In this episode of Oh Shoot! your host Cassidy Lynne (@cassidylynne) and her husband Charlie, talk about what it’s like working together full-time, the challenges they face, and how you can ease your partner into working with you. For this episode, Charlie and Cassidy are answering both personal and photography questions from a questions box Cassidy put on her Instagram Stories.
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What does Charlie do?
Charlie does landscaping with one of his friends and he also shoots alongside Cassidy. He’s also been working on renovating their house lately. So sometimes he’s in full renovation mode. Sometimes he’s in full photographer mode. Charlie’s like a chameleon when it comes to what he does. He says he does his best to be everybody’s right-hand man. It’s a role he’s accepted and he tries to do it well.
How did Charlie & Cassidy meet?
Cassidy and Charlie met at the beginning of high school. Charlie started going to a small church with his cousins nearby where his family was living at the time. Cassidy’s family were long-time members of this church, so she and Charlie met in the high school program there when they were 14. They started as friends and got to know each other through church and served on a leadership team together. They started dating later on when they were 16 and got married when they were 21 and 22.
What is the hardest part of working together? How do you overcome it?
Charlie says there hasn’t been a level of deal breaker challenging things. He’s super thankful for Cassidy and how good she is at being patient and kind in the way she communicates when it comes to working. Sometimes he gets an idea in his head while shooting whether that’s related to the ceremony and where he needs to be positioned or just in the communicating of positioning for the types of shots he wants to get as the second perspective on the day. Those are the moments where conflict pops up, but there aren’t really any huge challenges when it comes to working together.
Cassidy says that sure they run into conflict just because they are married and have a relationship outside of working with each other so it’s a little bit different in a good way. They might have slight disagreements, but they know it’s literally someone’s wedding day. Even if they are mad at each other or butting heads they’re going to put their best face on and forget about it. It probably doesn’t really matter and they’re here to serve someone else and not worry about their own problems. For Cassidy, it’s not the actual wedding day that’s hard. It’s the at-home work that is tricky and can be a fine line between being the boss or being the wife. Flipping the boss switch on and off can be challenging and more often than not she’d rather be the nice wife than the mean boss.
Charlie says it goes back to him embracing being everybody’s right-hand man and that’s how it goes with work projects. If he’s not the one leading then he’s going to show up and do whatever he needs to do. His mindset is “How can I help you best to make this go as smoothly as possible?” With that mindset going into the wedding day, he feels like it alleviates a lot of the tension because he isn’t focused on anything he’s trying to get out of it. Both of them are trying to capture someone’s day as professionally as possible and they’re going to take care of business.
How did Cassidy and Charlie Start Working Together
Cassidy says there wasn’t an actual moment where they were like, “Yeah we’re gonna do this full time with each other.” From the beginning, it wasn’t their goal or intention at all. The one thing that stands out to her is that on his own Charlie bought his own camera and said he was going to help her with shooting.
Charlie says it was at a point in 2018 when Cassidy had a wedding coming up in the spring that she needed a second photographer for. They had begun the conversation of whether or not he could be the right person to join her. Charlie had done some photography in the past in a digital art studio and he was interested in art and photography prior to Cassidy being a photographer. As he saw Cassidy’s business growing, he decided that if there were opportunities for him to help her then he was going to do that. He started researching what camera he would want to use and went from there. He bought a Sony a7 III and bought an 85mm 1.8 Sony lens and that was his entry to helping Cassidy with second shooting.
Cassidy doesn’t remember training Charlie all that much. During the very first wedding Charlie photographed with Cassidy, she was basically telling him all the camera settings he needed. At the time Charlie wasn’t going off and photographing groomsmen on his own or anything like that. He was so good when he started and really picked it up on his own. Cassidy has seen him grow from every single wedding and it’s really cool!
P.S. Charlie and Cassidy did a camera gear podcast episode on DSLR vs. mirrorless cameras here!
What is Charlie’s favorite and least favorite thing about being Cassidy’s second photographer?
Charlie says that it’s Cassidy’s vision and the way she is so talented and able to communicate her vision to her couples. He loves seeing Cassidy take people that may not be comfortable having their photos taken, and create an atmosphere where they feel like themselves and are able to just be with each other and have a good time. The places they’ve been, the different weddings they’ve photographed, and the connections they’ve made have been incredible. Above all of that, it’s been fun to be a part of people’s special moments and Charlie really thrives off getting to know people at the wedding. The best part is being there to help people’s days go smoothly and enjoying it with them. So Charlie’s favorite thing about working with Cassidy is the combination of her vision, her communication with people, and the connections and doors that have been opened because of her.
