Are you a photographer who is thinking about adding your spouse to your business? Maybe you are looking into getting into business with your spouse at the same time! Whatever your situation, these 3 tips for working with your spouse as a wedding photographer will help you make the right decision! We’ve learned a lot since we took our business full-time years ago, and we’re excited to share some things with you all today!
Prefer video over reading? This is for you!
Tip #1 – Your Spouse Has to Come First
As I’m sitting down to write this, Caitlin and I have been working together for just about 5 years. Do we know everything about working with a spouse? No way- we are far from that, but we have learned a few things! The single most important thing to remember is that your spouse ALWAYS has to come first. When you start to notice your home life being affected by your work, that is your best sign that you aren’t putting your spouse first! I am far from perfect when it comes to this. This is actually one of those things that I am preaching to you without fully living it out in my life! The temptation of always wanting to chase a dream is what keeps me from putting Caitlin first.
There is so much more to this life than work. We live a workaholic culture that praises business and success. Are we truly successful if we make a lot of money but have a terrible home life? Now is the time to get your priorities straight… praise and money should not have the same value as your spouse! Whenever I have these dumb moments where I put work first, I start to think about what it was like when we first met.
We all have these moments when the relationship is new. There aren’t enough hours in our days to fill the amount of time we would like to spend with our spouses when we first met. I smiled 99% of the time I was with Caitlin when we were first together, and while I still smile and am happy, life gets in the way now that we’re truly adults living in the real world. Don’t be like me and lose sight of what’s important in life… it’s really easy to do!
Tip #2 – Delegation is Key
Delegation is very important when it comes to working with your spouse. When you start working with your spouse, one of you is going to try to dominate the business… it’s just very likely! That could be the person that started the business, or it could just be the spouse that has the more dominant personality! If both people in the business have things to take pride in and make their own, you will be better off than if you have just one person dominating the whole business.
Men are natural providers, and one of the biggest things Caitlin and I had to work through was the providing mindset that I have. This business has stretched me and grown me in so many ways… one of which was being ok with defining being a provider differently! This mindset is still something I struggle with today and because of that, it can put stress on our relationship at points!
The best thing you can do…
The best thing you can do is to delegate jobs that each person is responsible for. For example, Caitlin handles communication, branding, website editing, etc. and I handle the money, SEO, taxes, and a lot of the education side of our business! It all depends on where your strengths lie individually. You might be thinking about starting a husband and wife team, or you might already be one! If you aren’t already, start to delegate now. If you are the more controlling spouse, don’t correct your spouse’s work when they mess up. Find something positive to praise them on, tell them their mistake so they know for next time, and then praise them again! Sandwich those negative comments as much as possible!
Tip #3 – You Always Trade Something For More Money
This is something I learned from good ol’ Zig Ziglar in the book, “See You At The Top.” I definitely recommend this book to all you entrepreneurs out there! I actually listened to the audio version of this book while I was out in the woods “hunting” for a week! (There are quotations around hunting because it wasn’t really hunting… I was simply sitting patiently for hours seeing absolutely nothing move besides birds!)
Anyways, in this book, he makes a profound statement. Basically, he says that whenever you have the opportunity to make more money, you have to trade something for it. It could be that when you a raise at work, you end up “trading” the money for more responsibility. You may have to trade more money for more travel and time away from your family! Whatever it is, more money is not always the best thing. When you are working with your spouse, making more money could result in a worse relationship.
Flip or Flop
We have been watching a lot of “Flip or Flop” lately, so this is probably just on my mind from that, but Tarek & Christina are a prime example of this. They were both working together and making so much money together. Now, they are divorced and probably making more money. Was it worth the money? Was it worth the fame? I’m sure if they aren’t contemplating that now, but maybe they will when they are old and reflecting on their life. Money won’t fix your life, yet we still strive for it- thinking that if only we got that raise, life would be SO different!
As you and your spouse spend year after year working together, don’t lose yourself trying to make more money. That nice house or shiny new car is just not worth the intimate relationship given to you by God! Take a few minutes today to show your spouse how much you love them. Heck, take off early and go for a drive and just talk! Above all, don’t let your spouse become less important than any amount of money!
Bonus Tip: How to introduce your husband to your business
Hey friends, it’s Caitlin now!! If working together is a goal of yours and you don’t know how to start introducing your husband into your business, here are three tasks you can start delegating to them!
1.) Second Shooting | This is one of the first ways Luke became involved in our business years ago! We learned so much from truly working on the job together through shooting weddings, and we figured out so much about how to work together the best.
2.) Gear Cleaning & Preparation | Another task Luke took over very early on was ger preparation and cleaning! He was (and still is!) in charge of sending all our gear in for cleaning yearly, during our offseason. He also was and still is in charge of preparing our gear for shoots and wedding days!
3.) Finances | The last task that Luke took over almost immediately was our business finances! This works so well for us, and he is so skilled in this area!
We hope these 3 bonus ideas get you started thinking about ways you can work together within your business, even if you aren’t quite ready to take the leap to full time yet!
Caitlin & Luke