Tony + Kate Becker
We are Tony & Kate Becker. We met in our home town in southern Minnesota. It was a summer love that started on the lake and turned into forever. We’ve been together for 8 years, married for 3! We live on a winding country road in on the outskirts of Maple Grove where we designed and built our own modern day farmhouse together in 2015. Our fur-baby Chevy loves to roam around our acreage along with the 12 chickens and 3 kittens. Together, we own Northerly Photo Camper, a traveling photo booth that we restored from an old 1960 Shasta Camper. I (kate) run my own photography business where Tony is my lead second shooter for weddings. Tony owns a personal training business and works full time as an engineer.
We are both entrepreneurs at heart. Always dreaming of the next way to pursue our passions and never complacent in where we are. Whenever one of us gets an idea or sets a goal, the other really tries to make it a point to keep pushing & helping to make it happen. I think that’s the best thing about diving into a business as a married couple, you both have some skin in the game and once you make a goal or set an expectation, you don’t want to let the other person down by not giving it your all. When we challenge each other like that, it allows us to discover what we are capable of as individuals and as a team. When we got the idea for Northerly, we knew that it would be the perfect business to start together. Kate is really good at visualizing and dreaming up an idea, while Tony is great at helping her turn those ideas into tangible things.
To back it up a little… we designed and built our home by ourselves, so when we finished in late 2015, we had this creative void in our lives that we wanted to fill! As a professional photographer, I’m asked about photo booths all the time. Setting up a curtain at a venue was never something I had interest in offering, so I decided to find a different way I could offer a photo booth. While browsing photo booth ideas, we came across the idea of a photo booth inside an old camper. we knew that it would be the perfect business to start together. I have a passion for design and visualizing an idea, while Tony is so gifted at turning those ideas into tangible things. Since we especially love giving old things new life, we knew we would not only love the end product, but we would love the challenge of restoring an old camper to it’s former glory. As the vision of the camper started to form in our minds, it became something that we couldn’t stop thinking about. So, we purchased a 1960’s Shasta Camper and after 4 months of work during the nights and weekends and lots of research on how to make the technicalities of an automated photo booth work, we have Northerly. It brings us so much joy to bring her to an event. People instantly light up when they are around her and we love standing outside the booth and hearing the roar of laughter come from inside as people start snapping their photo booth pictures.
It’s so inspiring to watch each other grow, see our passions flourish and hear our ideas evolve. We love to foster a relationship where no dream is too crazy to get off our chest. Sometimes it it a fleeting idea that is gone as quick as it came to us, and other times Tony draws up an entire Xcel spreadsheet with a 10 year business plan before we decide we aren’t feeling it anymore. At the end of the day, we both realize that we do what we do because we want to find passion & freedom to live our lives and not be stuck doing something we aren’t excited about. We want to live in a world where we don’t have to dread Mondays, and what better way to do that by creating it for ourselves.
The best lesson I’ve learned from working with my spouse is: Don’t be stubborn and try to handle everything on your own. I recently listened to a podcast by an amazing business woman who said that a business owner who can’t ask others for help isn’t a sign of strength, it’s a sign of weakness… that really struck a chord with me.You have to be able to let your guard down and be vulnerable if you want to create things that are truly meaningful and inspiring to others. It’s hard and rewarding all at the same time, but when you allow yourself so seek guidance from other people, the reward can be that much greater. We both agree that we can do greater things when we work together, rather than trying to do everything on our own.