Partners in Crime. Photographer couples who work together
Today's couple is so sweet, cosy, chilled. You can see it through their work, pictures of themselves and their current lifestyle reflects it more than anything. Since recently, Evan and Tedi live in a van full time. They wake up in a forrest, let the morning flow, make a fresh brew, work for a bit and pin a point on a map and off they drive to a new destination. How awesome is that!?There's a whole instagram account dedicated to their van life, make sure to have a peak.
They got engaged 3 months after officially started dating, soon got married and haven't separated ever since. Like many other couples in our project they started working together to spend more time in each other's company. And now it gives them so much more than that. Not without its difficulties, which we also talk about.
— How did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends and were friends (or more accurately frienemies) for about a year and a half. We both dated other people in that time, but whenever we spent time with each other we couldn't ignore the obvious: we had chemistry. One summer at a jazz festival we crossed paths, but this time we were both single, and there started a summer fling. When fall came around we started going to the same college for communications so we made things official. I proposed three months later and we got married the next summer with an intimate garden party in her best friend's backyard.
— How did you start working as a couple?
We were always aware of each other's creative perspective, but inviting Tedi to help me film a wedding was a good excuse to spend more time with her. Funny enough we were engaged by the time the wedding came around, but it was as good a time as ever to discover we loved working weddings together.
We both kind of started photography at the same time? I was more of the business type, and Tedi was more of the creative type, and we kind of grew into our work at the same time.
— What's the hardest part about working together?
We work really well together, but things do get heated sometimes. Learning how to navigate our creative differences has been the biggest challenge. Early on in our relationship, we were really sensitive to each other's disagreements as it felt like an attack on the other person's creative expression. Over the years, and with lots of practice in communication (PNP sandwhich feedback anyone?) we've gotten better. But sensitive moments still happen.
Also, if it sucks to let your boss down, it sucks a hundred times more to let your partner down. I hate disappointing Tedi and not holding up my end of the bargain sometimes. Having grace for each other is really important, but I really have to step my pussy up cuz this isn't a job or a position I can just quit or give up on.
— How do you go about when you disagree?
The way we manage disagreements has been an evolution. Tedi has learned that I can be pretty strong-headed, and I have learned that I can be pretty strong-headed lol. So it's been a journey of me learning to care less and give up control, and Tedi learning about when I do really care a lot and giving up easy. It's a constant dance of give and take with no perfect solution. In seasons when we work a lot together in close quarters we get really good at it, but in seasons when we operate more independently it's easy to start caring about the self more than the other person.
— What tip would you give to other couples thinking of working together?
Define your roles. Even if you go into the business as equal partners, that doesn't mean your workload has to be. It took me a while to give up my identity as a video editor, but Tedi was just better at it. Defining our roles has also helped us know when and how to bring others into our business to help us grow.
Prepare to argue a lot lol. Working with your romantic partner is not the same as working with a strictly business partner. It's near impossible to separate church and state, so if you can't handle getting into a tiff here and there, working with your partner might not be right for you.
— Anything you wish you did at your wedding, after being part of so many weddings?
We actually made a whole video about it. We have a series of videos we call Conversations With Lola where we sit on our couch with our dog Lola, drink wine, and talk about wedding topics. But to sum up what we wish we did different, we wish the late night 'party' and dancing part of our wedding was on a completely different day. Basically we should have had two weddings lol. Small wedding ceremony with close family and friends with an intimate dinner, followed by a big rager where we just fund an alcohol-fueled dance party.
— Best part of working with each other?
Traveling together. We don't have to sync our holiday time with different workplaces or fit all of our traveling into three weeks a year. We can easily take off a few months at a time in the offseason or bring work on the road in high season. We love taking road trips together and getting lost in conversations about our future. It's so much fun dreaming together and imagining what our future can be.
The fact that I get to work with Evan. I wonder what other couples talk about over dinner. We always get each other and can share our passion.