I have been the Umhlanga family photographer for several years now and it never gets boring!
I absolutely love every family I get to photograph!
But with this shoot, we ventured down south to Amanzimtoti.
It’s always nice to go to a quieter spot for photos and I try choose beaches where kids can still run in the shore without getting pummelled by waves.
The Dohare family are a reserved, and absolutely wonderful!
While mom and dad celebrated their 10 year anniversary, Kian got to splash about in the ocean with them and make some happy memories.
I didn’t plan on taking a wedding photography sabbatical.
It just kind of felt like the right thing to do at the time.
And if you know me, you know taking a break is REALLY HARD FOR ME TO DO!
Let me start at the very beginning…
At the end of 2017, my husband, Christiaan was given the opportunity to emigrate to the USA with his company as his sponsor. It was an incredible offer and one we decided to take. Because I had majority of my weddings booked for early 2018, we decided that should he get a visa, we’d leave after this busy wedding season.
Not wanting to have any brides unsettled before their wedding day, I decided to find a replacement photographer for a couple of late-2018 bookings.
I didn’t want to be scrambling to find a good photographer to replace myself with, and I didn’t want to ruin someone’s wedding day with unnecessary stress. Even if we didn’t get visas, it just felt this was the right thing to do for these clients.
They were always at the fore in my thought process.
So I forced myself to see it as a wedding photography sabbatical.
I would stop shooting weddings while we ride the visa journey, and focus on my documentary family photography. I would also spend this time creating a new business that teaches photographers how to get booked out.
Ha, the irony!
Weeks became Months and months and months…
As the months passed by, my sabbatical became less of a break and more of a stressful situation as our visa process was so delayed.
I doubted my decision of giving away weddings and then not taking on any new bookings. I passed on plenty of amazing referrals that I’d kicked myself for now.
My family sessions continued to flourish and I absolutely love them, but the thought that I was no longer a wedding photographer was nagging in my mind constantly.
Had I done more damage to my business, even though I had good intentions?
Did I even want to go back to shooting weddings?
The driving home late at night on the N3 in the mist after staring through a camera lens all day?
I had found SO MUCH more purpose with my camera through photographing families!
Visa Journey Ends
Our visa journey drew to an end in December 2018.
A whole year later. If you’ve ever been in a state of limbo you will know how excruciatingly difficult it is.
The visa was unfortunately denied and after waiting for a year and giving up so much and putting so much of our lives on hold, we felt defeated.
I had some serious thinking to do about what I wanted to do with my business.
Did I Want to go Back to Photographing Weddings?
Photographing dozens of weddings consecutively means I give a little less of myself to everybody.
I have less family time.
I have less time for all my brides. I get anxious because I want to be at my desk editing and replying to emails and prepping for the next wedding.
I’m at my desk every day till the early hours of the morning and things just get a little C R A Z Y!
That’s not why I did this. One of the greatest blessings of being self employed is that I get to fetch my daughter after school and spend afternoons doing extra mural activities, lunch dates and playtime with her. But when I’m crazy busy in the swing of wedding season, shooting 11 – 15 weddings consecutively in a season… I don’t feel like I’m being a very good mom to her either.
I have spent hours and hours contemplating where I want to take my business this year.
Was this it?
Or is there something bigger and better for Tanya Jacobs Photography?
Wanting More for Tanya Jacobs Photography
I wanted more for my business.
You see, taking a break from weddings and documenting real life allowed me to find my purpose and my reason for why I choose to document other people’s lives through my camera.
I capture families to document their happy moments as naturally as possible.
So that in 20/ 30 years from now, you can look back and smile fondly at the memories of your life. And your children can look back at their own childhood and see and feel the love they had in their homes.
And they too, can share love in their own homes, just as they had experienced as kids.
Wedding days got so intertwined with perfect poses and portraits and the pretty, that I lost the ‘realness’ of documenting wedding days.
If I was going to do weddings again, it would be a little different. But also a little the same.
Wouldn’t it be more special to have a wedding album filled with joyful family memories from your wedding day and more happy couple moments?
Wouldn’t it be more humbling to share your wedding day memories with those you love so much and have those moments documented?
I am so honoured to have been able to do this for some of my past brides who shared the same idea and I have never given myself a more resounding YES to being able to do this for more couples!!
