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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
So let's build that business one blog post at a time.
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One of the questions y’all came up with when I surveyed for content was:
What’s it like working with your spouse?
I love this question. As many of you know, Caleb was my second shooter for my first two (well, three, but…COVID) wedding seasons until we moved to Kentucky. Now, I know some couples that work together and hate it! But honestly, working with Caleb really is great. I have found that being put in the work setting has made me better communicate with him. He anticipates my needs before I have them. For example, I got spoiled by coming to a reception space and having my flashes set up…or my details bag was already taken to the car when I was done with it, which is something I always forget to do.
He no longer second shoots with me, but when the venue was in full motion we did “work” together. And in some capacities we still do as we run the Airbnb together. But that wasn’t quite as seamless. I am guessing because we were working on big, long-term goals (like marketing and landscaping) as opposed to simple, quick actions (like setting up flashes). So I finally broke down and admitted I needed help…I didn’t know how to “assign” him tasks that he could do though because they were all jumbled in my head. It was just a running to do list that seemed like nothing ever got crossed off, but was multiplying exponentially.
Fast forward to the good part where he came up with a solution for us:
He suggested I do a total brain dump, and he would do the same. We wrote down literally everything we needed to do and separated all of those tasks into three categories: Personal, The Commonwealth, and ARHP.
After that, he made me assign a “due date” to when a certain task needed to be done. Those due dates turned into priorities, so that we could determine what to focus on first.
Then we broke it down into weekly assignments–items I needed to accomplish, items he needed to accomplish, and items we needed to work together to accomplish.
Miraculously, I felt a wave of relief. One, because he knew what I was “up against.” It wasn’t just me against the world anymore. And, therefore, I felt more appreciated because he knew what I was doing on a daily basis. Two, because he could help me. There were items that needed to be completed that I fooled myself into believing I was the only one that could do them. That wasn’t true. So suddenly, he was calling contractors to get quotes and I was like, “Wow, this is great!”
We now have [almost] weekly meetings where we update “the board” and color code the items that we have to do individually versus the items we need to work on together. I write his items in my planner and follow up with him on the day it is supposed to be completed.
It seems formal, but it really does work…even for things outside of business matters. For example, he has needed to submit additional paperwork for his VA claim. We added that to the “Personal” list, assign it a day that he is going to call, and then I follow up with him the assigned day to see if it’s complete. At the next meeting, we update appropriately by either removing the item from the list or assigning it a new due date.
There’s a lot of grace giving involved, but it works for us! So to conclude–we like working together, but it’s been an adjustment as we hone in how we both communicate best!
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