I am so excited that you're here! This is where I share my latest sessions, personal photos, and funny life stories. You'll quickly hear about my obsessive cleaning habits, my adorable pup, and probably a little something about fruit pizza (only the best food ever created). So grab a drink (something iced for me... yes, even in the winter), and scroll through the archives!
This is a very difficult post to write! I’ve been thinking for a while exactly how I want to word things, and honestly I’ve gotten pretty much nowhere. I want to make sure I answer everyone’s questions, and I’m usually worried that I won’t get my point across to people. Which typically means that I end up oversharing with my long and winded blog posts ;)
So this time, I’ll actually just come right out and say it:
2018 is my last year shooting weddings
Ahhhhhhh! Actually typing that out makes it seem even more real! I know that the majority of you are super shocked by this, and really, only my family and a few close friends know about this change! But to be completely honest, this is a very exciting change for me. It has been in the works since October, and now I am finally ready to come to the world with my news! I know there are probably a lot of questions, the first and BIGGEST most likely being WHY??? :)
I have known for many years that when I have kids, I don’t want to be a wedding photographer. (DISCLAIMER: I am not having kids anytime soon!!) I love shooting weddings, but I knew that I’d want to spend my weekends at home with them. I also didn’t want my weekdays to be consumed with editing, client meetings, emails, and then on top of that being gone on the weekends!
Chris and I knew very early on in our dating relationship that 2018 would be the year we got married. But what surprised me was that the more we began to plan our future together, the less I saw myself being a full time wedding photographer. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many things I love about weddings! And I have the BEST couples!! But the staying out until 10-11pm and then driving 2-3 hours home is not at all how I want to begin our married life. I want to be at home, making dinner for when Chris gets home from work. I want more freedom and flexibility than I have now, and I want to be home on the weekends!
A few months back, I was talking to a friend who had recently begun editing for other photographers, in addition to her own wedding photography business. The idea piqued my interest, and I began doing some research! It really opened up a whole new world to me. I read so many articles, joined Facebook groups, and even paid for a course to guide me through the process. I was praying that God would open doors if it was His will, and let me tell you… he did.
Let’s go back in time for a second… It’s May 2016, and my October dates booked up fast. Over a year and a half away, and I only had one free weekend! Then it was late 2016, and I’d already booked 12 weddings for 2017! It was exactly the number I wanted, my business was absolutely thriving, and I was so thankful! But now let’s fast forward to April 2017. Zero inquiries for October 2018 (or 2018 at all!). I thought to myself “okay… no need to get worried, surely I’ll get some inquiries soon”. Another month goes by, and still nothing. As a Virginia photographer, it is pretty odd to not have any October inquiries! It’s the best month of all here, and bride’s desperately want an October date.
I start to get slightly worried, but by this point, I’ve met a handsome man named Chris, and I was smitten ;) We start talking about marriage, and I mention that I’ve always wanted to get married in October! My mind starts to click things into place… No wedding inquiries… an October wedding… It seemed too good to be true! Before meeting Chris, when I would plan my non-existent wedding, one of my major concerns was always “I can take off a week in October for my date, but can I afford to take 2-3 weeks off??”. I knew I’d need time to prepare for my own wedding, and I didn’t want to be too close to a client’s wedding date! Everything truly fell into place, and we both knew it was meant to be.
P.S. To this date, I have received *one* inquiry for an October 2018 wedding. ONE!! My October’s have been booked solid a year in advance for the last 3 years!
God really gave me a lot of huge signs, but arguably the biggest was Him almost single-handedly shutting down my business for me ;) I went from having a very successful business, to (without changing a thing!!) hardly booking any weddings. This is where I truly had to let go and just ride out whatever journey God was taking me on, and let me tell you… it’s been the best. Even when we can’t see it at the time, He is working everything out for good!! There were times that I thought “How am I going to survive on less than half of the weddings I had last year??” but then as time went on, His plans were revealed. God has a funny way of working sometimes, and He was probably saying this while I was over here worrying: “You’re going to be so glad you only have a few weddings in 2018, because you’re going to have to plan your own wedding! Oh, and also, you’re going to switch careers!!” :)
Okay, so now we’re back up to today, right now. What is the plan? Well, I have been working on the side as a photo editor for the last 3 months, and I’m loving it. It is exactly what I need right now! And as of November 2018, I will be a full time photo editor for other wedding photographers. I will continue to serve both my wedding clients and my editing clients over 2018, and also mixing wedding planning in there somewhere ;)
I know that there are probably so many more questions, and I’ll try to answer a few of them!
