Working with your Spouse


The Art of Being a Second Shooter


Lesson Info

Working with your Spouse

Here's the thing we understand that not every cup not every first and second shooter is a husband and wife team so we wanted to be respectful to that we don't want to make this course into something it's not but we definitely want to touch on the few things that we learned along the way if during q and a people want to get maurin tenet direction we can if people want to talk about technicalities and marketing and however we're going to be an open book but before we get there we're talking we're gonna talk about tips for shooting with your spouse and tips for working with yourself now these are two very different things and we're not gonna spend too much time we're gonna get three tips in each of these directions just to open the conversation and you can I want you to speak up to because if you don't agree with what I'm saying okay uh three tips for shooting with your spouse and many thanks tio chris kelly chris does the marketing here for creative life and he worked really hard at just...

coming up with content to reach out to other like really popular photography blog's he's like I really think that this class is gonna be great we want to talk to you about more ideas and I heart faces the blawg decided teo do a cross promotion like hey let's interview jasmine and jd let's promote their course and chris was asking me questions for it and this is how we got this idea for this section so I can't take much credit for it so many thanks to chris and I heart faces were actually moving us in this direction, so tips for shooting with yourself first I have clearly defined rules, so we have mentioned this probably at a different time, but working and shooting are two very different things and when you are shooting with your spouse, the thing that you want to remember is I know that both of you both of the husband wife teams here rotate between first and second shooter and that's fine, but it's going to be very in important for you to know and has set a pattern of who is in charge when not only is it confusing to the relationship is going to be confusing to the clients so in in ours, it's very straightforward. I'm one hundred percent the first shooter one hundred percent of the time if you're mixing it up, making sure that you know that when it is, you know whoever's turn it is that they're in the control and in the lead that entire session or then for that entire segment and then they if you want to switch it up, switch it up to the next because sometimes I think that even if you have a great idea and the first person that thinks that their lead at that time doesn't like the idea, then you're gonna have to tell them in front of the client that you don't like the idea that leads. Yes, that leads me teo, to sub point with this category, we did hear of a husband wife team get into an argument in front of their clients because one had a pose that the other one didn't really like, and they just couldn't connect. And do I think that it happens? Yes, it absolutely happens and you're under stress under a time crunch, and nobody on the other person doesn't want to hear you. All of a sudden it starts to reek like rebirthing issues like college. What? What is it about my mom that you don't like? You know, it's turning into something else totally. And secondly, for the sake of your clients you need to understand is they don't know who to look who to look at it ten minutes. It's look at me ten minutes to get her no, look back here and me. So you know that you have to say for the next section or whatever or rotate an entire wedding as a first in a second if you feel like you keep on like butting heads in that role, secondly, played your street there are certain times on a wedding day that are just more fun to shoot. We spoke about this yesterday even though we both collectively probably don't you know our leader, our least favorite time of day is the family formals hate saying that I hate saying it because it's so special I love my family pictures for my wedding, but they're not so fun to shoot iron way I know that it's my strength just to kind of broadcast and be a talker and just like hey how's it going? Yeah, we're gonna get you some drinks everybody look here, look here, everybody look here and he's definitely quiet and passive and he's better at capturing candid moments. However, even though he is quiet, he is a schmoozer like I'm not I'm susan's nodding because okay, so creative live opened a new studio in san francisco, so we hopped on a plane. We went up there and immediately I was really excited that we're gonna go in the party I walk in and I'm a wallflower like I don't want to talk to anybody of a super scared and a few minutes later this has getting business cards, getting goulash recipes from rhea ma like he's just talking to everybody and I'm like, how does this happen? Because that's his strength when we do table shots he knows how to easily talk to people during cocktail hour you knows how to say everybody kind of get in for the photo that's history is definitely not mine so that's it's almost like a chameleon role when jasmine comes near me and she starts talking a lot it's not even it's I just shut down and I and I kind of just let her take the lead it's kind of a natural progression because what she's saying she's making people feel comfortable so I don't want to go in and add to that comfortable like I don't know yeah, you guys can go have drinks after it's like thing who is this guy? You know it's like I just just shut up and then she does a great job she takes the lead and then so it's usually when jazz was gone it's like oh it's my turn to be the smoother I guess and then I turned on that I turned on that switch so when it comes to shooting with yourself is leave the drama in the car no matter what happens the day before that morning anything it's when you step onto the venue premise is you guys are professionals, you guys are working and functioning and very happy team and when you get back in the car you could resume that conversation but that is where it ends for the duration of you being hired as your client from your client heard by your client now we're gonna move into tips were working with your spouse so there are some husbands who take an active role in like let's say the finances or planning or logistics and their wives are out there doing the hustle and then there are sometimes husbands who are out there doing the hustle of the wife is at home doing album design or client follow up so that's a very different type of relationship so three tips first one we're going to start off with the same again I have clearly defined roles when we first started working together I think that our greatest miscommunications was because one person thought that the other person was responsible for