Chad + Tressie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We both grew up with a love for the arts. For the majority of his life Chad has lived and breathed music and has discovered his pulse is strongest when he is able to create. Coding, baking, or building, he sincerely loves to make things. Tressie loves all forms of dance, is always thinking about design, and feels more at home on a horse than most other places. As a couple we prefer movies and museums over sports. Currently our free time is most happily occupied by loving and playing with our three children and crafting the perfect cocktail.
We started Two Pair photography after enduring nursing school and realizing that actually wasn’t what we wanted to do. It was 2008, the economy was having a rough time, and becoming a nurse made the most sense on paper. We had spent a lot of time during nursing school taking photos of friends as a creative outlet, but never really considered it to be a career. We took our small DSLR camera around with us everywhere and learned as we went. When some of our best friends confided in us about not loving their engagement photos, we offered to go out and take some for them. I don’t know if it was the patient care classes in nursing school, but we found it easy to make people feel comfortable in front of our lens. Looking back we had no clue what we were doing, but we knew it was fun. After a year of honing in on our style we were faced with a choice. Do we become nurses or do we go to parties for a living? We threw a Hail Mary pass (yeah, that’s a sports reference… we’re not animals), as our 21 year old brains decided freelance wedding photographers would be it.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We’re 100% self-taught, so there are obvious differences in the learning curve than if we had learned photography/cameras/business under someone else. Although, that is something we see as a benefit now. We have our own voice and a lot of experience to validate why it’s always a good idea to be true to yourself.
Probably the most difficult thing we face is something we call business socks. We’re not comfortable having to put our business socks on. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes there is a weird intersection where being a business, being a couple with a family, and having a heart for all humans forces us to make a choice that is hard. It’s taken a long time, but we’ve learned kindness goes so far in all aspects of life, not just business. Always be kind, y’all. Even when it’s hard, be kind.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Two Pair Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
Two Pair Photography is us, so I guess this is where we talk about ourselves? Sure.*wink*
We are Chad + Tressie, a husband and wife team that started Two Pair Photography 12 years ago. We are high school sweethearts. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We operate on a glass half full mentality for life and sometimes that means we ignore the rules. We have 3 kiddos and happily spend most of our free time with them.
We shot ten weddings our first year in business, 35 the next, and we’ve shot 50+ every year since then. We’ve become addicts to love. Being the eyes for one of the most beautiful events in the lives of two people, and all of the souls that journey intersects, well… it’s always our greatest honor.
12 years has lended us the opportunity to capture stories about love over 500 times, on almost every continent, in 36 states, 8 different religions, and sometimes the same bride and/or groom twice. Ha! It’s been the raddest journey of all time.
We’ve recently added some amazing associate photographers into our Two Pair family and right now we’re trying to not creep them out with how much we love them.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We started our business in a recession. So I, Tressie, think luck for sure played a part. I constantly feel lucky that we are able to do something we absolutely love doing.
Bonus, we get to do it together. Bonus, there is typically cake.
We’ve met so many incredible and tremendously inspiring people in our life’s journey. The family we were born into and the family we’ve made along the way has shaped us in ways we are forever grateful for. Luck, God, passion, and kindness have paved ways to unite us with some of the most beautiful souls and we are incredibly thankful.