Category Archives: bread winners

Breadwinners: a transformative experience for image-making couples

First, watch this. . .

bread winners 2014 from WE ARE THE PARSONS on Vimeo.

Being a couple in this industry can be so much freaking fun. You start out, and every day almost feels like a holiday with your best friend at your side. You both are on a mission together, growing together, and discovering how wonderful it is to tell stories together. And yet, the honeymoon phase can’t last forever. At some point, you actually have to learn how to experience deep joy, meaning, satisfaction, purpose, focus, and drive together as you wade through the dailyness of daily life. It is no picnic, y’all. Well, sometimes it is. And those days are really fun. But there are other days where the bills are due, the wedding files are past due and the stress of being partners in life is just a bit too much . . and the gloves come off. We have experienced the wide range of highest highs and lowest lows that this “job” can offer. And we know you are in the midst of going through your own highs and perhaps on the bring of some lows. What is breadwinners about? It’s about locking arms with other couples, becoming a small tribe of friends and allies who share, grow, learn, tell the truth and walk away saying “we did it. we did it real and we did it up close and we embraced the mess and the chaos and the beauty and we are on a really good journey together.”

If you are a couple holding cameras, part time or full, hopeful or successful, you are welcome here and you will not leave the same. join us.

in the words of brad and jen, one of our past breadwinners attendee couples, and now a part of our tribe:
“imagine your closest friends sitting in a living room together, addressing the things in life and business you’ve always wanted to talk about but never had the courage to ask. ashley and jeremy’s living room quickly becomes sacred ground, and the people around you become more than just other photographers. you leave hugging one another feeling like you’re parting ways with family. because you are.

in our three years of marriage, breadwinners has been one the best things that has ever happened to us as a couple and us as a business. ashley and jeremy broke down barriers we didn’t even know existed and we are forever grateful.

take a chance. dig deeper. invest in an experience that will last a lifetime. and our advice…if you want to best out of this experience, come with humble hearts and nothing to prove.”

What is it and what are the details?
we are thrilled to invite any and all image-making couples (photographers / videographers) to join us in our home for this transformative experience. Knowing first hand just how challenging it can be to exist as both business partners, lovers, friends, parents and a creative team, we are excited to talk openly with other couples about our lives, relationship, mistakes, making images, work, and balance. this is for those seeking to be honest, looking to be pushed, encouraged, kicked in the ass, and lifted up, all while locking arms with other couples who “get it”.

we will talk in-depth about the inner workings of what it takes to look our mistakes in the eyes, live intentional lives and go into the bones of creating meaningful stories, purging our lives of the meaningless, and forming a small community of like-minded couples who encourage and push one another toward the hope of more.

When is it?
May 5-7, 2014
couples should arrive around or before noon on monday, and depart late afternoon/early evening on wednesday.

Where is it?
our 114 year old home in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri.

How much does it cost?
$1600 per couple
Includes all meals, transportation in town (to/from airport), and lodging
A 50% non-refundable deposit will reserve your spot, remainder due two weeks prior to the event.

How long is registration open?
we have decided to keep bread winners small and intimate, in order to have a closer community/family feel and adequate time to devote to investing in each of the 4 couples who come, so registration will be first come, first serve. If there are not enough spots available, we will gladly add you to the mailing list for future bread winners experiences.
How do we join you?
send an email to with the subject line of “breadwinners”.
tell us about yourselves, and tell us why you hope to come be a part of this family.
we will contact you asap with a link to register.

We came to a previous Don’t Give Up project, will this be the same curriculum?
No, bread winners is specifically tailored to couples, and although we will discuss some similar themes, the experience will be completely unique to anything we have ever done before.

this experience is the heartbeat of who we are, of what we have learned and what we continue to grow in along the way. we are so so so excited to share with those of you who are meant to be here with us.

We can’t wait!!!

Monika - 03/27/2014 - 2:24 pm

You two are truly remarkable. Thank you for your hard work and diligent efforts to make changes in others’ lives, and especially in their marriages. This work is so worthwhile! Immensely grateful for your honesty and vision.

damian burcher - 03/17/2014 - 11:37 am

Hey congrats on the top wedding photographer award, think I found at about you guys few months ago and have been a fan since.

