This has been a year of ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ at the studio. We were hired to shoot our first national ad campaign and photographed our last wedding. We hired our first studio manager and fired our last intern. We were even given our first goat head and threw out our last bottle of Old Grand-Dad whiskey. Ever. Disgusting.
This is one of the easiest and most fun, yet the hardest and most frustrating jobs I’ve ever had. Remember that roommate in college that you loved living with but you couldn’t get him to do his own dishes? He partied with you, dreamt with you, laughed and even cried with you? Now imagine going to work with two of ‘that dude’ every day. Dave has been one of my closest friends for a long time and it’s hard to believe that we’ve now been working together for four years. This year we added Adam to this strange hobby/work situation. Adam and I lived together for a year before I got married and “settled down” and he too has been a very close friend for a long time. It’s hard to take our jobs too seriously with farting competitions, stupid impersonations, our own dumb make-believe characters we play out and the constant one-upping that is our Youtube video sharing. Did I mention we have an important time of the day called “Beer-Thirty”.. which is actually some time between 3:45pm and 4:15pm depending on e-mails, phone calls or photos we have to catch up on? In the middle of this chaotic mix is an unsung hero; Melanie Jackson. She keeps our business financially responsible and our priorities straight, but don’t let her fool you; She can hang with the best of them and rival most truckers when it comes to a foul mouth.
Yep, not much to complain about here in little ‘ole Appleton, WI. We’ve had some of the best clients and experiences to date in 2012!! We’ve traveled up and down this country of ours in planes, trains and yes, automobiles.. We’ve met some more-than interesting characters and created some amazing friendships. The work itself seems insignificant compared to the people we’ve been introduced to and we’re all excited for 2013 to make even more new friends. Can we really call this work? Don’t get me wrong, we work our asses off and spend countless days staring at computers and countless hours sitting in hotel rooms missing our families. Hell, you can ask Adam how much “fun” he has cleaning the studio or haulin’ gear. Or ask Dave about the exhilarating nights working and re-working (and re-working) photos for clients. I personally have had a complete blast estimating and filling out contracts, finding the one model whose cost is within your budget.. but needs to look like ‘that’ guy on ‘that’ magazine cover whose socks cost more money than your company makes in a year. But are we actually “working”? We spend everyday with our best friends doing something we love and there’s nothing in the world that can beat that.
Of course, we have to thank our families who stick with us and listen to us bitch and complain about our “jobs” and don’t say a word. My wife Amy has been amazing with our schedules and our temper tantrums and I don’t know how I could do any of this without her this past year. Annette, Adam’s wife, is new to our family this year (God help her) and has quickly become one of the family. And of course all of Dave and Mel’s three girls who run around and color all over our studio; Tobin, Zoee & Eden of which it’s been an absolute pleasure watching grow up over these last few years.
Lastly, I can’t forget to mention the amazing crew we’ve gotten to work with on a regular basis this year: Jai, Tobin, Jillian & Mark. You guys freakin’ rock!
To everyone else, thank you for supporting us this past year whether it be by hiring us, assisting us in some way or another, coming to a workshop, commenting on our blog or just being a friend to us. You guys allow us to party on a regular basis, feed the bar in our studio, pay for us to travel the country and overall continue to keep us making a living by acting like complete children.
In closing, we’ve put together a clip of several moments throughout 2012 that just so happened to get caught on video. We hope you enjoy and we lift our glasses to you and to 2013.