Helping One Another Grow

Every morning, it's as if there's some unknown force that wakes me up and leads me straight to the computer.  Next, I head to the kitchen to feed Kiki and then start answering emails even before I've had my coffee.  By the time the coffee is in my cup, but before Adm is out of bed, I am at work.  My mind is already racing far ahead of me, cataloging things that need to be done. Working from home has a lot of perks.  A fairly flexible schedule, being in pajamas all day long, endless cups of coffee, sleeping in every now and again.  It's so easy to "let yourself go" when you work in this kind of environment.  One day you forget to brush your teeth, and the next you're "working" from bed, under the covers.  It's also really easy to lose track of time and having a schedule.  I feel like I'm always moving from one task to another, always trying to check things off of my to-do list, and I've gotten to a point where I'm not comfortable just being still.

Since our working and living spaces are combined, Adm and I have to consciously make the effort to carve out personal time for each other.  We've also realized that with our work, we need to schedule time to check in with one other, in most work places, they call this having a meeting.  Not once since we've started photographing weddings full time have we scheduled a meeting with each other.  So, last Tuesday, we planned our first formal lunch meeting at Gather in Berkeley to assess where we are photographically and talk about the direction we want to move in for this upcoming wedding season.

It was nice.  Both of us actually got dressed and we had each prepared a set of our favorite images from last year's weddings so that we could review our styles, breaking down our strengths and weaknesses.  I also prepared a set of inspiration images shot by other photographers so that we could talk about what elements make those pictures successful and how we can incorporate them into our photography:  why the tilt works for this photo, what are the light sources in this image, why this pose fits perfectly for that couple, how this image has spot on layering, and so on.  Our goal in doing this is not to copy other photographers and the way they see things, but rather to expand our vision and add to our "toolbox" of different techniques.

As people drawn to the creative side, we're constantly thinking about new and different ways to do things.  We don't want to get stuck in a rut or burned out, two paths that are very easy to head down when you're photographing 20-25 weddings each year, and so we have to find ways to stay inspired and motivated to grow photographically.  After having such a successful "meeting" last week, we've resolved to de-brief after every wedding this year as a way to help keep one another on our toes, and to get out of the house every now and again.

Here I am working from the couch at home.  Photo by Adm.