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
Take a beautiful Midlands wedding venue, and a dream couple… and what you get is something that makes my heart so happy!
Jason and Kerryn got married at Bellwood Stud Farm; one of my favourite venues on the Midlands Meander.
Kerryn lives and breathes her two horses, so it was a definite YES when they first viewed Bellwood and although she loved the beautiful chapel and forest wedding venues, it was the stables that felt true to her.
With the works of E by A Weddings, the stables were transformed into a beautiful ceremony setting! Go have a look!
I am so happy for this couple, and can’t wait to see them grow together.
They’re two of the most sincerest and generous people I’ve ever met.
SHOW SOME LOVE:
Wedding Venue: Bellwood Cottages and Wedding Venue
Hair & Make up: Laura & Co
Florist and decor: E by A Weddings
Catering: Cherry on Top
Cake: Love & Laughter
Marriage Officiant: Chad Broom
DJ: Sounds Unique – Grant
Videography: Ocean Driven Media
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).
SHOW SOME LOVE:
Venue: Sweethome Wedding Venue
Hair & Make Up: Nixon Make Up – Kendyl Mcpherson
Bride and bridesmaids’ jumpsuits: Won in the Hooray Weddings Competition, made by Nicole Hoyer Designs
Bride’s Dress: Lydia Grabowski
Bride’s veil: Bride’s grandmother, Sheila Pope
Flowers: Bouquets by Patti Hein and flowers by Mother of the Groom, Heather
Confetti canons: Hooray Weddings
Food Truck: Salted Candy
Amazing Harvest Table: Bridget’s Kitchen
DJ: KZN Wedding DJ – Jarryd Sunkel
Lawn games: Surreal Eventing (Hooray Weddings Competition)
Marquee Lights – Aisle Hire it – Part of Hooray Wedding Competition.
Marriage Officiant: Richard Erasmus
Videographer: Dan Dedekind Films
You know these kinds of people who are so warm and kind, that they just surround everyone in their love?
That’s Ashley and Kayleigh.
From the very minute I met them at Kayleigh’s brother’s wedding, they’re been two of my absolute favourites.
Of course, it also helps that they’re both so beautiful to photograph!
Ashley and Kayleigh’s day was FILLED to the brim with pure love, laughter and warmth.
Oh, how I wish I could have bottled that for them.
I hope these photos capture all of that love.
Catering: Hamblins Catering
Hair & Make Up: Blush Pro Make Up (Candice and Laura)
Bride’s Dress: Mabs Kruger
Cake and Doughnuts: Tarryn Janse van Vuuren & Krispy Kreme
Marriage Officiant: Tim Peterson
When Daphne emailed me to ask if I’d photograph her Drakensberg elopement, I jumped at the opportunity!
I don’t think there is any place I love more in KwaZulu-Natal than the Drakensberg.
When she mailed me a few months later to say they’d booked a helicopter, I very nearly dropped out from panicked excitement! 😀
Can you tell I’ve never been in an helicopter before?
But in the weeks leading up to the day, I got more and more excited and the only time my fear kicked in again, was when I saw the tiny helicopter in front of me! 😀
Buckled in, there was no time to be scared and before we knew it, the helicopter was in the air and gently perched us atop a huge mountain in front of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre!
To say this was an incredible experience, is an understatement!
It was AWESOME!
Thank you Daphne and Justin for allowing me to experience this with you (all of us for the first time!) and thank you to Westline Aviation for keeping us safe! 😉 Our pilot was super in-control (not going to lie, I did ask him how long he’s been flying for when I first jumped in! :D) and knowledgeable about the area.
Daph and Justin decided to have a very intimate ceremony with just their sisters and parents and chose South Africa for its beauty. They all flew in from Toronto, Canada and it was so special seeing guests to our country, truly enjoy it and experience it for the first time. Montusi Mountain Lodge did a fantastic job at hosting them and the berg did its thing as only the berg knows how to.
Here’s a peek into their day… x