that thing. Now the more that this happens it's just clearly an indication that we weren't communicating in the way that we needed to so we sat down and I wrote it out because you know a fan of writing and we defined what each of us were responsible for because the minute that that stopped happening we were able to say this was clearly defined as your role so for instance um I handle all face to face client care so meeting with a client booking the client communication with the client planning with the client all of that client care is my responsibility if we're face to face now jd is responsible for behind the scenes client care so when we have to process payment that's jd when he's dealing with our finances that's jd when he's dealing with the bookkeeper jd he will also do things like meal out hard drives hill meal out albums so client care is divided up into two segments one of us being responsible for a list of things now we do that in regards to marketing in great toe workflow in regards to household chores it sounds silly, but when you work together all day long on the laundry is done somebody's got to do it so you know, we got early signs of this when we were actually when she got in tow lost going so she had just been admitted into law school and we went to like, are you really okay? I can't believe that story actually started we started realizing we need to have clear and distinct roles because we went and she's like I need a desk for for my for my dorm so we went like, yeah, we want teo storming in lost way bought this desk and we brought it back and it was like what? It wasn't assembled, so we had to assemble this desk so we decided to go at it together we started both just assembling the desk and then about two hours later we were like I thought my this piece belonged to me because I needed, you know, build it for this piece and she thought it was a piece that she needed for her piece of the desk and we stop building that was picked it sounds like you need to come here right now. Wayne never got we had this half built desk. It was like my pieces. My piece was done here and but we could never oh, well, with my pieces ready to go, I thought, but jasmine piece was still going to so we just we got into it, we never finished the desk are green function so differently the way that we see and conceptualize so differently. So that was a good indicator of what we started just doing way have clear, like, every time there's a if any new project comes up, so if jasmine this is our new project, we will stop it there and will say, what are you in charge of and what am I in charge of? And then we're actually really good at going on and working on our own pieces, but they're very dick this thing. So on that note have set office hours this's really important because there was a time embarrassingly so that I was working toe one or, you know, like one or two in the morning because of all the things that he had to do and this was at a point in time where jd did not head was not trained transition to be working full time so he had his full time job but then after shooting with me he was completely hands off of every business component so I felt like this big burden tio maintain this high pace and there wasn't enough hours in the day so he would go to bed like eleven thirty I'm getting I'm there I will be there I'll be there I'll be there soon and then I walk in and the lights on and he's asleep and I feel awful and so we went like that for about a year because I'm like just give me this it's the business it's business is gonna be freedom just give me this just give me this and then a really good friend of ours was diagnosed with a brain tumor and it was not a very good prognosis and his wife called me and she was just crying and she just realized how short life was and I'm sitting in the stairwell of our house like bawling because I'm thinking if anything were to happen at that moment I was living the life I never trump I wanted freedom and then I felt myself chained and tethered to what was once a dream now became like a chain in ball so I apologized to him and and she made a drastic turn s o she what she does is she implemented office hours and I have actually she still maintains his office hours to this day and their machines office hours, but they're great. She wakes up at six a m every morning and not because not set an alarm just actually wakes up that early likes to dress like she used by six forty five she's already she's starting her day has started so she's working she'll take a couple of break for to go to the gym a lunch break. We'll take two little breaks in between the day to walk the dog, but she'd be offer computer at six to six thirty I work every day around twelve to thirteen hours, but I like it because at six thirty I'm going out with my friends, I'm going out to dinner, I'm enjoying my dog, I'm reading a book, I'm watching trashy tv and I don't care I know I put in a long day I know I worked hard, so I'm not gonna let that, um be a crane over me is that five days a week only the matter is that seven days a week that is fighting and then you shoot on saturday and sunday, forget about the whole wedding thing tha that little thing the last and final tip is take random days off now I have to say that j d gets full credit for this because when he transitioned over into working transition to working with us like part of the business full time, I kind of felt inadvertently I was like, well, welcome to my world this is what I do and he's like, wait, you work five days a week for thirteen hours and then we shoot on a saturday and I'm like, yeah, this is just what I do and he's like we became business owners so that we wouldn't have to work twelve hour days like so because we work on the weekends every so often he's just like let's just take the afternoon off two o'clock we go see a matinee let's, go get a margarita let's just drive in town late let's go to museum let's just do stuff that we always say we're gonna do because we're going to be our own business owners. I remember handing over the four hour work week there I was like, read this book maybe get another like holding you look at life either way, photographers do need to take the time to chill and get recharged I don't think that we can do what we do is photographers for long periods if we keep up these like really fast pace for creating creativity sake when we take a good chunk of time off it helps us to re calibrate what we're doing just with our career and also come up with new projects and new ideas for for everything for our clients and also for uh other things that we do personal stuff that we need to do you want to go into a q and a well I know we have a good buffer time so let's check with our in studio audience and see if you all have any questions on this topic we have two married couples that are in the audience let's talk