STYLE / 59

do you work with your significant other? i recently started collaborating a lot more often on videos (here and here) and have noticed a couple things..

1. it’s awesome. i love looking across the room and getting caught off guard that he’s there. sometimes i even do a double take and think “oh, he’s cute!” and then realize it’s him. ha! it’s also really cool to come together, bounce ideas off of one another and create something.

2. but it can be hard. i notice myself getting snappier or more easily irritated than i would be to just another colleague. it’s easy to bring other issues (like me being terrible at picking up my clothes or him being constantly late) into the work day.

here are some outtakes of us shooting a style video for lucky magazine last week. (cannot wait to release it this month!)

i’ve always liked to keep my work and personal life a little more separate, but i’m learning how to make it all work. after all, we met on a job! one thing i know is that i am blessed to have his talent for this blog and enjoy watching him follow his dreams.

what are some tips you can give about working with your significant other? have you ever realized it maybe isn’t for the best? or is it easy for you?


Add your own

    Alison says:

    I have never worked with my husband and probably never will, we are in completely different fields. But, I dream of us working from home and being able to be together. I love bouncing ideas off of him because of his very different perspective.

    Tori says:

    I’ve worked with my boy for 6 years now. We have a little office away from home and have very firm no weekends in the office to try and get that personal and professional balance. But for us it’s somehow always been easy. Yeah we argue but we’re big on clearing up a problem say sorry and move on. Sometimes you need a little fresh air but most of the time we’re cool.

    It’s been tougher this year as we’ve faced a few challenges and some really full on working weeks. You can suddenly look at each other and forget that you’re married and in love – but at that point you just have to giggle and say hey and maybe book a holiday!

    I think if you can work with one another there isn’t anything more great. Everything we’ve got we’ve worked for together – and I’ve loved it!

    my boyfriend and i are both artists working in clay. i love his approach to the material because its so different than my own! sometimes it is easier to snap and get frustrated, but in the end he pushes me to work harder and to experiment in ways i never would have otherwise. i love collaborating with him!

    Natalie says:

    It’s definitely a challenge; I find myself more quickly irritated. We are sensitive of our speech & keep constructive criticism to a minimum. Eating lunch side by side feels like a fun, kindergarten recess, as we choose to spend time alone on a curb near our cars- elbow to elbow. Many stares, but we love that time to breathe & relax.

    My boyfriend and I have been photographing together a lot more recently, and the dynamic is great so far. When we’re working on a shoot, we’re in a zone where we are both focused on the same goal, and so whatever personal issues or annoyances may come up are secondary to trying to create great work in that moment. Since we both get a little nervous during shoots, working together has actually been a great source of comfort since we end up in this “we’re in this together” mentality, and throughout the course of the shoot we’ll check up and each other and maybe give some quick feedback. You gotta trust each other to do a good job. At the end of the day, I look at his photographs and they’re so wonderful that it always pushes me to be better, and that’s the best part of it all, the support and trust. Look at working together as an adventure, where you’re always learning new techniques, but also discovering new dimensions in your partner, which is important when you’re together for a long time 🙂

    Heather says:

    Hubster and I work together on our photography business. It’s his full time gig and I still have a 9-to-5. People always tell me to make sure we make time for ourselves outside the job, but I find we get a lot done (especially dreaming/planning for the future) after we’ve had a glass of wine on the weekend. So my advice is to find what works best for you! If it means leaving work at the office, that’s fine, but be open to other arrangements 🙂

    Mariah says:

    My husband and I work together ALL THE TIME. We do all kinds of media production freelance as well as wedding photography, so if we are not on site, we are in our home. I mostly love it, and when we don’t have a meeting to distract us and we need some space, one of us will head out for errands or work from a local coffee shop. It’s been a really good fit for us. We both push each other creatively, and I know we wouldn’t have the confidence to go for it without the other. I feel super blessed we get to do this.

