Today we’d like to introduce you to Hevy J. and Yesi.
Hevy and Yesi, please share your story with us.
Awesomely enough, we unknowingly crossed paths days before ever being introduced! We were both covering the 2003 Miami Auto Show when I stepped right into the middle of Hevy’s photo as VW unveiled their new car. He was so pissed at that time (I did not know this LOL). In my defense, I had been hired by VW to photograph the reveal of their new vehicle. Hevy was shooting for Hyundai who also wanted him to cover the event in general. Now, fast forward to about a week later…
Hevy finds out his buddy had just started dating a girl that happened to be a professional photographer (me). Having just started out in photography, he jumps on the chance to meet me and pick my brain. At this time, Hevy was in his 3rd year of graphic design at an ad agency. I was a freelance photographer for the Associated Press, EPA and EFE so I was engulfed in the world of journalism. We finally meet up and after what I’m sure were many questions later, out comes the fact that both of us had been covering the auto show on press day… which lead to him saying, “Holy shit! You’re the shooter that ruined my photo!” which was quickly confirmed by looking back at the pictures 🙂 .
We spent the next 7+ years growing our independent names as photographers and became really good friends in the process. We’d help each other out on shoots whenever possible. Mostly me, helping and mentoring Hevy. Then one day I helped him out on a shoot and asked him if he would mind if I shot behind him. He was cool with that. When we both saw the distinct difference in our styles we knew this simultaneous shooting thing could be fun.
In 2010, the agency Hevy was working at laid off their entire creative department. This lead to a conversation that resulted in Chocolate Milk photography. And… because everyone does ask, the company was named by a 12-year-old at the time. Our mutual friend’s daughter suggested Chocolate Milk. When we asked her, “Why chocolate milk?”. She replied, “because everyone loves it!” How can you argue with that kind of rationale?
Hevy brought a polished advertising style and I brought a natural, gritty street style. When you mixed the two styles along with some great vibes you get some pretty awesome moments! We’ve been shooting simultaneously ever since and organically growing more and more each year.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
All in all we have to say, it’s been better than we could have imagined. We’ve met some fantastic people and shared even greater experiences that have helped us grow. We are both creative types so the business aspect isn’t either of our strengths but we always knew we wanted Chocolate Milk to never feel like work and it really hasn’t. We’ve taken advantage of all our lessons along the way and seized all opportunities that have crossed our path.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Chocolate Milk photography story. Tell us more about the business.
We are two photographers that like to stay away from the traditional. In fact, our rate sheet says, “No white shirt and jeans” in big bold letters. We believe in being Vibefully Pro-Moment and we like to photograph who and what you are. We strive to capture moments that are as individual as you are. We do both still photography and video. With our backgrounds being in journalism and advertising there is close to nothing we can’t conceptualize and shoot.
We’re also pretty well known for our, “Totally Free Doggie Photo Booth”. On any given Saturday (when we’re not booked or editing) we’d put up a small backdrop at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove and offer up some free portraits of your pooch. We’re both dog people and we have a blast hanging out with the pups and their peeps.
We are most proud of keeping to our personal standards and values. We do not accept business for the sake of business. We do what we love and we do our best to keep it that way. We never hesitate to admit that we may not be the photographers for certain people. What sets us apart from most is our approach in getting to know our clients and the easy vibe in which we carry our shoots. We will never pose you or ask you to do something that just isn’t you. We know these things set us apart because they have been pointed out to us by many of our clients. On more than one occasion, we’ve been told we’re like a therapy session when we first meet our clients. For us, when we’re done with a shoot and our client tells us they made awesome memories during our shoot, we know we did our job well. That right there keeps us going.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We do not see it as luck, we see it as opportunities we do or do not take. So far, it’s seemed we’ve taken all the right ones.
- Website: www.ChocolateMilk.me
- Email: WeWantChocolateMilk@gmail.com
- Instagram: ChocolateMilkMe
- Facebook: ChocolateMilkMe
- Twitter: ChocolateMilkMe
- Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/chocolate-milk-photography-miami