When we got together, Jake was a photographer under JBM Photography and Ash was an editorial
hair stylist and makeup artist living in New
York City. We wanted to join forces and evolve
our careers into a company together, and
both being obsessed with love, we decided
to get involved in weddings. After a while, we
realized something was wrong: we were trying
to see where we fit into the wedding industry,
when we should have been trying to stand out.
Under JBM, we were attracting weddings
we didn’t want and couples we didn’t really
click with. Don’t get us wrong, we have always
loved our couples, but we felt it was time to
change and focus on a demographic that we
identified with more: hip, quirky, creative and
JBM—Jake's initials—was not a sexy, eye-catching studio name. We needed to change
the brand to better represent who we had
become after several seasons, as bicoastal
photographers with six shooters and two hair
and makeup teams.
We started by getting a new website
through Squarespace that 1) showcased our
work in a beautiful and simple way, 2) was
super informative and easy to navigate so
couples could pull the trigger when they were
ready, 3) let our personalities shine through
so couples felt like they knew us, and 4) had a
very detailed inquiry form so we could gather
all the info we needed and decide whether
we wanted to work with the couple.
Then, we tasked our insanely talented
friend, tattoo artist Minka Sicklinger, to do
some logos and illustrations for us to help
us create a vibe that we loved and that our
potential clients would love too. (We get
compliments on our logo constantly.)
And, of course, we changed our name—
to LOVE + WOLVES CO. We found it way
more enticing than JBM. Which would
you click if you had to choose? The new
name represented our love philosophy and
conveyed that we are a collective of creatives,
not just Jake. We’ve had an obsession with
wolves since we got together—they take a
partner for life and have a loyalty we always
hope to emulate—and this really blossomed
during our own wedding planning. In inviting
a small amount of people, we realized who
our chosen family was—our wolf pack. We felt
there was no greater honor than to be a part
of our couples’ packs on the most important
day of their lives.
In wanting our passion for and outlook on
life to translate into our business, we decided
to blend both, making our life our business
and our business our life.
We launched our new @loveandwolvesco
Instagram account where we decided to post
both personal and wedding images. Our
presence became more about getting across
our vision of love, our creative eyes and what
inspires us than getting likes and comments.
Now, any trip we go on or wedding we shoot,
we create a story and keep it updated on
Instagram. As we write this, we’re creating
a story while we’re in Sayulita, Mexico—
snippets from our travels, of our kids having
a good time, cool portraits of each other.
For weddings, we plan time on either side
so we can arrive, get settled, work and then
decompress before we go home.
We turned our blog into a place to
house both weddings and our “Wolves Who
Wander” family adventures to places like
Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and
Yosemite. We let our clients into our lives.
The most intimate look we’ve given would
probably be the homebirth of our youngest
child. “Mama Wolf rocked the s*** out of
labor and brought the coolest little wolf pup
into this world,” we wrote in the post.
When we’re interacting with our
couples, we just act like they’re old friends.
Photographing a wedding is really intimate,
so we want our couples to feel close to us
instantly, which translates into trust and a
higher perceived value. When we rebranded,
we increased our rates across the board
by 30 percent. We only want to work with
couples that are super excited about what
we do and how we do it. If they are, they will
be willing to pay.
Since then, our overall inquiries have
increased 120 percent. Our inquiries from
Instagram have increased 2300 percent—no
joke. It’s really working for us to be true to
ourselves and let our clients decide if that’s
what they want.
“Wanting our passion for life to
translate to business, we decided to
blend both, making our life our
business and our business our life.”
BAND TO FAMILY
Jake and Ash Murphy of LOVE + WOLVES CO | New York, NY | +
the born identity