    Laina says:

    I’m lucky to be in a relationship with a creative guy for the first time ever. I’m blown away every day by how well he understands my concepts and how supportive and motivating he is in helping me follow my creative dreams. It’s been incredible having him around for photoshoots and troubleshooting during the development stages of my business. Nevertheless, it’s not all wine and roses. I agree with you, Bre, I find myself much more snippy and irritable, which I usually follow up with immediate guilt. At the end of the day, I just remember where I once was and who I once dated and thank my lucky stars that my guy is who he is and that we’ve chosen eachother!

    Melisande says:

    my boyfriend and i met in the restaurant we both still work at, almost 3 years ago. i do notice that i talk to him differently than i talk to other coworkers (obviously) and sometimes i don’t like that. so, we limit our shifts together and only work together once or twice a week. there’s a part of me that can’t imagine NOT working with him, but sometimes a small part of me looks forward to that day.

    Ciara says:

    My boyfriend and I are both graphic designers. After our day jobs, we often come home to our design studio and work side by side. We don’t usually work on the same projects, but it is wonderful to have someone I love to bounce ideas with. I’m always asking him about typefaces and he’s always asking me about illustration. Just how I like it!

    amy says:

    I love this! You and Arian are so cute together! I also met my boyfriend at work six years ago, and we’ve actually worked together at other different places since then. A lot of people seem to think it’s odd, and ask “how can you stand being around each other that much?!” but I love it. He’s my best friend, and I thoroughly enjoy his company. He’s in music, so it complements my being a graphic designer in that we are both in creative fields and think similarly. Plus, I get to listen to him work on music while I’m designing, which is fun. That’s NOT to say that there aren’t times where we drive each other crazy or get snappy with each other though. Because that definitely happens! It’s good to make sure you have plenty of time with girlfriends or just alone time to balance all that togetherness out. 😉

    nikki mata says:

    Hey Bri!

    Since you’ve provided so many great tips for freelance designers, check out my posting. Anyone is welcome to join the discussion for tips on working from hom:)


    Clara says:

    Hi Bri- great post! I love hearing this topic discussed. I can definitely relate to being snappier! Last year my boyfriend and I came up with a business concept and applied to Techstars. We got pretty far along in the process and it was really exciting, but it also made me realize how I work so much differently with him than say another colleague. I would never let myself be so whiney to someone else! You just realize you have to be more conscious of these things when you’re working with your significant other, but I also think it can be an amazing bonding process. It definitely brought us closer and makes us excited to work on things together in the future.

    Laura says:

    My husband and I work together all the time, even on projects that don’t need us both! We love it. He has an insane attention to detail, and I’m a big picture person, so the balance is great. My fondest wish for my business is for it to become sucessful enough to support us both.

    Victoria says:

    Speaking from experience, I would not choose to work with a significant other or get involved with anyone from work ever again. Breaking up and then having to see them every. single. day afterward is the most awkward thing ever

    Leigh says:

    Oh I know how it is to work with people close to you! For one of my jobs, I work for my Dad and Uncle, and next to my fiance. And for my other job, my Mom and I worked together to open a Pilates studio. Yeah… It’s family all around. I do get snappy sometimes, but I love it. There are so many advantages of working with people who know you best and care for you. Plus you can joke around and wear Pilates clothes all day 🙂

    Liz says:

    I can totally relate to both the pro and cons you mentioned about working with your S/O. My {now ex} boyfriend and I started a web + graphic design studio together and although it could be rewarding and awesome creating something with the person you love, it was also easy to get snappy like you said or your feelings hurt when you presented an idea or concept and he didn’t necessarily like it. I would take his criticism more personally than I would if he was just another colleague {if that makes sense}. But every couple is different and who’s to say you and your beau won’t be a match made in collaboration heaven as well. Good luck! xo

    Kim says:

    I met my fiance at work three years ago and initially we worked on different clients (we’re in advertising) but six months ago we got transferred to Switzerland and are now working on not only the same client, but on the same team (of six people).

