Author: Manie Navarro, BSU student
An interview with Geleisa Belgrave about her photography business, OhriJahnal.
So, let’s start with are you from this local area?
Yes, born and raised in Brockton, MA.
Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business?
I’ve always had a thing for art of all forms, but photography was one thing that truly made me happy especially knowing I am making others happy capturing memories that’ll last a lifetime.
When did it start? What Year?
2012 is when I started my actual business. My wife always pushed me to do things that truly made me happy and continues to do so.
What was it that made you want to start this business?
I started it mainly because everyone loved the pics I would take of my son & myself. They would always compliment how well it was edited and how it was always a different style than regular pics.
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
The toughest thing was getting to be known and it’s still hard, but you can’t give up, you have to keep pushing regardless. Not everyone is going to like you and you can’t make everyone happy. My wife and kids keep me going because they see the effort and dedication I put into an event or just a regular shoot.
If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
If I was to start over, I would first find a set place for my photography studio, because not having a studio is one of my biggest challenges right now.
What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
Definitely COVID, because people have to meet you face to face. A lot of babies were born and proposals were made, and people were scared to have people they haven’t had around. I understand that, but it did put a slight dent in my business.
If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
I’ve had this happen before and people always tend to choose myself because of my vibe and quality of pictures. One thing I don’t go for is money. I do it to make people happy not to just get paid. A lot of people do it because it’s easy money.
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Word of mouth or social media.
Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
Yea, definitely, because without shares and posts [on social media] people wouldn’t know about different companies.
Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the
Absolutely, it would make anyone’s business boost.
If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
I would love to see it relocated honestly. Certain states and cities are better for photography; other places really are a hit or miss. I want to be around people who know what they want and appreciate quality.
OhriJahnal is based in Brockton, MA.