Meet John and Katie, who defy the old adage that couples shouldn't work together. John is a men's stylist at Urban Outfitters, while his other half is a freelance photographer from New York, who shoots people and fashion with a beautifully authentic eye. Here they share their story as creative and romantic partners.
Photographs by Katie McCurdy.
Behind-the-scenes photographs by Kevin McWilliams.
How did you get started in photography?
I became interested in photography in high school and instantly fell in love with the process.
What do you shoot on?
I have a variety of cameras that I shoot with but my favorite is an old film camera that my dad used when he was my age.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I like my images to feel personal and authentic.
How did you and John meet?
John and I actually met while we were dating other people, so we didn't really pay attention to each other!
So then how did you eventually together?!
John and I have mutual friends—one of them was my roommate at the time. He showed up at my house and we ended up staying up all night listening to bands we loved in high school.
How did your creative partnership develop?
John is extremely well read, and we both love art history. We are constantly sharing ideas with each other.
What qualities in John make working together inspiring?
John is so genuinely interested and focused that working together never feels like work.
What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on together?
We did a shoot with Teresa Oman on the Staten Island Ferry. More recently we did a menswear-inspired story in Montauk, NY.
Name a few things you both love...
Scotch, vintage clothing, traveling, collecting books, and Cam'ron!
You travel quite a bit together, where's next on your list?
Venice and Milan in March.
With your personal style, you love to mix feminine pieces with touches of menswear. What are your favorite items to borrow from John's wardrobe?
His sweatshirts in the winter and his white T-shirts in the summer.
How do you work better together?
We are both very independent people but we make a better team because there is no filter between us. To me, it is invaluable to have complete honesty with a person you love and respect.
Hi John! What attracted you to Katie?
Aside from her stunning looks: Her personality, her humor, drive and motivation.
What is it like working with your significant other?
I think we both compliment each other and are on the same page creatively whenever we do a shoot. We go there in the same state of mind, so if either of us proposes a bad idea, I think that neither one of us is afraid to say it's not good. And if it's a good idea, we're very supportive of each other.
What's the dynamic between you like on set?
We yell-talk to each other! To an outsider it might appear as if we're fighting but it's the way we act together on a set. We're able to put aside our personal feelings when we're working and it makes it that much easier to work together, and makes our personal life that much easier as well!
How do you inspire and challenge one another?
I find Katie extremely creative and motivated and she makes me feel lazy at times because she works so much! It motivates me to work harder and be a better artist and creative person.
How do you pick the projects you work on together?
We come together for stuff we're really passionate about, and we come in psyched!
How do you spend your time together outside of work?
We are very much alike and we can keep ourselves entertained for hours. I never get sick of hanging out with Katie. She's the most interesting and funniest person I know. We like to eat well and we like to drink well, it's definitely a hobby of ours. Nice dinners—lots of them! So is couch time; We love doing nothing, honestly. We both work so much. I think our favorite thing to do is go get phở or go to a movie.
You live in Philly and Katie lives in Brooklyn. Can you give some advice for those in long (or short) distance relationships?
Communication is the bottom line. If it's FaceTime, text messages, ten-minute phone calls, I think it's important to have those open lines of communication in any form. It's really easy to miss someone when they're not around so when you're together it's that much sweeter.
A lot of Katie's personal works happen to be of you. What are your feelings on being in front of the lens?
It's pretty natural to me for her to have a camera. It's more of us being together and all of the personal work documents the trips we take together—and we take quite a few—so it's a nice way to remember.
Katie admits to wearing some of your clothes. Do you ever pick out clothes for her?
If we're going out to a nice dinner she usually dresses me. She does wear a lot of my sweatshirts which I love seeing her in. Oh, and I guess I am her own personal stylist.