I may be the face and name of this photography business but Kate Mannella Photography has always been a team. There is no way I could run this monster without my husband and because it’s Valentine’s Day, it seemed like the perfect time to share the impact Niko has on what we do.
Five years ago, I graduated from Ohio University with a dream and almost no money. Niko and I were getting married in August. I knew it was risky to begin a life together with high hopes and very little income. I only had six weddings that summer and a part-time job at a law firm. Niko was entering his master’s program, and with his small student stipend, he was contributing three times what I could. We spent those first few years scrambling, but we always had just enough for the day.
Honestly, I can’t count the nights I spent in tears, wondering if I was irresponsible for pouring myself into a business with such little return. As I cried, Niko held me. He listened when I rambled on about my fears, doubts, and insecurities. I kept waiting for my husband to suggest maybe this journey wasn’t for me. Maybe it was just too much hassle. Too much work. After all, we couldn’t survive like this for long.
Never once did Niko imply I wasn’t capable of this career. In fact, when I was vulnerable and fragile, Niko lent me his courage and hope. There is one reason I’m still growing this business – it’s because Niko’s faith was bigger than mine.
Our life looks a little different these days. I have more work in 2020 than I could have dreamed 3 years ago. One thing is consistent, though. Niko is still the fuel that keeps me going.
No one makes more sacrifices for this business than my husband. Niko is a full-time mechanical engineer, but each weekend he chooses to work alongside me, doing anything I might need. His days off become 10-12 hours of work. He has no time to recover. Then the next work week begins all over again. I ask more of Niko than any wife ever should, and he steps up everytime (usually with a tired but cheerful heart).
My husband is a treasure. He’s my best friend, my favorite second shooter, and he’s the secret sauce of Kate Mannella Photography. If you see Niko on a wedding day, remind this man how valuable he is. I certainly couldn’t do it without him.
Photos by Jenna Powers and Lindsey Nicole Photography.