As you may know Juliette and I met in photography school in Paris in 2009 and we've never left each other since. And we now have two businesses together. Our friendship is strong and based on communication and trust. She is the cheese on my pasta and I am the sugar in her coffee… We complete each other.
Surprisingly, being both photographers has never been an issue in our friendship. Probably because we have rules that were set up naturally and we never break them.
Here are the secrets for a healthy relationship with people you love and who are in the same field as you are:
Don’t sell your service to your friend’s contact
I will say this is the most important rule we have. Juliette and I have some friends in common but also our own ones and we never consider them as potential clients, without each other's approval.
A year ago one of Juliette’s friend contacted me to ask if I could give him a quote for portrait photography to promote his new music band. My ego was at a top level and it was of course a great opportunity to make money and develop my portfolio. But I would have never accepted it without talking to Juliette about it and see if she is ok with that, regarding the fact that he was a friend of hers. Of course she didn’t mind because as an artist you have to understand that sometimes people would prefer to go with another style than yours.
Think of your friend for a job you can’t do
If a client requires your services but for some reasons you are not available, always think about your friend. With Juliette we know each other professionalism & talent, and if one of us can’t take a photography job, we always ask the other if she can take it, even if we know plenty of other photographers.
We also try to give each other work by selling each other as a second shooter or assistant on different photoshoots.
Avoid jealousy to avoid competition
Sometime when I talk about my relationship with Juliette it seems to be all pink, happy and easy but we are both human and like every human, we can have negative emotions coming up to the surface. Truth is: it can be difficult to stay out the competition state of mind wehn your friend does the same job as you. Don’t let bitterness develops: don’t be jealous of your friend’ success, instead be happy and learn from it. Work on your own goals and if you are missing some knowledge on a topic to go further, don’t feel ashamed or stupid to ask people around you for some help.
If you let frustration growing in you, it will destroy everything in your life, starting with your relationship with others.
Being friend with another photographer is also lots of fun and the opportunity to create and work together on different shoots. We know how being a photographer can be tough sometimes, so we support each other and can complain about the same difficulties (we know that you know french people love to complain!)
We have been close friends for the past 8 years and of course having lots in common helps a lot, but there are no magical tricks. Like everything else if you want it to be successful, you need to work hard. Juliette and I have spent a lot of time together, we are there for each other even in the worst moments, we talked about everything, even when it's bad.
Now go hug your friends and built a stronger relationship with them!
Fanny & Juliette