For me, wedding days have always been about documenting the joy between two people and their favourite people.
So people can look back at their photos and FEEL IT.
I’m back, Durban brides, and I’m so ready to capture your happy memories!
Refreshed, revived and real.
I now have only ONE package that I offer that gives the best of me and how I want to document a wedding day.
And I still have time to focus on my own love, my own joy and my own family.
If you’re getting married in 2019, get in touch here to chat about your wedding day! I’d love to hear how you’re keeping your day all about love, family and joy!
This week, I launched my rebrand and I’m so excited about all the feedback I’ve received.
It took me FOREVER to take the steps to let go my old branding but now that I have, I’m loving it and it just feels like more me.
My website also got a bit of a facelift so now I’ll be sharing some more work from a few recent weddings that I haven’t yet had the chance to share.
Niklas & Jana live in Australia and travelled to South Africa, Jana’s birth country, to get married at Vulintaba Country Estate, just outside of Newcastle.
I grew up in Newcastle, so it’s always nice for me to travel back home, eat my mom’s cooking, and photograph beautiful weddings with mountains as a backdrop.
Vulintaba offers exactly that – five star views and exceptional service on your wedding day from Carla and her team.
Jana and Niklas chose Vulintaba for its mountains and had guests fly in from all over the world. It truly was an international celebration!
I also got to work with an awesome team: Venue & catering:Vulintaba Country Estate Hair and Make Up:Paula Moore and Antique Bride’s Dress: Custom made dress by Estelle van der Merwe Flowers & decor: Drakensberg Decor & Draping Cake: Yolanda De Lange from Yollies’ Cupcakes Marriage Officiant: Christine McLachlan Videography: Jaco Luus
Clint & Carla remind me of why I love what I do.
For the love.
And for the happiness.
These two dished that up in bucketloads on their wedding day at Sweethome (Eston) and with all their closest friends & family surrounding them, it was an absolute pleasure to photograph.
These are the ones I’ll remember forever.
Getting to work with such a power team was a sweet little cherry on the top.
PS. Carla won the Hooray Weddings ‘Win a Wedding Competition’ which included some amazing prizes for her wedding day (listed below).
Whether it’s brushing their teeth, building forts in the lounge, or sleepy moments with a tired toddler, photographing families in their real life is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my photography career.
I love, truly love, this new way of embracing the traditional family photoshoot and I love that families are realising the importance of having photos taken.
The idea behind a documentary family photography session is that you carry on as normal, while I come over and document your life. Kids get to be kids, pets get to come inside the house, and I get to kick off my shoes while I capture the chaos/ crazy/ tears/ laughter/ happiness/ sadness/ tantrums. I’m coming to hang out, with my camera, and I’m going to be part of your family for a little while.
My goal is to capture genuine, RAW MOMENTS.
Documentary sessions mean you don’t have to worry about the kids posing or behaving badly. We’ll pick a few of their favourite activities and things to do, and we’ll go about doing them, as normal. While I will interact with kids and assist with flowing into activities, my approach is very relaxed.
How should I prepare for this type of shoot?
There is absolutely nothing you need to do. Although in saying that, I know you’ll probably start tidying up your spaces the minute your session is in my diary. Don’t.
I know all about clutter and I have one of those chairs where I dump everything, too. Don’t stress about it. This is the way your kids know their home. And they love it.
Why should you do a session like this?
Because now is all there ever is.
Little moments happen every day.
And you’re likely to forget them.
The way they sit at their table and eat their cereal.
The way they colour-in with so much determination to stay in the lines.
Or the way they play with their favourite bath toys amid a sea of bubbles.
These are the moments you want to remember.
Where do these sessions take place?
In your home. In your garden. At your child’s birthday party. During bath time. During dinner time. During breakfast. During your grocery shop run. In fact, anywhere that feels special to you.
What will we get?
Fun, joyful, sometimes sad and sometimes funny photographs of your family in a shareable online gallery and a slideshow to bring on the tears. All the photos delivered to you are in high resolution and fully edited. I also offer photobooks (just in case you’d like to do one these sessions yearly and record each year).
How do we book/ view your packages?
By getting in touch using the form below. I’ll send you my packages and we can get started on planning your session straight away. I’m currently taking bookings for June – September 2018.