The Woolverton Inn Years
In 1999, after years of searching for the perfect inn with our friend and then-business-partner Carolyn McGavin, we landed at The Woolverton Inn in Stockton NJ, along the banks of the Delaware River. It was a beautiful property, but a failing business. Within a few years, we nearly quadrupled income, almost tripled occupancy and raised the profile of the inn to a national level. The magic formula for this turnaround was 1) authentic service-driven hospitality and service, 2) major revenue-generating renovations, and 3) aggressive marketing and public relations efforts powered by effective, emotion-driven photography. During our last year (2004) bedandbreakfast.com named Woolverton Inn the best inn in North America as chosen by users. Not a bad way to exit innkeeping. But the truth is, we never really exited….
Jumping Rocks Photography
After selling The Woolverton Inn rather unexpectedly in 2004, we were at a loss as to what to do next, so we faced our dilemma head on…and went camping in Mexico! While there, we took stock of our talents, our resources and our passions. Prior to owning the inn, Matthew had years of experience both as a photographer and in the photography business and Mark had a strong business background in marketing, and had since developed his design skills at the inn. In the end, we were led straight to photography, and specifically for the sector we knew best: the hospitality industry.
That same year, we founded Jumping Rocks Photography, specializing in styling and photographing interiors, food, gardens and hospitality-related subject matter. From inception, we have fused styling and photography services, knowing that this symbiosis creates more enticing and powerful pictures. Our experience as former inn owners provides us with a unique perspective, which results in images which are not only attractive, but effective.
During our eight years in this business, we’ve become the leader in our niche of photographing and styling small hospitality properties. We’ve photographed hundreds of properties all over North America, from 3-room B&Bs to large resorts and restaurants of all shapes and sizes. As leaders in this niche, we’ve repeatedly spoken at national conferences and industry events from the annual Innkeeping Conference to Select Registry conferences. Jumping Rocks images have been published in (and on the cover of) numerous publications including National Geographic Traveler, Philadelphia Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Victorian Homes, and Southern Living, as well as broadcast placements on The Today Show, FOX News and many more. You’ll also see our pictures on the cover of the last few Select Registry Guidebooks.
Jumping Rocks: What’s in a Name?
We came up with the name for Jumping Rocks while on a beach in Cape Cod. Just as the waves rushed in, small pebbles were thrown straight up, seemingly jumping right into the air of their own power. We thought, how powerful a concept, a rock—not being thrown—but actually jumping. Bringing a rock to life was a concept we thought was captivating.
Soon we realized there was another meaning. We both love to hike, especially along streams and rivers. Crossing streams by jumping from rock to rock is a perfect analogy for strategizing your way along a difficult path. You need to figure out where you are going first, and plan for that particular path, otherwise you find yourself at a dead end; mid-stream and nowhere to go but where you came from. It seemed an ideal analogy for the clients we were to serve.
So, in spite of all the SPAM filters, which do not like our name at all, there it is. Answered once and for all.
Interested in learning a little more about Mark and Matthew–what makes us tick?? Learn more here.