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Meet Misti Marquette and Colin Cooke of BohemiaDelMar in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Misti Marquette and Colin Cooke.

Misti and Colin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Colin and I are high school sweethearts, turned husband and wife, turned business partners. In 2013, after a few rough years in our previous careers and family health issues – we decide to pursue our dream. You only live once, right? We didn’t want any regrets.

We sold everything we owned and took four suitcases, 2 cats and started life over in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Our dream was to open a wedding photography studio and live a beautiful, beachy life of leisure. Little did we know, our little studio would turn into a big studio and we would have more business than what we knew what to do with!

After five tireless years in the intense heat, jungle humidity and all the mosquito and insect bites we could handle – we decided to pack it up and move back to the good ol’ US of A, more specifically; Gorgeous LA.

We love Los Angeles for its year-round perfect weather (very few mosquitos) and being amongst the best creatives in the world! What are other place on Earth are you a stone’s throw from beaches, mountains, deserts, islands and tons of entertainment? We have set-up our new, sparkly studio in downtown LA and we’re enjoying all the perks and events DTLA has to offer!

Our name Bohemia Del Mar has a 2 part meaning:

Bohemia – taken from “Bohemian” meaning a creative person with an unconventional life.

Del Mar- taken from Spanish “of the sea” because a lot of our photos and brand are ocean related.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Getting started with business ownership certainly wasn’t easy, especially in another country. We had planned on moving to Mexico, when Misti’s mom had a series of strokes that made us reconsider everything. We stayed back to ensure her full recovery for one year, then decided to take life by the reins and go for our dreams because nobody is guaranteed any amount of time in life. If you’re going to do something, do it now. They’ll always be an excuse to not get started.

Moving to Mexico, taught us the “fun legalities” of becoming expats and learning a new way of life all together. We had a competitor ruthlessly try to drive us out of town, and there were certainly moments in the beginning that we ate a lot of cheese quesadillas to survive.

But with time and a lot of work, things started to pick-up. Eventually we were shooting hundreds of weddings, had an overflowing email inbox and the luxury of adding avocado to our cheese quesadillas 😉

I learned, if you give it your absolute all, every ounce of your energy and determination, it will be impossible to fail.

BohemiaDelMar – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in weddings, of course, especially destination weddings and underwater photography. With our background in the Mayan Riviera of Mexico, we had access to the crystal, clear cenote water to shoot in- so we decided to dive in (pun intended) and learn a new art!

Underwater photography has certainly set us apart; it was an entirely new beast of photography we wanted to learn. We both love being in the water, so it was a natural fit for us.

I’m really proud of how far we’ve come from our little studio in 2013. In 2016, we won a WPPI award in Las Vegas, which to me, is like the Oscars of photography.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me, as a business owner, is being able to create your schedule and choose the clients that you are a great fit with. It’s also being able to say “No”.

I think a lot of times, as business owners get started, you are tempted to take everything that comes your way, never say no, and give “just because” discounts to get the work. Once you can eliminate those factors, I think success comes to you.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
BohemiaDelMar
Taylor Kinzie

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