    The best thing about working with my significant other is that (and this may sound totally silly) it makes me work the hardest I possibly can because I want him to be proud of me. I think the reverse is true as well.

    Also getting to eat lunch together. That’s pretty great too 🙂

    I have zero experience, but I imagine that would be the ideal situation. If you know how and when to keep your distance, why not spend creative time with your honey?

    Ashley says:

    Love it and hate it 🙂 We have been working together for almost 5 years now. We are so incredibly different (exact opposites) that we disagree on EVERYTHING. We always tell our employees to expect a little bit of disagreetment because we “value the debate” (not much has changed since highschool :)). What works really well for us is having completely closed systems. That way we aren’t looking over each others shoulders and we play to our strengths.

    erica says:

    Oh gosh my boyfriend and I just recently started working together more for my blog. He takes my outfit photos most of the time…I’m glad that it’s introduced him into photography a bit more. He loves it now. One time we tried to choreograph a dance routine together and that just didn’t work out. He likes to make up on the spot, I like to be prepared. It wouldn’t have been a happy ending so I had to take myself out before I got too irritated. So glad working on the blog together is nothing like that experience.

    xo erica

    My husband and I both worked as teachers at the same school last year. While it was more challenging at first being around each other 24/7 we grew to like it. We could talk about certain students or stories and the other person would now exactly what they were talking about. Or if we got in a fight at school (awkward!) there were always the passed apology notes in the hallway to look forward to.

    Ronnie says:

    Just want to say Bri – you look gorgeous and I can’t wait to see the video. 🙂
    I think it’s so awesome as well that you have Arian to produce sure beautiful videos for you.
    Ronnie xo

    As a jewelry designer lacking the head space to photograph the collection, I reply on my trusty boyfriend in this department. I am a micro-manager to a fault and would often boss him and give major direction when he was shooting. He’ll get upset, and I’ll justify it being because I want to control the pictures look. This doesn’t happen anymore….WE had a talk and I’ve realized that my LOVE knows my vision to a T, knows how I like the jewelry to look in the shots and I have learned to literally just step away from him while he is shooting and trust that he will do his thing and make me happy with the pictures….he always does, because the jewelry pics ALWAYS come out great!!!Problem Solved, and now we work together perfectly!

    Karla says:

    My husband and I are both product designers, and we recently renovated our house. I think we argued over 70% of the decisions and it was a nightmare!! By the end of the year (i know- a year of construction) we realized we can take on pretty much anything and be more than ok, even if I am crying over a lighting fixture 🙂 We’ve only been married three years, but I feel like we have more practice compromising now than we would have had after 20 if we hadn’t done it! Live and learn!

    Marta says:

    Very nice blog. I’m glad I’ve found it.

    I feel like you two are just the cutest. It’s very special when significant others work well together. Logan and I love each other, but we’re both so stubborn that I’m sure it wouldn’t end well. 😉

    Erin Rivera says:

    Me and my boyfriend started a creative production site where we both collaborate on film and photographs. What started as a hobby for the both of us has turned into a business full of passion and daily inspiration. I believe it’s been the best thing for our relationship. It’s amazing to find someone who inspires you on a daily basis and someone who you love and care for so much. I truly feel our love for film and photography has blossomed our relationship into a deeper love. Together we not only inspire each other but we understand each other on a artistic level that makes loving him more passionate and fun. A hobby turned business but always full of pleasure is how we like to think of it! It’s the best of both worlds. Love this post and love what you created here Bri with Designlovefest! Would love to collaborate with you one day!

    Abigail says:

    my fiance and i have a pretty fun balance – he is a guitarist/leather craftsman and i’m a graphic designer/photographer, so I can bounce things off of him because he’s got the art bone in his body! 🙂

    it’s so fun to be able to work side by side, although it’s nice to get out of the house and go work at a coffeeshop at times. what i really love is the spontaneity we can have – if we have a creative idea, we can take a few hours and put it together and make the day into a great memory.

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