It’s time for our next edition of “Ones to Watch,” and this month there was absolutely no question who it should be. They are a couple who is near & dear to my heart. Partly because they used to be part of our CT crew, partly because you never see either of them without a smile on their face, but mostly because they are out there doing what they love and taking this photography world by storm. It has been just a year since they moved to a brand new market in Atlanta and purchased scobeyphotography.com, and already they are booking up their entire calendar and being named to a lil’ list you just may have heard of: JuneBug Wedding’s Best of the Best. In. One. Year. Holy wow. I am so proud of these two I could just pop. Confetti and all. And there is not a question in my mind, that they’re just getting started. And that’s what makes Ashley & Graham (affectionately known around these parts as The Scobey’s) most definitely….
Ones to Watch! (Love you guys!!)
PS: I dare you guys to click over and spend 30 second on their site and not fall as much in love with them as I am!
1. You guys just started a business (in a brand new market) AND a family….how do you find time to balance it all?
This is a daily battle for us… and something that we are slowly but surely getting better at. We’ve learned that we have to be extremely organized in the way we plan our work week, and it helps to have a to-the-minute weekly schedule. Every Wednesday, no matter what, is family day. We pack a picnic, leave our phones at home, and go hang out at the park. Monday is daddy-daughter day and Friday is mommy-daughter day. We still catch ourselves answering e-mails and working late into the night, but hey, it’s a work in progress.
2. No seriously, what are the secrets to running a business while having kids. Any words of wisdom for those of us who don’t have them? :)
We have a chalkboard and coloring table in our studio for when Evie gets home from school :) Also, we have the most supportive families in the entire world. They are 110% behind our dream and vision, and we couldn’t survive without their amazing help and love. There is no easy way to run a business with a little one running around, but we think it is absolutely the most rewarding thing in the world.
3. How is it working as a husband and wife team together? What do you guys do to keep your marriage first? And hot & spicy?
So, we need to preface this answer by saying two things: Graham and I have been together since Middle School. Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture :)
So we have been in each others’ lives for a long time. Second: we are complete, polar opposites. I am an ESTJ, and Graham is an INFP (yes I did just get all psychological up in here!), so we disagree on juuuuust about everything from what color ribbon we should use to how to price our prints. But it’s cool… because, without each other, things just wouldn’t work. I would constantly be dreaming big dreams, too terrified to speak them out loud and take the risk of failing, and Graham would never know where his wallet was.
We’ve learned that disagreements are totally OK. Good, even… so long as we handle them the right way. We try to remind ourselves that we are on the same team. There is no Scobey Photography without Graham and Ashley loving each other, so we give our marriage the time and attention it deserves. We take time out to be goofy together; no work-week is complete without an impromptu dance party. We talk about our goals (probably exhaustively) and we figure out ways to work towards them together. Throughout the past 13 years we have learned that anything we could do separately, we do much better together.
Hot and Spicy have never been words that other people would use to describe us. We have tickle-fights, and do the running man. But, to us, the running man is hot… and spicy. We commit to spending time together: no work-talk allowed. We go running, rock climbing and we play catch with our puppy. We also really like to cook together. We hate hiring a sitter since we travel so much, so our date nights usually take place at our dining room table, glass of wine in hand as Evie snoozes upstairs in her crib.
4. You guys have only been in business about a year and already you have burst on to the scene, most recently winning JuneBug’s Best of the Best in Wedding Photography. Any tips for someone just getting started on how to get their name out there?
Be diligent. Know where you want to go and figure out how to get there. Wedding Photography is such an amazing job, and we get to see a lot of love and glitter and unicorns, but it also takes business sense and hard work to get a studio off the ground. The people who we look up to didn’t get to where they are because of luck – they got there because they were smart; they buckled down and got the job done (glitter and unicorns notwithstanding). So, brass tax?
– Establish your referral base: reach out to other photographers, planners, friends and family members. Make sure that they know who you are and what you do, and then establish a genuine relationship with them.
– Put your work out there: You may have just shot the most epically beautiful wedding in the history of all man and alien kind… but no one will ever know about it unless you show them. Blog about it. Facebook it. Then, for good measure, Tweet about it. And, for heaven’s sake, get it published. If you learn how to successfully utilize all of the beautiful wedding blogs and magazines out there, you will never have to pay a dime in advertising. Ever. Pinky swear.
– Feed yourself: Carve out space to live and breath. Spend time seeking inspiration. Create personal goals and have fun. This looks different for everyone. For me, it’s reading a good book and going to bed early. For Graham, it’s watching documentaries or taking Evie to the park.
– Do something good with your talent: We truly believe that this world is a beautiful place full of a lot of opportunity to do good. Find somewhere to volunteer your photography – there are many wonderful organizations that can help you with this. http://help-portrait.com/ and http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ …just to name a couple.
5. Alright, putting it all on the table. Pie in the sky, as big as you can dream…..where do you want to be 5 years from now? Wow me. :)
Oh gosh… ok. Sometimes you have to breathe a little before saying these things out loud… so I’m gonna take a little breathing break. Ok, I’m back. In five years we want to have spoken at WPPI. We want to publish a book that documents the lives of the world’s greatest do-gooders. We want to have been named on Pop Photo’s list of Top Ten Wedding Photographers. We want to have found that ever-elusive balance between the work you love and the rest of your life. And, if Kristin Chenoweth gets married in the next five years, I’ll be on that wedding like white on rice (Kristin, if you’re reading this, call me).
Life has such an incredible way of surprising us for the better, though, so we’ll see :)