CH-CH-CH-CH CHANGES [TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE]
This is one blog post I never thought I'd write.
When I started my business in 2014, I was proud of going it alone. I thought things like, I am STRONG! I am a BUSINESS woman! I am a #GIRLBOSS! I didn't think I needed a partner or a teammate.
In my first year, when I navigated weddings in Abu Dhabi, Miami, and Denver alone, I thought I had proven this. In these locations, I worked through "problems" such as the bride and groom getting ready at locations 20 minutes apart from each other, stolen gear, snowstorms, rental cars, connections, delays, and even one particularly challenging flight where a man sitting directly behind me alternately yelled PRAISE JESUS! and Bob Marley lyrics at the top of his lungs every 15-20 minutes on a 13 hour flight, like some sort of twisted alarm clock.
Last year, the whispers began. At first, I ignored them. They bothered me. They made me feel uncomfortable. I didn't like what the whispers were saying, I didn't want to hear them anymore.
What if Logan became your second shooter? What if he joined your business?
He was the one to first bring up the subject, right before a wedding I photographed last year. I had already hired an assistant, and I didn't think much of the fact that Logan was interested. I didn't want to become just another "husband and wife" photography team. I didn't want to give up something that was my own, something I had created that was completely separate from my husband and my children. This was for me.
That's where I was wrong.
After working two weddings in 2015 with assistants/second shooters, those whispers became a lot more audible. They were practically screaming at me. Still, I resisted. My business partner at this point was my ego, and she was the worst.
I cannot remember why I eventually let go, or at what point I officially did. All I knew is that everything in my life seemed to be heading in that direction, and I was exhausting myself fighting it.
I feel that one of my strengths is listening to my gut, my intuition. Whenever I have listened, I have reaped the rewards of trusting myself. The opposite is true as well. A few years ago, I decided to partner up with another photographer in the area. I remember quite clearly doing laundry one hot summer afternoon, and hearing the statement rise from deep within me; "It is not a good decision. It will not end up well."
I also remember standing there, throwing clothes in the dryer more and more aggressively, trying to justify the decision to myself, my intuition, my higher power. I knew I was making a mistake, and yet, I decided not to listen. It was a decision that cost me a lot of time, a lot of embarrassment, heartache, and even a friendship.
Since then, I have made it a part of my personal constitution to "go with my gut". Always. That's what I did with Logan joining my business. I just went with it, and last December we arrived at a party, ready to photograph the event together.
Of course I continued to be hesitant. This was my business, and if anything went bad, it was my name on the line! Logan and I have never had a dynamic in our relationship where I can tell him what to do. (Believe me, I've tried!) He's very much his own unique person, full of creativity, new ideas, viewpoints, and an alternate vision. He's also quite stubborn. (Which has been critical to keeping our marriage intact in our decade together).
IT WENT SO WELL!
I had nothing to worry about. Logan was everything I could've hoped for as an assistant. He filled the position perfectly. Like at home, he brought a calming presence with him. My nerves weren't as nervy, and it was a whole lot of fun working together. Most importantly, he helped me perform my job better for my clients, which was (and is) invaluable. In all of my internal deliberations, and external dialogue with Logan, I realized that with my choice to be a wedding photographer, comes the acknowledgement that none of this is for me. This is not for personal gain or glory.
Somehow, since December, Logan's presence has become much more than that of an assistant in this business. He's always been my sounding board, but he has become an integral part of my decision-making and shooting. A few weeks ago, I had a feeling pressed upon me to making him my business partner.
As a wedding photographer, I make myself completely open and available to documenting your day, your story, your love. I know that having another talented photographer--one whom is respectful, kind, and shares the same values and ethics as me--would only be a benefit to serving those who trust in me to document such important moments of their lives. As of now, I feel that it would be more of a disservice to my clients not to include Logan as my business partner. I believe in Logan, and I believe in us.
For this year, we've decided to shoot all events that we can together. We are still "Lindsay Collette", and we are unsure as to whether or not we will continue as that. Next year we will reevaluate where we are, and where we want to be. A whole lot can happen in a year, and, for now, we are taking things day by day, especially because Logan continues to work a full-time job!
If nothing else, my definition of what it means to be a strong woman, a business woman, and a #GIRLBOSS has evolved. I know that opening my heart and business to change, allowing the walls I had unknowingly built around to fall, and accepting help are all things that do not weaken me.