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Compass Conversations: R PHOTO

Updated: May 6


One thing I love about Jennifer from R PHOTO is her commitment to community, and helping others. She is truly a selfless, inspiring, and giving person, and I'm honored to know her.

Each month, we'll take you on a journey through the unique stories, passions, and dreams that drive our local entrepreneurs. These are the stories behind the logos and social media posts, the spirited souls enriching our daily lives with their craft and dedication.

A beautiful couple embraced in a kiss as the sun sets
Photography by R PHOTO

What inspired you to start your business?

After falling in love with the camera in college during Film 101, I was gifted my first DSLR for Christmas and started offering free shoots to friends and family. It was then I realized how much I enjoyed capturing moments in time for people.

How does your business contribute to the local community?

Currently, we are connected with a few local communities to help support our area including Thomas Road Foster & Adoption, HumanKind, and UMFS to which we offer free foster and adoption family portraits.

We also offer “you pay what you can” women’s empowerment sessions to those surviving trauma and abuse and any proceeds are donated to DreamForge, a local nonprofit dedicating themselves to helping those women.

Lastly, as a previous surrogate myself, I offer surrogacy journey photography at no cost.

Can you share a memorable experience or success story related to your business?

My success is my people. I have developed close-knit relationships with each and every client. When you book with me, you’re in the click for life! If I see you out and about, I’m going to shout hello… if I see your post on social media, I’m going to hype it… repeat business, and repeat clientele is the only measure of success in my book!

What challenges have you faced in building your business, and how have you overcome them?

For every post asking “looking for a photographer”, there are 100+ people recommended so keeping up with trends in photography, staying active on social media and out in the community are vital to standing out amongst so many others.

What makes your business unique? 

A key difference is my no-cost services. I’m very family and community-focused and therefore am constantly looking for ways to give back and support local.

I am not looking for awards, titles, or soaring profits. I want to be the photo printed in your album, I want to be the photo hanging in your office or above the fireplace, I want to be “she’s my photographer” for each client.

What advice would you give to other small business owners who are just starting out?

Put yourself out there wherever you can, do not be afraid of a “no” or ghost clients. Spend time with those that do use your services and continue to grow in your craft.

How do you see your business evolving in the future?

Eventually I plan to own a studio to rent out to other local photographers similar to the Atelier but with equipment rentals as well for those wishing to test products before committing.

I plan to host classes on photography there as well. ONE DAY!

Do you have a special message that you'd like to share with the community through this article?

Book the session! You’ll NEVER regret having photos but you’ll regret not having them


Photo of the owner and her husband who live in Madison Heights VA

Hi, I'm Michelle

I'm the owner of County Compass, and an Amherst County resident. 

I love our community and want to help new homeowners find all the local gems that may not get enough exposure on social media.

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