Modo for Business: Q&A with Adam and Kev
Modo Business members Adam Schelle and Kev Holloway are the team behind Adam and Kev Photography. They’re best known for their “So It Is: Vancouver” portrait project and coffee table book, telling the story of 120 Vancouverites and the city’s past and present. We asked Kev a few questions about starting their own business and their carsharing experience with Modo!
Tell us about Adam and Kev Photography – how did you start your own business?
We both used to work as assistants for other photographers – we met on set while working for a fashion photographer in 2007. We then started helping each other out on our own shoots and it worked well, so we thought we’d give it a go, focusing on commercial and editorial portrait photography.
We officially went in to business on September 1st 2008. That was right in the heart of the global financial crisis – Lehman Brothers collapsed two weeks later. It probably wasn’t the best time to strike out on our own, but we scraped though it.
How do you use Modo for Business, do you own vehicles yourself as well?
We use Modo strictly for business – the variety of vehicles mean we can grab a van to haul gear, something smaller for meetings, or a 4WD if we’re going a bit off the beaten path. It also helps to have the parking permit, and it’s great to be able to track vehicle expenses to each shoot.
We both have other vehicles – Adam and his wife have a CRV for ferrying their young family around the city and beyond. I have a motorbike, which isn’t such a clever choice given Vancouver’s climate. But on the 3 days a year it doesn’t rain, it’s amazing.
Location scouting in Squamish with one of Modo’s Kia Soul.
What does “access over ownership” mean to you?
Personally, I think it’s the choice and flexibility of something like Modo, which solves a number of needs for us, while removing that from the hassle and cash flow commitment associated with leasing or owning a specific vehicle for the business. Everything from insurance and fuel to parking and storage is tied up in one easy pay-as-you-go service.
In our business we rent a lot of equipment as often there’s something that we need for maybe one or two jobs a year. While we have cameras, lenses and a few lights we don’t have everything we’ll need for a bigger production – things like generators, specialize grip equipment and additional lighting.
When you consider that some of that equipment costs five figures to buy – just so that you can use it a few times a year – it’s a no brainer to rent. The access is far more important than the ownership in most cases.
Behind the scenes: Adam soaking Paisley Nahanee from The Capilano Tea House and Botanical Soda Company for the “So It Is” portrait series.
You made a book about the people of Vancouver, “So It Is” – what’s “typical Vancouver” when it comes to transportation?
While there’s always room for improvement in a lot of respects we’re pretty spoilt here.
We have a really great (and expanding) transit system, a bold approach to growing the bike lane network, some fantastic walks into the city, and of course organizations like Modo and Car2Go (and Zipcar, EVO, etc) that have changed the way that a lot of people think about car ownership.
It’s easy to get sucked into the bubble of focusing on the bad press around traffic (which relative to other cities around the world isn’t that bad) or the lack of Uber (that’s a big conversation), but I think we’re really lucky.
I don’t know that there is a typical – with so many choices maybe the variety is what really stands out for Vancouver. That and the hardcore cyclists who laugh in the face of a snow storm.
Tracey Axelsson, co-founder of Vancouver’s Co-operative Auto Network (now Modo), at the City Hall Parking lot during a shoot for “So It Is”.
Other favourite businesses you support locally?
There are a ton of great social enterprises, non-profits and B-corps in city. There are also a bunch of amazing businesses that just do good without being under those headings. But I want to mention Potluck Catering at 30 W Hastings – they’re a social enterprise that also happens to serve cheap (and nice) coffee, amazing soups and half-sandwiches, which is great when you know you should eat but you’re not starving.
Your favourite Modo?
Hmm, different horses for different courses.
I guess I’d go with:
- The Dodge Promaster cargo van for shoots.
- The Mazda 3 for getting around.
- The Nissan Leaf EV for sneaking up on our enemies.