Sooooo… in a nutshell, what’s happening exactly??
As of October 2018, I will be closing down my wedding photography business. And though that part of my life is ending, I will continue to be part of the photography world by being a Photo Editor!
Does this make you sad?
Yes and no! I will absolutely miss shooting weddings, but this is a new season in my life, and that’s so exciting!! I get to figure out how to be a WIFE! I just absolutely can’t wait. This is the best decision for me and my future family, and I’m very content!
Why are you excited about being a photo editor?
I get to completely set my own schedule. Being a wedding photographer offered this to an extent as well, but there is a lot more “dealing with people” involved. Chatting with brides, mother-of-the-brides, vendors, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of that! But being a photo editor is going to be about a million times more conducive to my future lifestyle :) The great part is that I get to help wedding photographers get their life back as well! I can do all their editing during the week, giving them more free time to enjoy things with their family. It’s the perfect solution all around!
I’m a 2018 Emily Sacra Bride… Will anything change for me?
Nope! Absolutely nothing!! Your wedding is still top priority for me, and I will continue to grow and challenge myself over the next 9 months as I photograph your special day :)
So like, you’ll never ever shoot a wedding again??
Okay, so I definitely can’t say that I will 100% NEVER shoot another wedding. After all, I still have one more sister that needs to get married! But she’s 13, so it’ll be a little while ;) It does however mean that I won’t be accepting new client weddings. I don’t want to close myself off to the idea of photographing weddings forever, because it’s been such an integral part of my life for the last 9 years. I want to photograph a friend’s wedding if they need me. But I also feel very strongly that bride’s should invest in their wedding photographer, and if I’ve been out of the industry (as a photographer) for a while, I will not be the best choice for that bride. They need someone immersed in all the latest going-ons, and I can’t be that for them anymore.
Are you giving up on photography?
Absolutely not!! Photography will always be a major part of my life. I am not selling any of my equipment, I am just going to be switching my focuses. I will certainly be taking less pictures, but I’m hoping that this will give me the opportunity to pursue some personal projects and dreams that have gone unvoiced for a long time. Something that particularly excites me is Anniversary Sessions, and I’m definitely still open to the idea of photographing people! Weddings are just a completely different ball game, and it’s time that portion of my life comes to a close :)
Are you still going to blog?
Definitely!! I have been blogging since I was 12 years old, and I think that on some level, I will always be a blogger! My adventure with blogging started as an outlet for me to write and share personal events, and it grew into something I never could have imagined. I discovered my love of photography, and my blog helped launch my career as a wedding photographer. There are so many exciting things coming up… but mostly I get to blog as a new wife!! Maybe I’ll share more recipes, or helpful tips for photography / editing… who knows! The sky’s the limit :)
Will you keep your website up and running?
I believe that I will, but I don’t know for sure. I’m proud of all the hard work I put into the design and my portfolio, and I think that I will continue to keep my website! I could see myself creating a new landing page, to make a new home for this big change. And of course, there will need to be some changes when I go from a ‘Sacra’ to a ‘Canterbury’ ;)
Will you still offer mentoring sessions?
For the foreseeable future, yes! My mentoring sessions have always been focused more on photography in general, with a dose of wedding wisdom mixed in. So even though I myself will not be fully immersed in the wedding industry, I can still share whatever knowledge I have with whoever wants to listen!
Between now and October, what’s going to change?
Nothing, really! I am still a wedding photographer, and I cannot WAIT to celebrate with the brides I have booked for 2018!! I’ll actually be able to spend even more time with each bride, truly ensuring their wedding day is captured perfectly. As for the blog, I will continue to post my sessions and tidbits, probably with lots of wedding planning posts too! Wednesday Wrap Ups will continue, as much as they have been recently… (aka I am so bad at remembering it’s Wednesday!!) You probably won’t see many changes until November :)
I’m having a destination wedding. Will you photograph it?
Uhhhhhh yes. ;) Hahaha, it will definitely depend on many many factors, but if you’re having a relaxed, intimate destination wedding, I would absolutely love to chat about the possibilities ;)
This is definitely not a goodbye, but just a heads up! I am so excited to bring you all on this journey with me, and to see where the next few months lead!