I’ve been doing wedding photography in the Jacksonville area for probably 15+ years. I started my career as a journalist (both writer and photographer) and had so many people ask me to photograph their families and weddings that I eventually started doing that full time.
However, in the last year or so, I’ve been changing how I run my business and what I focus on. And I really love working in the studio with families and babies.
And with that, I am saying goodbye to weddings.
Don’t get me wrong, if the right wedding came along, I might do one every year or so, but for the most part, I’m done.
This industry has changed so much since I started. Not just from film to digital (yeah, I remember taking 20 rolls to get developed from a wedding!) but also the vendors and how they react to each other. Social media has turned grown adults into drama llamas.
Not only am I tired of giving up all my weekends away from my family, not going to funerals, and aching for days after, I’m also tired of the drama that goes on in the wedding industry. And it’s not just here. It’s everywhere.
But there are people who make this industry great. Who are what they seem to be and are loyal. And those are the types of people I want brides to use!
One of the things I always recommended to my brides was to get a wedding planner. Not a venue coordinator (99% of the time they are only there until you walk down the aisle and they don’t help you with any issues that don’t involve their venue), but a REAL wedding planner.
Someone who, when the crap hits the fan, can save your day. Tuxedo come up missing? Caterer wrote down the wrong date and now you don’t have food? Zipper on wedding dress or bridesmaids gown breaks and won’t zip up? Yep, this stuff happens. And all of it has happened to Tanya Hendricks over at Southern Charm Events.
(The first headshot of many I did for Tanya, 9 years ago.)
I met Tanya about 10 years ago maybe. With vendors, you’re always trying to make a connection, build off each other, I’ll help you, you help me. Most promise it, but it never happens. The relationship is always one sided. Tanya and I hit it off immediately. Maybe it was our similar backgrounds, but ultimately it was the fact we were loyal and did help each other out.
This is a rare quality for a vendor in any city. But when you meet someone like that you stick with them.
Tanya was the only wedding planner in this city who made the effort with me and for that I have to commend her. I would think as a bride, you’d want a planner that is loyal and is a friend and is genuinely concerned about you.
So to Tanya, I say, THANK YOU. Thank you for showing me that not all vendors are only concerned about themselves and say one thing and do another. I hope I have helped you out as much as you have helped me.
(The first of several headshots I did of Susan Kass, over the years.)
When I met Tanya, she also introduced me to Susan Kass, with A Fantasy in Flowers. We haven’t worked together as much as we used to, but I appreciated her faith in me early on and how kind her words were about me to other vendors. I can only hope I helped her as much as she helped me. BTW, her staff is fantastic. Super sweet and so genuine.
So with that, I hope to see all my past brides and their new babies in the studio. I love photographing newborns and families.
I will be making recommendations for wedding photographers in the area in upcoming blog posts, so stay on the look out!