Heidi + Kevin - 03/16/2014 - 5:07 pm

It’s the best thing you could do for yourself, your marriage and your love of making images that matter. You will not regret it. We don’t. :)

Dee - 03/12/2014 - 1:31 pm

Dave and I had to sit down when we read this, what a great idea! we would love nothing more than to break bread with others that are going through the same experiences as us, love, love love the idea. It is a times like this we regret not having a teletransporter or our own private jet! :-) such a shame Ireland is so far away and our own wedding is in May, otherwise we would be there in two seconds flat, we will be at the next one for sure! :-)

Julia - 03/07/2014 - 5:03 pm

You two are so special.. Adore and love you both and your sweet boys. Big hugs.

this is the story of how we made 8 amazing friends and then photographed them (the b r e a d w i n n e r s workshop)

We had the BIG honor of hosting the first ever b r e a d w i n n e r s workshop in our home earlier this week (breadwinners is a workshop that is just for married couples who run photography businesses together). It was a big dream of ours to be able to host a workshop similar to our don’t give up project, but more intimate and down to earth in the comfort of our own home, eating meals around our own table, and sharing personalized time with each couple who came. And my goodness, each person completely exceeded our expectations. It was such an enriching and powerful time for all of us, and one that we will never forget. These four amazing couples are now people we proudly call friends. (ps, click on their names to visit their blogs…ray and kelly and heidi and kevin made some b e a u t i f u l posts about their time at bread winners, and it’s such a gift for us to relive the experience through their images, so for an experience of what it was like, check those posts out)

thank you,
brad and jen
heidi and kevin
steve and bernadette
ray and kelly

so, here is the story of how we did something we had never done before – photographed four couples, back to back to back to back, in 1 hour, and within 200 yards of our home, in the dead of winter.
This was an insane challenge, but then again, there is so much beauty in these people, there is beauty everywhere we look — if we’re looking.

(Processed with joy using VSCO film.)

Jack Chauvel - 02/20/2012 - 8:44 pm

I love the emotion you capture in all your sets.. its truly about your subjects and I admire your work so much.

katie vossman - 02/18/2012 - 1:12 pm

ever consider doing a workshop for aspiring photogs here in KC? i would love to learn from the both of you! – such inspiring work!!!

c&j - 02/17/2012 - 10:23 am

LOVE. we are so in on the next one!

Heidi & Kev - 02/16/2012 - 9:54 pm

@Steve – They were SUPER weird. But maybe that’s why we got along with them so well?

Steve - 02/15/2012 - 2:01 pm

What’s with the third couple and that gnome? Those two must have been pretty weird.

Hannah Nicole - 02/14/2012 - 10:33 pm

and just wondering….any chance you’ll be holding a workshop for up-and-coming photographers anytime soon? :)

Anda - 02/14/2012 - 9:15 am

i love ALL of these. and ray and kelly — you two are so great looking in all of these (just like real life ;))

Brad Butcher - 02/13/2012 - 10:06 pm

it’s taking everything in me not to comment what Kevin is yelling in the photograph above!!

these are so fun guys! thanks for the unforgettable experience :)

sharon - 02/13/2012 - 9:48 pm

absolutely positively amazing

Kelly - 02/13/2012 - 9:27 pm

Thank you, a million times over. And please don’t post anything on here for another month or so, ok? I don’t want to miss out. :)

Keaton - 02/13/2012 - 8:44 pm

I’ve been waiting on these! So much beauty and love! I really am inspired by the one of the lady from the second couple in tears. It must have been a really wonderful experience with you two as their hosts. :)

Hannah Nicole - 02/13/2012 - 8:23 pm

So beautiful. You two are some kind of crazy awesomesauce amazing, you know that?

[…] press, images and most importantly, the fruition of eight new friendships.  On the last day of Breadwinners, Ray, Kelly, Heidi, Kevin, Steve, Bernadette, Jen and I were walking out the front door to leave […]