When I first started this business, I had no idea that it was going to (literally) take me so many places. Traveling 2-3+ hours almost every weekend (or every other weekend) during busy season wasn’t something I had really envisioned for myself or my business. But, like a lot of other things I never imagined for myself (like, oh, I mean, BEING A BUSINESS OWNER), I love it, and it works for me. I love shooting all over…I love getting to travel and work different venues and with different vendors all the time. I like not being a part of any one little area and not being in any one little “clique” in the industry because I’m all over so much. I mean, getting to travel all around the East Coast and visit my friends and shoot weddings ain’t a bad gig.
Photo by Katelyn James
The thing that began to wear on me and make life difficult was doing it alone every. single. weekend. It was saying goodbye to John and Lucy from Friday to Sunday depending on where the weekend took me and making all of these journeys by myself. I’m a little bit of an introvert, so I don’t mind being alone sometimes, but doing it alone was getting really lonely. And at the risk of sounding like a co-dependent loser, I really hate being away from John. Even when it’s for a few hours, I just miss him so much!
Then there was the matter of nailing down a consistent second shooter. I was lucky to have my good friend Anna second shoot for me a LOT my first season, and that totally spoiled me! As Anna’s business started to take off (and boy, did it ever! So proud of that girl!!) she wasn’t able to shoot with me as much anymore, so I found myself looking for others to be my second pair of eyes. I had some, I’ll just say, interesting experiences, and some eye-opening ones that made me ready to lock down a full time second shooter that I knew 100 percent would have MY back.
That last thing, finding someone who would have my back, was what made me ask John if he’d be interested in shooting with me. He had assisted me several times since I started my business, but never really made the leap into shooting until it dawned on me that 1. There are only a select handful of people that TRULY have my back 100 percent, and 2. One of them (who I happened to be married to) has always had an interest in cameras and photography.
We started out with a trial period. He could tell me if he hated it, and I would never ask again. The only way that it would work for us to work together, to ask him to work for me on Saturdays (and sometimes drive us to weddings on Fridays and home on Sundays) would mean for him to actually enjoy it. Lucky for me, he does. He really loves shooting and working with our clients, but if I know John the way I think I do…I think he really loves helping me out most:)
The best part of having your husband shoot weddings with you? Other than having someone to drive you to and from the wedding so you aren’t stressed, having someone strong to carry your heavy bags, and someone you love to spend the day with?Shooting together has brought us closer and has been so amazing for our marriage! When our friends and family first heard we were going to start working together on weekends, they asked if it was hard, or if we fight a lot more because of it. If anything, I think we fight less because shooting together and working as a team on wedding days has taught us to work together in a very literal, very intentional way. Also, for me personally, shooting with John has made me love him that much more…and seeing him learn and grow as a photographer makes me SO proud. Plus, he’s not going to judge me for getting a hash brown sandwich from sheets after like, every wedding we shoot together…and that’s not something you can say about all second shooters:) Another added benefit has been that SO many of our clients and potential clients love that we work together…having a photographer who works with a consistent partner is a huge benefit to begin with…and the fact that my partner is my husband is a bonus to them because we are truly better as a team:)
If there’s any interest, I might write another post about how we got to this point of working together as a team every weekend! It’s definitely been a journey (and continues to be one) but it’s definitely something that we feel is worth it! Feel free to email me with questions or leave them in the comments 🙂