Relationships: Siblings

Close relationships among siblings can be hard to maintain, particularly when those personal bonds are also professional.

But for Lindsey Gordon, 26, and her older sister, Jessica Russell, 35, who started their own wedding and portrait photography business in 2012, their business relationship has only served to nurture their bond as sisters.

Tandem Studios, based in Portland, became a full-fledged family business in 2014, when their middle sister, Elissa Lowell, 31, joined the the partners part time as a second photographer.

“We grew up close,” Russell said, but the almost 10-year age gap between her and her youngest sister limited their ability to have a mature and sustainable relationship until adulthood.

Following a bad car accident in college, Russell found herself limited to a wheelchair. She’d been interested in photography since high school, and in 2012 she “had the urge to get (back) into photography and editing,” she said. So, she pitched the idea of starting a business to Gordon, who had recently graduated from college. Gordon agreed on the co-ownership and handled the photography side while Russell took care of the editing side.

“I knew it would be easy because we’re sisters and know each other’s personality better than anyone else,” Russell said.

After a few months of working together, it became apparent to Gordon that “this was what I wanted to do. It always just worked.”

All three still have other jobs, too, but the hope, at least for Gordon and Russell, is to eventually run Tandem Studios full time, which seems like a growing possibility each passing year as the business grows.

With a growing list of clients, business and sisterhood are booming.

“This has given us a way to bond,” Gordon said.


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