Occasionally we write a personal blog that includes information about our “real” lives. So a bit of a behind-the-scenes look. We wrote about some of Hermine and Ramon’ s facts the other day and decided to create a general “Mon et Mine” blog as well. Because sometimes there are those things that you quite like to share with the world, but that you don’t necessarily have to write a whole blog about. So here they are: some loose facts about Mon et Mine, maybe you didn’t know most of them yet.
Starting up Mon et Mine
We photographed our first wedding in 2006. Ramon’s father was getting married and was fine with us taking some photos. Together with Ramon’s sister, we made a reportage of the day. And voilà: our portfolio had a beginning.
In 2010, we decided to officially set up Mon et Mine. We had photographed a few weddings for our portfolio and now felt confident enough to create a website. And that went well. The first year we photographed 83 weddings together. Not all together and not all for as long as we now photograph minimally (6 hours, average 11), but there were really 83 of them. This resulted in far too long evenings and nights of work. We also had to stop our studies (we were still studying at the time). After a few months, things eased up, we were able to graduate quickly and continue with Mon et Mine.
When we bought our first company car, we were so proud that we organized a full photo shoot and wrote a blog post about it. If you search carefully you can still find the pictures on our website. After we had our daughter we decided it was time for a bigger car. Very handy for transporting equipment, a stroller and people.
Mon et Mine, at work
The division of roles is pretty straightforward: Hermine does all the client contact, marketing, writing blogs, creating countless to-do lists and budget statements, while Ramon selects and edits the photos. If there is a technical problem: Ramon solves it. Is there something wrong with the website? He takes care of it. Does a new device need to be purchased? He figures it out. But the rest, actually all the rest, Hermine does. Because her tasks are often much smaller and shorter, it often seems like more, but overall everything is 50/50. The perfect division for us.
Meetings for two
We have regular meetings. Maybe a little goofy when you’re working with just 2 people, but for us this is the time when we deliberate on choices that need to be made, share inspirational things and discuss what we’ll be working on next. Ramon makes very nice cappuccinos and we meet with paper and Evernote.
Working from home
We work from our own home. Therefore, we do not have a studio as some “old-skool” photographers do. The advantage of this is that we can easily arrange our own time. And that has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is answering an e-mail on Sunday morning with your slippers on, but the disadvantage is also that you sometimes have to consult late at night. As a result, sometimes you go to sleep with a head full with work-things.
In terms of ‘home work’, Ramon enjoys most reading up on photography and equipment and least editing. Especially when it’s busy and so there’s a bit of time pressure behind it. But fortunately, we have since agreed that Ramon will do most of the editing, after which Hermine will go over the editing one more time. This makes for even more consistent photos and therefore a more beautiful reportage.
Hermine loves coming up with new plans and learning from them, and she likes billing the least. Fortunately, our switch to Moneybird changed that. Now we have the “boring gray” work taken care of in no time, so that we can then move on to creative things.
Photography at a wedding
We really enjoy photographing a wedding abroad. Not too often and not too long, but we find it incredibly fun to photograph, for example, once a year a long weekend for a couple who choose to go abroad with a small group. And then photographing everything and slowly becoming part of the party themselves. Awesome!
Ramon’s favorite wedding part is photographing the dinner. Especially when there are awesome speeches. In this way, you get to know the life story of a bride and groom in a very short time. Hermine’s favorite part is the wedding ceremony, assuming this is also a part the bride and groom look forward to themselves. For example, because there is a great wedding officiant, because there are speeches from guests or because there are children who play a role. It is a trend to increasingly use an independent wedding officiant. An official who invests time in your ceremony and makes it a personal story. For example, by also involving your guests in the ceremony.
Logical next steps for our company
We have now photographed more than 300 weddings and there are new ones every year. We have lost count by now. We photograph about 30 weddings a year, spread over the months of April through October. Of course we also like to photograph winter and autumn weddings, but there are just a little less of those. And secretly, it’s quite nice to get busy in the post-season with sample albums, introductions, blog posts et cetera.
We started this year with Hermine’s side project, Real Family Life. A logical step, now that we have had a daughter of our own. I personally expect to do about 8 of these shoots a year. The nice thing about those shoots is that they often take place in the (for us) low season. This keeps us busy photographing throughout the year. If you want to see more, be sure to check out our family photography website.
Things we’re not going to do
Things we have thought about many times are hiring additional staff (not going to do it) and having a separate office space. Yet this will remain a future dream, we suspect, as it does bring new obligations. And so, for the time being, we will continue to host our brides and grooms in our own living room.
And what we will do
And then our points of improvement for next wedding season: we want to work more with off-camera lighting. In addition, we want to respond even more to the wishes of our couples (what do they really see as a Mon et Mine-reportage and what appeals to them the most?). And enjoy it more. We are exceptionally fortunate to be able to set our own working hours. So when we are free: enjoy! Bring on the weddings of 2017. We are ready to go again.