We get asked this a lot, in one variation or another. How long have you been working together? How long have you known each other? Did you come out of the womb together?
Well, you've opened a can of worms... here goes!
The Quick Story
- No, we are not related
- We each had independent businesses before L & E began
- We met at Greater Rochester Professional Photographers (GRPP) in 2009
- We worked our first wedding together in 2010
- Began planning the partnership in 2012
- Officially signed the papers and became Lori & Erin Photography in 2013
- Phased out the original businesses in favor of building one together
- Now we live|eat|breathe Lori and Erin Photography!
The Long Story
It was a dark and stormy night... just kidding, I don't remember what the weather was. What I do remember was standing in the back of a large room filled with photographers at a GRPP meeting, when this new girl introduces herself as a graphic designer/photographer who works in the printing industry.
I did a double take as she spoke... is this girl for real? She was describing me. My first job out of college was working for a print company while I built my design/photography business on the side. Immediately after the meeting, I introduced myself. She was there with her husband, so I met Matt as well.
Who knew I was meeting my best friend? I don't think either of us did.
We got to know each other through meetings and conferences, and eventually starting shooting for each other. I'm not sure how else to say it, but we just clicked. (Ba dum, dum - symbol crash)
As friends, photographers and human beings, we wanted many of the same things. We both wanted to switch from doing photography on the side, to making it our full time career. We liked working with people and capturing relationships. We even had a similar shooting style.
I made the leap first, and eventually, Erin left her 9-5 as well. The first time a partnership was mentioned it was probably in jest. "Oh wouldn't that be nice."
But then, separately, we started to think it wasn't so crazy. What if...
What if we could make it work?
What if we could support each other?
What if we could share expenses?
What if we could offer consistency to our clients?
What if we could... succeed?
It took nearly a full year to design the new business. We talked everything through. Who would do what tasks? How would we pay ourselves? Who would be responsible for various things? Who would switch their brand of gear... oh that could be its own post!
By January 2013, we felt confident in ourselves and each other, and we jumped. We pooled our knowledge and resources and began opening new doors.
Three years later, I still feel it was the right move.
We push each other to be better as people, as creatives, and as business owners.
We are able to remain best friends - perhaps because of the business. Or perhaps because we respect and accept each other, quirks and all.
Well, there you have it. Was it what you thought? Do you think we are crazy? Or, are you glad we met? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for being here,