4-Hand Article: can you have a real friendship while sharing the same passion?

Sharing the same passion as your friend is awesome. You can relate easily because you have the same interests. But what happened when you both become professionals and a potential competitor?

This article has been written with a lovely guest: Fanny Lelorrain. Fanny is one of my oldest and closest friend. It was pretty easy to get along, as we met in photography school. Since then, we graduated, changed country twice, lived together and are currently neighbors. You can totally say we are like two peas in a pod. For you today, here are our tips to keep a healthy friendship and avoid starting war.

Supporting even you are FAILING.

This is probably the hardest rule. When your best-friend tells you "hey, I rocked this photoshoot" when you just failed one, you can feel growing jealousy burning on the inside. Yes just the one like when you were 12 and that damn Jessica had the backpack you wanted. We are human beings, not robots. Our advice is to take a step back and a deep breath to realise who is facing you right now. She's doing great? Good for her and do the same instead having "ENVY"written on your forehead. She is not against you. Take it as a motivation, not a threat. It is the only way you will push each other to be better.

Honesty and Constructive Cristicism is key.

Sometimes I don't dare asking Fanny her opinions on my work. Not because I don't find it valuable -it's actually quite the opposite- but because I am scared she won't be objective or a 100% honest. It is easy when you hear that your work is good but let's be frank, telling your best-friend that her project is not that good is a hassle. However, wouldn't you rather know if your work is lacking quality than having somebody saying everything you do is perfect even when it is not? If you want to build a healthy friendship, you need to tell things good or bad. In both cases, back them up. Why is it bad? Or good? What do you think I should have done instead?

Do not step on each other's toes.

Fanny and I recently went to a networking event downtown Toronto. As we have the same tastes in a lot of things, our business cards looks pretty much the same. We never copied each other, it just happened. As we were not going to throw them away (might as well throw 60$ down the toilet), we used them while planning on designing something different next time. Point being that, at this event, we handed our business cards to a few people and we looked like Thompson and Thompson. God knows it would have been easy to talk the other down while giving as many cards as you can before she does. If that happened to you already, we are assuming you kissed your friendship good-bye.
Instead of this shitty behavior, we took advantage of it with a good sense of humor. As we do want to open a business together at some point, we played this card well. And we disappeared when the other started a good conversation we didn't need to be included in.

Building and keeping your own style

Everybody knows it is pointless to provide the same photography style as somebody else. It is even worse when you are close with that person (unless you start a business together, but that is another story). Fanny and I both love portraiture. Luckily, I am more a fashion kind of photographer and Fanny is more a social photographer and still life. So far, we have managed to keep our work separate by not sharing our team members such as models and makeup artists and work on different inspiration and locations. We also keep our own circles. For example, I would never take potential business opportunities in Fanny's family or friends unless she askes me to, and vice versa.

We are celebrating our 6th year of friendship in 2015, and I am happy to have a friend I can talk business with. As every relationship is work, by being honest and focusing on your difference, you will manage to deal with bittersweet moments and even find unconditional support.


  1. I'm impressed by you girls, you know how to manage your friendship and your passion ! And you are both really good in your job ! Longue vie :)



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