Charlie’s least favorite thing about working with Cassidy on wedding days is they tend to not have enough time to eat before the wedding day begins. There will be times when it’s a 1 p.m. start time and they won’t have enough time to eat before and so they’re waiting until dinner is served later that night. Cassidy says, if the start time is at 11 or 12, it doesn’t make sense to eat again if they ate breakfast at 10. Cassidy was also going to say her least favorite thing about Charlie on wedding days is his need for food always! This isn’t just on wedding days, but Charlie always wants a snack or to sit down for his 3 full meals.
So it’s something Cassidy says they need to work on prioritizing food more when it comes to wedding days and balance each other out.
Does Charlie feel like he’s had to sacrifice his own dreams in any way to support Cassidy?
Charlie says, “Long story short, yes, but not with a negative connotation. I think in any good relationship you are going to find yourself reaching compromises along every stage of the process as you learn to grow with each other in trying to support one another better.” There will be stages where one of you or potentially both of you have to give up on an idea of what something may have looked like in order to help the other person move forward with what they’re trying to do. It’s not a bad thing. Going back to what Charlie said earlier, one of his favorite things about shooting with Cassidy is the doors it’s opened up and the people they get to meet. There are things he’s sacrificed along the way, but he doesn’t think they’ve been a detriment. Instead, it’s only been a benefit to the both of them. He knows that in the right season and at the right time that Cassidy would do the same thing for him in whatever he was pursuing.
Cassidy says that in any healthy relationship there is compromise and sacrifice on both ends. In the end, they’re a team and there are ways that both of them have made compromises and sacrifices.
How to integrate your partner into your business
It seems like the dream to have your partner work with you, whether they’re photographing with you or they’re helping you on the back end with certain things. With jobs you give your partner, it varies based on what their strengths are. Cassidy tries to delegate things to Charlie that she thinks he’d be good at and are also things that take up a lot of her time. For Charlie, obviously, second shooting is a strong suit. Sometimes Charlie does culling, creates social media posts, and edits podcast episodes. For a few recent Friday photo critiques on Instagram, Charlies has selected the photos for Cassidy to critique. Otherwise, at home, Charlie does stuff occasionally for Cassidy during the week, but there hasn’t been a long extended period of time where he’s only worked for her.
It’s going to look different based on your business and finding whatever your partner is good at. Sometimes they’re really good with office and administrative work or finances. It just depends!
Charlie has a background in music, so he enjoys helping with podcast things like audio profiling and setting up the audio. Everybody has their own experience and background, so there’s likely a way to make yourself valuable to what your partner is doing in their business. Get creative and be willing to put in the work wherever it’s needed!
Cassidy’s reminder to the business owner is to remember that when you’re trying to get your partner involved you’ll have to actually sit them down and train them. Have patience and remember it may take them a little bit to catch on! Even with photographing weddings, go through your second photographer’s photos with them. Point out the photos that they did a great job on and how to improve other shots. For Charlie, he was struggling with not giving Cassidy enough room in photos to crop and make adjustments. Once Cassidy showed him examples of his photos and how she needed more room to work with, he was able to reframe how he was taking photos so she had more space in the editing.
How do you keep from burning out during the busy season of photographing weddings?
For Cassidy, a huge thing is taking time off. Obviously, if you have a deadline and have things due then you need to do what you have to do. Otherwise, one example is that Cassidy has a session that evening, so she didn’t start work until later at 10 instead of 8. Or knowing that she is working over the weekend, so she’s going to take Monday off. Even though you are your own boss, you have to take time off and it’s important to take time for yourself. Also, make sure to take time to do things you love so that you are actually refreshed from your time off.
Charlie is super active and extroverted, so for him getting out and playing in different sports leagues is what he loves to do. It’s physically exhausting, but emotionally refreshing for him to get out and hang out with people. Aside from her walks and pickleball, Cassidy definitely likes to stay in more than Charlie or prefers to hang out with people really close to her.
Thanks Charlie for coming on the podcast!
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