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!