Our Meet the Merchant series features Q&As with real-world Clover merchants. Read our full catalog for innovative ideas and real-life stories of small businesses in action.
In this installment, we hear from Richard and Mindy Nahki, the husband-and-wife team behind JoJoseph Photography in Amarillo, Texas. They specialize in family portraiture, and were beginning to branch out into weddings when the pandemic hit. Richard and Mindy share how their different photography styles come together to create a great product–and how their business has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Clover: Tell us how you started JoJoseph Photography.
Richard Nahki: Photography has always been a passion of mine. I run a restaurant, and Mindy is in real estate, but I’ve always had a camera and done photography for fun. About three years ago, Mindy and I decided to turn it into a business. We started off taking pictures of friends and landscapes—just practicing and honing our skills. Those friends slowly turned into clients, and then through word of mouth, we’ve built that into a business.
Mindy Nahki: I didn’t take pictures in the beginning, but I have a really creative mind, so I was always interested in it. Richard has taught me the logistics of the camera, so now we can both shoot. I think it’s interesting to see our styles come together. I can usually tell which pictures I have taken, because they seem to have more of a catalog/fashion feel to them. I was born in ‘79, so I grew up looking at that style.
Richard: I think that’s something unique we offer our clients—we have these two different views and styles, but we work together to create one cohesive view for the client. Mindy is more geared towards advertising and fashion. She likes a softer, posed look. And I’m a little bit more grungy and free with my style. I’m more fly-by-night, she’s more structured.
Clover: How do you handle client relationships? Is that a team effort, too?
Richard: We just do whatever it takes to make the client feel comfortable. It’s not easy; not everyone’s comfortable in front of a camera. It can be awkward for people sometimes. So we always try to pick up on the vibe and see, if I jump in, will they loosen up a bit more? Or are they more comfortable with Mindy? We do whatever it takes to make sure they have fun, because when you can get them to loosen up, that’s when you get the best pictures.
Clover: How do you use Clover?
Richard: We have a Clover Go that we can take with us when we’re going on a shoot. Our bank actually suggested it. We use it to process client payments on site and email a receipt, or sometimes we use it to invoice clients for payment later.
Clover: How has the pandemic affected your business?
Richard: We had a lot of graduation pictures scheduled, so those were postponed for a couple of months. And we probably won’t be shooting any weddings until things are back to normal. But mostly, we’re low-risk enough that we haven’t had to change our approach too much. We’re working with one person at a time right now, so it’s pretty easy to keep our distance from them. And we also do real estate listing photos, so we’re alone in empty houses when we do those.
I think it’s good that we’re able to capture some memories from this time. Not only are we capturing history, we also have an opportunity to capture people in a more vulnerable state. We’re going to people’s homes, and we get some really nice family candids. We can get some really good, intimate, true, raw moments shot when people are just being themselves, being with their family. It’s also a good way to capture people that are feeling isolated, and make them feel like they’re not so alone.
Clover: Do you have any advice for other business owners who are navigating this difficult time?
Richard: As a photographer, I’m always trying to be mindful of what’s going on around me. So that’s what I would say: pay attention. Be mindful of other people, no matter what your opinion on things might be. And try to keep yourself and your family safe.