From my very first introduction to the work of Jessica and Jason from Session Nine Photographers, I was hooked like a kid on candy. And I know I’ve mentioned this many times before, but their photography just speaks to me…even though it’s completely different from my style. But liking all kinds of styles is one of the many beauties of art and one of the many reasons why I like it so much.
Anyhow, Jessica was kind enough to offer to guest post for me while I’m away…so without further interruption, here’s Jessica!
It has been my privilege to be able to work with my husband. It’s not always perfect or easy, but it IS always worth it. My name is Jessica Williams and I am one half of what is Session Nine Photographers. My husband and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona with our two little boys- one is four and one is two. We like to tell people that we have always been photographers. It’s always something we have been passionate about and liked to share in together. But we stepped out professionally ALMOST four years ago and started our business as wedding photographers. It has taken off in ways that has far surpassed our wildest expectations. We are so grateful and blessed to be able to do what we love, TOGETHER.
Image by Mike Olbinski
We get asked A LOT how we can balance our marriage, family, and our business without one straining the other. And the honest truth? It’s a lot of really hard work where we are constantly checking our priorities to try to maintain balance in all areas.
Married almost six years when we started our business in 2009, we thought we had each other figured out. But working together as business partners is an entirely different relationship that can really put a strain on your marriage if you’re not diligent. We wanted to become wedding photographers because we are passionate about marriage. Not only are we passionate about capturing every single detail of an amazing wedding day, but we are passionate about the marriage that takes place AFTER the wedding. So it was important to Jason and myself very early on in our business to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the fact that we are NOT just working business partners. We are husband and wife, and that relationship HAS to be held higher than all other things we are doing- including work.
So there are a few things we’ve learned already about how to successfully work together as a married couple without wanting to kill each other.
First is that Jason and I really, truly are best friends. We always have an awesome time together. We laugh together. And we keep our relationship young. We like to try new things together, meet new people together. We REALLY like each other! We have a lot common interests, talents and desires as the other. So we fit well. We get each other. And while there are some major differences in our personalities which can be tricky to navigate at times, we always find ourselves in the same mind set together. If we disagree or need to work something out, at the end of the day I know he has my back and I have his.
A big part of working together is learning how to communicate. We had to learn how to communicate together as business partners and to not let that effect our marriage relationship. It’s hard, we won’t lie. But we constantly have to remember that none of this is more important than our marriage together. Because without it, our whole life and family falls apart.
So we’ve had to learn how to communicate together in a way that still allows us to sort through any issues that might arise, move past any hurt feelings and make decisions together quickly that don’t result in either of us being bitter or resentful of one another.
A few key things we remember is to speak up if you don’t like something, listen to one another, communicate constantly throughout the day, and to end little annoyances before they become huge.
I think a lot of couples who work together get so bogged down with the stress of the job. I get that. Our job can be really stressful and we are really busy. On top of that, we have toddlers to tend to who demand all of our attention and who don’t care that our jobs are stressful. I can see how easy it would be to not have fun working together anymore and to let the stress of life creep in. I am constantly reminding myself of how incredibly lucky we are to be able to work together doing something that we love. We get to meet amazing people, make new life long friends and we are passionate about our work! And while it CAN be very stressful at times, we try not to lose sight of the fact that this is FUN. We love what we do. And not only that, but we have fun together! We had fun when we met and got engaged! Why does life have to stop being fun after you get married?
Yes, life is stressful and work definitely can get in the way. But we always try to remember why we started this business in the first place. And that we are so blessed to be able to work alongside one another doing what we love.
So no matter how hard it might get, we try to focus on a few things. We like to keep it light hearted, stay positive and think positive, set goals together, and laugh at any mistakes or bad ideas we might make or have. We make sure to have date nights, even if they’re just watching a movie in the living room after the boys to go bed. We actively decide not to talk about work sometimes. And we just choose joy, even in the stressful, bogged down, busy seasons. Because the truth is, I can’t imagine doing this life with anyone other than Jason. So there’s no sense in it not being fun together.
Cruz and Rider
The boys & family images by Mike Olbinski
I could seriously go on and on about this topic. There is so much more I could touch on about how we make it work together as a couple. But to sum it up, we KNOW how hard working together can be. Separating your work life and married life is really hard. The line between the two is really faint sometimes. But choosing joy and looking for the best in your spouse always, is the tip of the surface of how we make it work together. Because before our business was born, it was just the two of us. And after our business ends, in decades we hope, it will just be the two of us again. So we might as well make the journey between now and then amazing together. So we do! Hard or not, we are in this for the long haul together. We love each other, what we do, and can’t imagine it any other way.
Thanks Jessica for an awesome post and to all my readers, if you haven’t visited their website…please, go check out their photography, it’s artistic, fun and beautiful…just like Jessica & Jason! Session Nine Photographers