet.
I’ll never: like eggplant.