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Celebrating 5 Years of Shoott - A Journey I Never Intended

Off the heels of AAPI month and small business month - today also marks Shoott’s 5th anniversary in business!
https:A portrait of a woman with short silver hair wearing a light blue dress and touching her chin

By Jennifer Tsay, Cofounder & CEO

Thu, Jun 1 2023

Three separate images of a woman in different settings: looking out a window, laughing with neon signs behind, and standing on a street.Photo Credit: Our CEO, Jen T, as captured by different Shoott photographers (read to the end to view our CEO as captured by a non-Shoott photographer)

In the beginning, I never imagined where we’d be today - I simply wanted to work on this really cool business idea - I was 37, debating on having kids and starting a business with no prior experience in photography or even running a business.

I often wondered if I had what it took. But I focused and never thought beyond “what’s the next right thing to do.” We experimented a lot, started expansion in just 15 months on a team of 3, and one night, desperate for support, I found myself calling one of my best friends from college who - after 10 years as a SAHM and a recent divorce - just re-entered the workforce. 

Despite her never having direct experience, I asked her to be my COO, never thinking she’d actually say yes. She now is my equal in running Shoott, and we’ve both learned our jobs entirely from scratch.

And here we are today, at year 5 with 60 cities across the US - both a timeframe and a footprint I never imagined. I feel so grateful for all these milestones because yes, we worked hard - but so many people work hard.

Overwhelmingly, we feel lucky. 

We’re lucky to have enough of the “right” people on our small, dedicated, hard-working team of now 10 running the entire business.

We’re lucky to have over 700 talented, generous photographers in our network to deliver our 4.9 star rated service.

We’re lucky to have amazing clients like you that support our business by booking sessions, tipping our photographers, sharing about us as well as providing feedback so we can make Shoott the best it can be. 

We are still a bootstrapped small business trying to reach profitability and/or funding - and who knows what’s in the future for us - but for today, we’re proud to still be here and we’re grateful for any and all support you’ve given while we’re still figuring it all out. 

So simply - thank you for being part of our community and for being witness to our startup journey of “building the plane while flying it.” 

And just in case you’re curious, besides my 5 rescue animals, I still don’t have kids because I realized Shoott is my baby.

Thanks for listening,

Jen T

Want more BTS of Shoott’s operations? Follow us on tiktok or IG @shoottphotos

(Photo below: Our CEO, Jen T, at home, proving that professional photography > iPhone camera)

A person sitting on a couch with four pets, including two dogs wearing cones and one cat.

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