shit some juice how is this relevant to you guys and what I want some feedback or questions so this is definitely opening up the conversation for us because what it looks like for us is that we need to take turns we take turns on being the lead but we also take turns and editing weddings so he'll end it a whole wedding and I'll edit a whole wedding so we're working on completely different weddings and so we um what I think we need to do is take time to leave the house because if you're there you're helping because there are four children from a j eight tow one so um it's going to look like us actually having office hours that are away from the house so figuring out kind of what that looks like but this is really helpful for sure that's good yeah super helpful the other day about having office hours so that's something we're still working on great sometimes he like sneaks out and sees that I'm on the computer at like nine thirty at night and so that means stop obviously but I do a lot of like behind seen stuff so um yeah we'll keep working on that I do have to say I have to be forthcoming that when you know he speaks out for the night and you're working I've been there like jd recently was training for a triathlon and sometimes he would go swing at night and be like isn't it time for your going to swim I don't want to swim because admitted he would leave the garage door open I'd like way in the garage door was closed I'd be downstairs in a book relax you you should be like yeah she would always encourage me to go go do something and it is going to be a balance it's not gonna happen overnight but really keeping care of taking care of yourself too you know it's okay to work late every once in a while but if it becomes a powder and I think if that's gonna be indicative of something deeper before you move into q and a from them audience jd reminded me of a story that we this is the point this is the precipice of us really defining our roles as a couple and as a first and second shooter jd notoriously waits to philip our gas tank notoriously he drives with the light on that's why that's why there's an empty sign right also just put they wouldn't I don't know they give you like try now I got at the um at the halfway point they'd be like philip now or something and I always have he drives with the light on okay that's what I want the light turns on as if I have to think about going to get that so not once but twice we've run out of gas with me in the car okay, so this is not you know, so this is what he does and so we're going to a wedding and he was driving and I notice that I wasn't on the light wasn't on but it was it was we were at empty but the light wasn't on so we were driving to a wedding. They said I think that we should get gas before you on the freeway and he said, no, we'll get gas me get off the freeway and I was just like, well, I know I want to get gas or going to a wedding and he said no, we're gonna get it when we get off the freeway and he just decided randomly to stick his heels in the mud, get on the freeway and oh and just like I can't even like here's the thing I'm confrontational but in those moments I completely just close in look, I'm not I'm not arguer that's not who I am instead I just decided talk to the window wait pull up to the gas station with plenty of gas I get up but no vote and I fill up the gas tank and I need jasmine was already upset so pay for the gas get in the car and jasmine still kind of silent but I just anything else like you see you see we're fine, you know, knowing that okay steam like at this one I was just like my head came off like my neck and you know jasmine said if you were second shooting right now for and he hasn't yet any other photographer and that may mean photographer asked you to get gas, you would would you have gone on the freeway and e? I couldn't say anything because I was like I would never do that to like anybody else, but I did it because, you know, it was jasmine and that's when I realized on wedding days I need a treat jasmine as if what? Well, for what she is the first shooter and the boss of what of the company that I'm working for are working with um and so from that day forward, I realize that a lot of things are different there doesn't need to be a please and thank you when she request things on a wedding day there, she doesn't have time for all those things, and she doesn't have time to try to tell me or justify why we should get gas, even if I don't think it's the right thing to do or we don't need to, it doesn't matter that day. I remember just thinking after that, I kind of started laughing because when I when I'm wrong, I'll start laughing, which, you know, doesn't help that I was wrong, I was just, you know, I started laughing and I started apologizing and things into perspective. I realized that that day I need to treat jasmine as on wedding days, you know we're not way don't have we don't have a husband, wife conversations, we have first and second shooter conversations, and those are very different. So that was the main thing that we took away. We're gonna go to the audio online audience. So the question is, does being a married couple help? As as wedding photographers? Do you make more of a connection with the bride and groom? Do they are they relating to you more and feeling closer to you because you are a couple? I feel like I have tio I don't want to say this, and, you know, all of a sudden everybody feel like they need to work with their spouse it's not a necessity, but I do think from a marketing perspective, it's played in our favor. I will definitely say that they're that when brides and grooms are looking for somebody and they know that we've been having a long standing nearly seven year business relationship, and we've shot all of our weddings together there's a certain level of confidence in that, but that's not to say that if j j and I were business partners, I would be able to sell the same way and say I've shot with a consistent second shooter for seven years, so I don't know if it's necessarily the husband and wife thing as muchas continuity, a bride and groom want to know that you've been working with a confident shooter for a prolonged period of time. So either way, I believe that investing in a second shooter to be in your team for a while is a better investment than you tryingto one off with a lot of different shooters, but that's again, just my personal opinion.

Class Description

If you're an established second shooter or looking to become one, this course focuses on ways to strengthen your portfolio, be proactive, improve shooting technique, establish the terms of shooting agreements, become a vital asset to the wedding day, and learn how to book jobs. In addition to lots of content, conversations, and fun, a live shoot will demonstrate the first/second shooter dynamic and a portfolio review.