Partners & Realizations ~ Self-Employment ~ Lake Wedding Photographer

I finally went through and counted… since James started shooting with me back in December of 2010, we’ve shot 25 weddings together. In 2011 he shot a wedding every now and then when clients booked a package that included two photographers. In 2012, all of our packages include both of us (other than a la carte/hourly options) – so he’s been along next to me for every wedding this year until this past weekend. I realized when I was packing up the gear by myself for Sunday’s wedding – feeling strange that I didn’t have to pick out his outfit or tie his tie – that I haven’t shot without him in 18 weddings! 18 weddings in a row with my partner in life and business. I was loving it, and forgot what it was like to shoot without him.



So, naturally, it felt incredibly odd to be heading out to work by myself on Sunday. And if I’m being honest – it was pretty lonesome! I missed my husband. But it was more than that… I missed knowing he had my back, and was getting shots I might not have seen. I missed him making sure I was hydrated throughout the day, and bringing me a glass of tonic water during the reception to keep me going. I missed him shooting with the heavy lenses (the 70-200mm is his baby, definitely not mine – but I had to lug that bad boy around by myself Sunday – and wow – it is exhausting). I missed glancing at him during the vows – smiling to each other – remembering the vows we said three years ago. I missed the side comments he makes during portraits to get people relaxed and laughing. I missed being able to give him a look during the dances – and him knowing I needed new batteries for my flash. I missed having someone to test our reception lighting on… 🙂



I realized on Sunday, as I went about shooting this wedding by myself – that James has really become an integral part of Christy Tyler Photography. And while it is my name on the business, it really is OURS. This whole thing is just as much James as it is me. I love to see that the further into this year we have gotten, the more ownership he has taken in the business… brainstorming goals, ideas, and hopes for the future. I love seeing him interact with vendors at our weddings – making friends, and getting everybody’s cards. I love how he has a list of people he has to say goodbye to at the end of the day – people he has connected with & made friends with – parents of the couple, groomsmen, guests… it always blows me away! People gravitate towards him and I get why. (Clearly I did the same thing years ago when we first met.)



I probably don’t say any of this as often as I should… I don’t tell him how proud I am of him for all the improvements he’s made over the past year and a half. I don’t point out every one of the pictures he has taken in the blogs I post (trust me, there are a lot in there – too many to call out individually). I don’t tell him how I appreciate that he is professional, but relaxed & puts people at ease at the same time. I don’t tell him that I’m so blessed to be doing this with him week in and week out. I don’t tell him that while I’ve always loved shooting weddings… I love it even more when he is by my side.


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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!