Now this is a very personal post. Everyone knows I’m a wedding, portrait and commercial photographer but how many people actually know or think of me in a different way – I’m a father, a loving partner to Kirsty and loving owner of two dogs, one cat and a host of fish.
You see something I have been, and still are, struggling with is my business life against my family life. I see both as equally as important as each other but yet find it difficult to fulfil my role to each at the same time, yet somehow I manage, admittedly I will forget something at sometime and get shouted at but most of the time I do mange… just! (Which is a tall order being a man…multitasking and everything?) I feel sometimes, I either have a camera or a dirty nappy in my hand and that’s it. Strangely a life I don’t want to swap, I do enjoy every second of my life, I may not show it but I have a full life. To some extent my work life is my family life, working alongside Kirsty with Jace at the studio too. But I don’t want them to feel the wrath of when things go wrong.
Working with Kirsty is fantastic and yes, as every couple do, we have our moments where she is at the front of the studio I’m in the back and there’s no talking for a time, especially as we are both so passionate about photography, trying to make sure the business works and fulfilling every clients needs. We both push ourselves to work over and beyond the odds to meet every expectation of every client we have, so when things don’t go right, which with so many clients it’s inevitable and the fact we are only human – you can’t please everyone. We take it very personally, something which seems to be right across the board with photographers. As much as you try to disconnect from the photograph it’s very difficult too.
Working together we tend to take it out on each other, and it’s not personal we both love each other to bits, but been the closet to someone in that situation is hard.
We both find it hard to switch off, yet Kirsty copes perfectly. It must be the multitasking woman thing. Although we both find it hard to switch off at home, we have been known to have a notepad by the side of the bed and wake each other up in the middle of the night with an idea or a thought of something that needs doing.
You see Kirsty sees things from a female perspective (obviously) and I see it from a male perspective (obviously too- I hope?), even down to the way we interpitate an image. This works well most of the time because we get every angle covered at weddings, Kirsty seeing one style while I see the other. But it can cause a lot of grief between us. Simply agreeing on images to put on the wall of the studio was hard enough and resulted in the now legendary back turn and walk in the opposite direction.
Now I for one wouldn’t be here in our new studio doing the work we are, without the help and support off Kirsty and her family. She has supported through thick and thin both at home and with the business. Something I always appreciate but don’t always show because I am too set in my ways running the business. Being a man I can only handle one thought process at once and at time I can see I don’t give Kirsty the thanks, praise and appreciation she deserves. I idealise her and Jace they are my family and my life. Been self employed is very difficult to comprehend at times. The constant pressure to create new business and money to support my family and my photography obsession. Juggling several things at once and still trying to be a father and loving partner.
I know at times I must neglect my duties as a father and partner, it’s certainly not something I do consciously but it must hurt the ones I love and treasure the most. I do feel sorry for them, but its only when someone point something out that I realise what I have done or said that’s upset them. It makes me feel bad that I have hurt the ones surround me.
I know some people will say you shouldn’t have wrote that, its unprofessional or you’re just arse licking, but to be brutally honest this is from the heart and I have no issues with people knowing I am human, I make mistakes, I get stressed, I get worried but most of all I’m ME!
Running your own business isn’t to be taken lightly, the stress and strain both mentally and physically on you and family is immense. But with Kirsty by my side we will continue to be at the opposite end of the studio and still manage to have a laugh, satisfy ALL our clients and produce some of the best photography we have ever done. Continuing to receive giant Gingerbread men and thank you cards from nearly all of our clients ( just a note if you are thinking of thanking us with a giant ginger bread man, you might want to supply three – I ate the last one as no one seems interested to eat it, but over roared that someone thought us to be that special to give us a gift – then I got shouted because it had all gone!!)
THANKS KIRSTY J