Tips for Working With Your Partner
All photo work done by Kayla Bacon
Maddy: It’s no secret — working close with family, friends, a spouse, boyfriend, etc can get hard. There are many things to take into consideration when you begin taking a personal-relationship-professional. But today Bryce & I wanted to sit down and chat with you all about some of our best tips and things we have learned while working full-time together.
If you don’t already know, Bryce & I have been working together for just about a year now. We have been a couple for almost a year and a half. When we first got together you could never have told us we would be doing together what we are now. Working together, shooting together, everyday? Crazy. Throughout this time there has been many ups, downs, and new things we have both learned about this industry and our creative careers. To start,
Bryce: I call myself our Project Manager + Photographer, I handle all brand relations and emails. I also take all of the brands that we work with and keep them organized so there isn’t any confusion on payments and/or when things need to get done! I also work alongside Maddy everyday to curate plans for our future projects.
Maddy: My title has obviously shifted quite a bit over the last few years, today I like to say: Creative Lifestyle Blogger + Entrepreneur. I enjoy to take a more creative look into everyday when I shoot content. I still work daily on curating products for my side hustle Endless Creators, which I will be taking forward soon.
Tip 01: Define your roles
Bryce: To start off you definitely want to establish who is doing what. (Like we did above) Establishing roles is key to prevent any confusion on what is to get done. So as I said: I take the photos and organize everything. On the flip side, Maddy usually comes up with photo concepts and outfits, handles her instagram and runs the other platforms. She also edits all of the photos that I take via her lightroom presets.
Maddy: When you have set aside roles it allows the workflow to, well, flow! Before we added titles to the work we were doing it was simply, “Bryce could you think of a paragraph for this” or “I’ll just send some emails today” — we were 01. Doing one another's work and 02. Completely misusing our time. We were so consumed in getting x amount of work done and not caring who did it. But if you break up what your specific talents are and match them with the smaller tasks to get done, everything clicks.
Now everyday we know our roles and know the tasks within them that have to get accomplished. Then, any extra time is used it to curate new ideas, or brainstorm on future endeavours.
Maddy: I would also like to add in here that my younger brother Ethan, who is amazingly talented, is our video editor. Any videos you see coming from us or myself on YouTube are constructed and put together by him. So when we curate video content we keep that in mind as well, helping with the organizational process of who-does-what!
Tip 02: Have Guidelines + Stay Organized
Bryce: One of the biggest things in any job is organization, you need this to run your business as efficiently as you can. This ranges from keeping files in an a-z cabinet, or keeping incoming payments in a spreadsheet. I have multiple documents such as a spreadsheet for payments, a slideshow of brands/tasks, and documents for brand outreach.
Maddy: I have always been more of the “ jump up and go create and organize it later” type. After many times of Bryce sitting me down and helping me collect my brain, I realized how sporadically I really was working. I now have a big list I like to call GOALS. Then I curate a smaller list (typically for a few days) that are tasks to help me reach my bigger list of goals. Being able to write out what I want to accomplish and the steps to get there has helped me tremendously! When working with your partner try to find ways to utilize this model. Always keep things in their correct place, have lists, write everything out that you need and then break it up! (Not to mention when you have things in their designated place, and you go looking for something, you will save yourself a ton more time!) Being organized correlates strongly with good time management.
Tip 03: Communicate
Bryce: When working with a significant other or anyone else for that matter, you HAVE TO COMMUNICATE, otherwise it will not work. This means talking about everything (even if it’s not fun: roles, rules, the way things will be organized, and key business points!)
Maddy: There has been many times — to be blunt — that Bryce and I have failed in this department while learning to work together. Whether it is a personal or professional relationship this key point, Communication, can make or break you. When we first started working together I didn’t always share my goals or where I saw each piece of content we created going, because of this it was hard for Bryce to have perspective on my business model. To put this into perspective: like Bryce has stated that he has many different documents that holds information on our business relations, upcoming projects, etc: we use them for communication. We communicate through the documents if we aren’t together, we use the information we are given from 1 brand for example to curate a concept list and different points we want to hit while shooting. We will both fill it out and then circle back when we do the actual shooting. Whether it is in person or online, communication is the glue that holds businesses and business relationships together.
Talk about your goals, talk about every bump you come to. Don’t brush things under the rug. The more you understand about your partner and the mindset that they have on certain topics, the better. Two people. Two opinions. Two ideas. TALK THROUGH THEM!
Tip 04: Take breaks
Bryce: Make sure to keep a good balance between work life and personal life. Let’s face it work life can get hectic and sometimes even overwhelming. With this, you have to remember to keep your personal life out of your work life and vise versa. Maddy: Yeah, if you had a petty fight over some cereal, don’t let Captain Crunch make you lose a client or forget to send an invoice later in the work day because you and your partner can’t straighten things out. Bryce: Also to counter, if you lose a big client or something hard happens at work, remember to leave it there at the end of the day. Take some time, take a break, and leave it to worry about for the next day. There is no need for those things to take a toll on your personal relationship as well.
Maddy: Hi my name is Maddy and I am NOWHERE NEAR going to pretend like I fully understand this. I am a workaholic. My breaks are either to get up and get a snack, the occasional TV show episode or Pinteresting for my next project. My work is my child, so it can get hard to take breaks. But every once and a while when Bryce & I have a full day to ourselves to do whatever the heck we want I always remember why I should do it. You see a different side of your partner when you are working with them and you have to remember they have another side, the free range, fun, etc side. Plus, taking breaks can help aid the personal relationship if the professional one is putting a strain on it. You and your partner deserve time for just the two of you with no calls, emails, or clients to worry about.
Tip 05: Enjoy it
Bryce: Do what you love and love the process. Make sure to love all the failures and successes — They will teach you more than you know about your job and your significant others.
Maddy: This goes without saying. If you don’t love what you do, then you’re not living your life the way you should be. You only have one life and you shouldn’t spend it miserable in work, or a relationship. When you and your partner truly love what you do, it creates something to always come back to when things get tough — you’re doing this for a reason, because you’re building a dream, or an empire, or a book, or a cause, or whatever it is. You keep going because you love it. To add to Bryce’s statement, I don’t think we ever truly understood how invested one another was to this brand until we failed. The times when we have taken major blows we weren’t expecting. Because we saw one another get up, brush it off, and say okay what’s next. Learn from your failures and enjoy your business and everything is has to offer, every step of the way.