We are often asked about the up’s and down’s of working with your spouse. We have been working together for nearly as long as we have been together. I would say that is probably the hardest time to start working with someone with whom you have a relationship. Often, couples may consider working together after being together for several years, or even decades. We have had several people come to us for advice when they are considering working together. Today, we are sharing our top 10 list of things we have learned. Though we still have much to learn, this list can be used to give you a head start.
1. YOU EACH HAVE DIFFERENT STRENGTHS This may be the biggest advantage to working together. While one of you may be more creative, relational, and goal driven, the other may be more analytical, methodical, and detail oriented. One of you will be able to better work with clients in a relational way, while the other will be more at home handling administrative duties.
2. YOU HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS When it comes to us as wedding photographers, we each have a unique perspective on various situations. When it comes to business decisions, these differing ideas can both be helpful. We might try something that one of us suggested and the other may not have thought of.
3. YOU HAVE DIFFERENT WORK HABITS Differing work habits can lead to some friction, or it can be healthy, depending on the situation. Often, Sarah wakes up in the middle of the night and works for a few hours while I sleep, and conversely, I’ll be working during standard hours while Sarah is napping. In the end, we both get work done in our own ways and we’ve learned to be flexible with the other in this way.
4. YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO RELATE TO ON A WEDDING DAY No matter what the situation, it’s comforting to have someone to relate to during a wedding day. You don’t feel like you’re alone with no one to vent to.
5. YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO CARRY YOUR BAGS This is one thing Sarah quickly came to appreciate!
6. YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO SHARE THE DRIVING WITH Whether you like driving or not, on those long days it can be helpful to have someone to switch with when you’re getting tired. Or in some cases a co-pilot to help you navigate.
7. YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO SEPARATE WORK FROM PERSONAL In our situation, I was an assistant for several years and had to learn how we each work under the stress of a wedding day. Along with this, as we had a fresh relationship at the time, we were each learning how the other communicates or interprets what the other is saying. Communication can be much easier the longer you’re together as a couple.
8. YOU CAN GET TO KNOW YOUR COUPLES TOGETHER We found this to be another big advantage to working together. As we met with clients and worked with them, they became comfortable with both of us. When the wedding day came, there was much less awkwardness and tension.
9. YOU BUILD CLOSENESS IN YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIP AS YOU OVERCOME ADVERSITIES In a way, as your relationship grows, so will your ability to work together. As you’re forced to deal with struggles in your business, or with tough clients, or the challenges of life, your bond can be strengthened if you communicate and support each other.
10. LEARNING TO TAKE DIRECTION Whether it is on a wedding day, or when you’re working on something as mundane as a budget, learning to listen to your spouse and take direction is important. As an important part of communication, you must each learn to listen to the other and take their direction or advice.
We’re all a little crazy in our own ways. It’s what has drawn us to the other person and is part of that makes the glue that keeps us together. The key is knowing that at the end of the day, you have someone on your own team, who is rooting for you, and has your back. What could be more comforting than that?