A Word With Love & Wolves Co. Photography // Hair & Makeup
Jake and Ash Murphy make everything look majestic--from the photos Jake captures, which he and Ash masterfully edit, to the hair and makeup looks that Ash develops and styles, to his/hers and their professional Instagram accounts. This photographer + hair/makeup styling duo behind Love & Wolves Co. have great taste and it shows through the lens of their life and work.
Thing is, they're down-to-earth people, and they'd be the first to tell you that life isn't perfect, not everything is gorgeous (sometimes it's quite ugly), and that they're working their asses off at life. That's the sign of true talent, though, right? Make it look effortless. And they do it so damn well.
I've had the good fortune of knowing these two for about seven years. When Tim and I got engaged, there was no question who would be with us on the big day, making us look amazing and capturing every moment. (We felt a bit guilty, because otherwise they would have been guests enjoying the night.) I trusted Ash through the entire process (I also love spending time with her, so that helps) and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that no one--no one--hustles at a wedding like Jake Murphy. He moves like a damn tiger around the room, quiet and stealthy, pouncing on every perfect shot, and you wouldn't even know he was there.
For my anniversary month, these co-partners in life and work answered some questions about how they make it work (and now with two babies)!
Jake, I know you didn’t start out shooting weddings and maybe that was never the original plan—how did you transition to full-time wedding photographer?
I was in advertising and got laid-off in the 2008 recession. I had to figure out what I'd do for money. I started taking photos in NYC on the street (mostly portraits of strangers and people in their daily lives). Not long after that, I shot my cousin’s wedding because their photographer didn’t show. Ash encouraged me to keep going with the weddings. I was hooked.
Ash, how long have you been doing hair/makeup, and when did you and Jake decide to start working together?
I started doing hair and makeup right out of high school. I got signed to a hair and makeup team before I graduated cosmetology school, after winning a competition, and I started out doing Fashion week in NYC and LA at 19 years old.
Jake and I pretty much decided to work together, unknowingly, when he hit on me the night we met. He told me he needed hair and makeup for his projects all the time. Little did I know he was shooting street photography, mainly of homeless people. But hey, it got him my number. We started to work together here and there. Once we started JBM Weddings and really got into a rhythm, we integrated into a collective of both photo and beauty. That's why we rebranded into Love + Wolves Co.
Since you work together, live together, and love each other full time, how do you find balance between work-life and life-life?
This is something that might be hard to find words to describe. We still aren't sure how we aren't entirely sick of each other. It's a balancing act for sure. We have to make time for each part of our relationship: love, work, play & parenting, and keep them as separate as possible. We feel so lucky to have all parts of our lives so entwined, but it takes a lot of effort to not be working constantly.
How do you continue to find a fresh perspective on love, since that’s the business you work in?
We are constantly falling in love with new parts of life and adventure that comes our way, and reminding ourselves to really live within the present moment. Within every couple we meet and love story we hear, it's hard not to find a new way to look at love every day. It probably also helps that we are both super sappy and cheesy when it comes to love... ANYTHING FOR LOVE.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of your careers?
The balance, for sure. When you're business partners on top of being parents you really have to take time each day (if possible) to reconnect, turn everything off, and tune back into each other. That's an important thing for any couple.
What’s the part you love most?
That's a tough one. We feel really lucky to be at such an important crossroad for our couples, somehow sending them into this new beautiful realm of their relationships. It's nice when your work is surrounded by such excitement and positivity. Then getting to capture it, and essentially encapsulate it for them, is rewarding. We also get to basically take a walk down memory lane back to our own wedding every time we shoot or edit a love story.
How did your work influence your own wedding?
We were really just getting into the wedding industry when we were planning our wedding, so we think more than anything, our wedding influenced our work rather than the other way around. We really thought about the kind of energy we wanted at our wedding, the people, the vendors, the vibe--it's all surrounding you into this next journey of your love. We didn't let any outside family pressure dictate how we were going to do things (which we still see all the time). So with that in mind, we just really put ourselves back into that place of what it's like to be getting married and really try to be there for our couples.
Has having a kid (now two) changed your work, logistically and emotionally?
Fuck yes, it has! It threw one more giant ball into the balancing act of what we do. But luckily that ball has brought even more love and excitement into the mix. Having kids makes us work twice as hard, play four times as hard, and above all, the love is more intense than it has ever been. We are more motivated than ever. We feel so fortunate to be able to have the schedules we have, on top of the travel we get to do, while most of the time bringing the entire wolf pack along with us. It's a crazy life, but we wouldn't have it any other way.