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Meet Raymond Janis and Charlie Nunn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raymond Janis and Charlie Nunn.

Raymond and Charlie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our pet photography business grew out of a desire for artistic portraits of our two dogs at the time – Sadie and Simba. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a photographer who matched our aesthetic, so we did them ourselves. As a professional photographer, Charlie had the equipment to set up our own studio at home and get the exact look we wanted. It wasn’t long before friends saw the images and wanted their pets photographed too.

We talked at length about leaving the company at which we both worked, but fate took the decision into its own hands when, in the fall of 2016, we were both laid off. And as they say, the rest is history. In the three years since starting our business, we’ve photographed over 1,500 dogs of all shapes and sizes, made countless friends and seen our artwork hang on many of their walls.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting a new business when we were both laid off was a struggle and a blessing in disguise… Charlie and I have worked together for most of our 11-year relationship and we always sensed that we would start our own company but being laid off was the push we needed. There’s no instruction manual for what we wanted to do, so we learned along the way. Thankfully, SCORE Los Angeles was an invaluable resource for the initial steps like licenses and permits, taxes. marketing and accounting. They have a team of mentors to help small businesses succeed.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Charlie Nunn Photography – what should we know?
The time we spend with clients is about more than just the portraits. The experience starts the moment we make contact to learn more about the animal(s) they have in their lives. Do they have a new puppy? Is their family companion at the end of his or her life? Many people remember the bond they had growing up with their first pet, so they include their children in the shoot to capture the beginning of a relationship with will last for years. We mold each shoot to our client’s vision and no two are the same.

The shoot itself usually lasts about an hour and we then meet a week or two after to reveal the finished images. We have many tools to help people pick the right prints for their home or office. Our print menu is a la carte so some people spend $400 and others spend much more than that.

A big part of our life is giving back to the community. There are countless animal welfare organizations in the Los Angeles area and we donate our time and money to help in every way we can.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The first event we did back in 2016 was at Maxwell Dog in Studio City. Without a huge portfolio to show, and no events under our belt, the owner Lynn took a chance and let us hold one at her store. We partnered with a wonderful organization called Animals Asia with one of their celebrity ambassadors – Lesley Nicol from Downtown Abbey, helping us promote the event. We were able to raise lots of money for a wonderful organization and build relationships that have grown stronger with each year.

Clients have been our biggest cheerleaders. Los Angeles may be a big city but the dog community is tight-knit. Referrals from past clients have been the biggest part of our growth.

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