WORKING WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER
Hey guys! Yesterday, I shared five facts about me on my Instagram. I shared that my little brother used to take my blog pictures for the first four years I blogged. For the past two years, my fiancé has been my photographer. He started taking my pictures shortly after we started dating so he has been my blog photographer during our entire relationship. It has been super convenient to have him photograph me for the blog since we are already together so much. I have learned so much from working with him and it is so different from working with a family member or a friend. I used my experience to create tips for working with your significant other.
(1) Play to each other’s strengths: This has been an easy one for us. When I first starting dating Michael, I already had the blog for 5 years. I pretty much had a process in place and I handled all aspects of the blog. The only thing I had to outsource was photography (I’ve never been good with a tripod lol). As mentioned earlier, my little brother took my pictures for the first four years. After he went away for college, I used a combination of professional photographers, friends and family to take my pictures. When we started dating and I started sharing more about the blog, Michael was happy to help with photography. It was a natural transition and helped me have a more reliable photography schedule. Not only does he photograph me for the blog, he also gives me great business advice. I think when you are working with your significant other, it helps to delegate tasks that highlight each other’s strengths and passions. For me, I have always loved being creative and creating content. I also like the behind-the-scenes business stuff but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Michael loves business and with his help, I don’t get as overwhelmed.
(2) Set boundaries: When you live with and work with someone, the line can easily get blurred. I am very passionate about the blog, but I don’t want the blog to be my whole life. It’s easy to let work spill over into your home life and it’s easier when you work with your significant other. Luckily, we don’t have any arguments about the blog. Since the blog has been around so long, it’s a well-oiled machine. I’m sure it is different for couples who start a business together. Regardless, I think it’s important to leave work at work, especially if you have a disagreement about something work-related. The same goes for leaving home at home. Don’t start arguing about dirty dishes when you’re on company time.
(3) Organization is key: Both Michael and I are attorneys with day jobs and we both have business outside of the legal field. It’s hard enough for me to stay organized but when you add an additional person with a full workload, it can be chaotic. Making time to shoot an outfit post is hard as hell. One thing we’ve started doing is sharing our calendars with each other. My schedule can be more predictable than Michael’s since I work from home, so whenever he has an appointment he puts it on the calendar. If I want to shoot an outfit or need to shoot a campaign, I block the time on his calendar. This has helped us stay organized and plan our days around work and shoots without too many hiccups. There are so many tools out there that help keep you organized. Find the tool that works best for you!
(4) Communicate, communicate, communicate: I cannot stress this enough! I think when you work with your significant other, you may feel hesitant to voice your opinion for fear that it will upset them. First of all, if you are super sensitive to criticism, don’t work with your significant other. You’re just asking for trouble. I love working with Michael because I know he will be honest and give the feedback I need to hear. He also will let me know when he notices I’m getting frustrated (for example, I’m mad that a location is packed with people and I can’t shoot there) and talk me off the ledge lol. Also, I feel comfortable telling him my vision for a shoot or asking him to shoot something differently. You have to be able to respectfully give your opinion. If you don’t, your business and relationship will suffer!
Do you work with your significant other? What are your DOs and DON’Ts.