Married wedding photogs reschedule 35+ shoots while pivoting to micro events

Jul 2 2021, 8:50 am

Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.

There are partners in business and partners in life, and often, there are similarities between these relationships. There needs to be understanding, passion, and trust. It’s always incredible for those who combine both worlds, when couples change the dynamic by starting a businesses together.

So what better way to celebrate each other than by starting a new adventure together — opening a business. And not just any business, but a wedding photography business.

Cat and Jeff Chang did just that by creating The Apartment Photography over 15 years ago.

Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local entrepreneurs. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to Cat and Jeff Chang about working with real people and making meaningful connections.

“Our name “The Apartment Photo” came about after we moved into our first place together, we were rebranding and having a hard time coming up with a new name,” they told Daily Hive, talking about the inspiration for their business.

“After a long day of moving and painting our new place, we thought ‘what about The Apartment?!’ It’s where our office is — literally, our desks are next to our beds. It’s where we are going to have our couples over to meet for the first time, and it’s our first home together – it seemed like the perfect choice,” they added.

Having those couples over is exactly what keeps the inspiration and drive alive in these two local entrepreneurs. For two people in love, with a talent to capture it, seeing new stories every day has been the reward they were hoping for.

Our business has evolved so much over the years, but from the very core of it stems a love of documenting people and telling stories,” they told us. “It’s impossible for us to not get emotionally invested in the couples we document, their story and adventure becomes a part of our story and adventure and in that way our business becomes more than a lifestyle than anything else,” they added.

Documenting the love of others is an incredibly rewarding idea for a business, especially for a married couple. Having a passion for what you do is integral to the success of a new business, and definitely for the longevity of it. What every business equally needs, which these two photographers have, is an incredible amount of talent to match.

You have to start with something you’re not only passionate about, but also really freaking good at, or at least be willing to constantly learn and improve on,” they said. “There is so much talent out there these days that you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to build and build. Creating full time work for two people over 15 years might seem like luck but we can assure you it’s more like patience and perseverance,” they added.

With social distancing, weddings have had to be altered to smaller groups and changed budgets. One thing that shouldn’t change are the wedding pictures to take, the aspect of this special time that is immortalized for you to cherish forever.

Our newest offerings is our Micro Wedding and Elopement packages,” they told us. “Designed for shorter more intimate weddings they include all the regular good stuff but start at a lower price point,” they added.

Having your spouse as a business partner would either turn out awful or absolutely incredible, and Cat and Jeff succeed because they support one another. It’s a great lesson for all types of business partners to remember.

Having each other is definitely what has gotten us here today,” they said. “We never set out to build what we have built but naturally as a couple we supported each other in so many ways. We bounced ideas off of each other, we figured out who was great a certain parts of the business and really supported each other’s growth, both as business partners but life partners,” they added.

It takes a strong partnership like these two have to start a business, and for that business to make it through such an incredibly difficult year. The global pandemic has taken its toll on the wedding industry, and photographers are no different.

“The whole events industry shut down completely in March 2020 which was really challenging for us,” they told us. “In a blink of an eye our whole year of was cut down by over 75% as the majority of our couples decided to postpone their weddings. It’s been really hard navigating not only the loss of income, but also the challenge of rescheduling 35+ couples while also trying to be available for new bookings,” they added.

Their perseverance, belief in each other, and entrepreneurial spirit is exactly what is allowing them to get through this time that still feels very uncertain.

This is where being flexible comes in handy and pivoting to documenting smaller more intimate weddings has really taken off. We have more elopements booked this year than we’ve had cumulatively over the past 15 years,” they said.

If you have a special day planned, who better to capture the moment than by these two talented professionals at The Apartment Photography who stand behind the lens in love themselves, excited for you to start the new adventure with your partner.

This content was created by Daily Hive’s editorial team independently, with financial support from a sponsor.
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