Balancing a Business and a Life as a Small Business Owner

Balancing a Business and a Life as a Small Business Owner

Hey there.

Does anyone still read a blog? Like, really read them? Besides me? I love blogs, I’ll never pivot to video, and while I know 98% of you are just here to look at pretty pictures, sometimes I need to talk too.

So, here’s a post to say that, once again, I dropped the ball. Despite my best intentions (and my goals!), I am woefully behind on blogging. But still using words like woefully, because ya’ll, I’m a bookworm and a nerd. Not because I haven’t wanted to blog – I have so much to share – but because now that N is here, I don’t want to spend 12 hours a day working. I want to spend time with my kiddo and our family. So, while I love blogging, it’s not the highest thing on my priority list (that would be client emails and editing).

I thought about just jumping back into content – but instead, I wanted to say first that life is busy, life is hard, and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing in this world, there are always more things on your to do list than you have time for. And in this season of life, I’m prioritizing time with my kiddo and our family. So that means working crazy hours and long international flights to visit her great-grandparents. It means late nights, early mornings, and less blogging during the busy season. It means dreaming of a few things I just don’t have the bandwidth for right now.

So, if you’re struggling with balance. If your emails, laundry, friendships, trips to the gym, or whatever your to do list item is, are falling behind, I just want to say it’s okay. In the end, if the important things are getting done, then you are doing enough.

Family Photos in Munich // Emily Wenzel

A Little Redecorating // Behind the Scenes

A Little Redecorating // Behind the Scenes

It started off innocently enough. Last year, I launched a new look and website. I worked on them for months, and wanted to love them. But they were always a little bit…off. I’d try to fix things, but I couldn’t quite get things to work how I saw them in my head. A chat over lunch with an industry friend who I consider a great mentor lead me to really looking at my website and branding. And then resulted in my messing with an idea, checking in with some of you via Instagram Stories (thank you!!) and then I just…made the site. The site came together so easily, that I couldn’t believe how much I’ve struggled with the previous design(s). It is perfection. Well, almost.

I still need new head shots, but those are in the works, and I really need to catch up here, on the blog. I’m sure there are few wonky things around, so if you find something, please drop me a comment or email. In the meantime – THANK YOU.

This job is something I love with all my heart, and I am eternally grateful that I get to do this. I’ve got so many things to share, but if you don’t follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I do share there regularly, so please follow along and let me know you’re there. I made an announcement a few weeks back, and I want to talk about it more on here, but I’m offering up to $100 for referrals, because you – my friends and followers and biggest fans – are really better marketing than any website or bridal fair. Although, I like those too.

Spokane Wedding Photographer // Historic Davenport Hotel Emily Wenzel

Doing a Frivolous Job when the World is on Fire // Personal Post

Doing a Frivolous Job when the World is on Fire // Personal Post

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.
— Albus Dumbledore [JK Rowling]

This week, I’ve really been struggling with doing what I do. Don’t get me wrong — I love my job. I think I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. I spend my days capturing beautiful moments. But, in the currently world climate, I have wondered if what I do is a joke. I started this post a half dozen times, and wrote a zillion things, but it all came down to a few things.

I don’t save lives. I don’t help cure Cancer or West Nile Virus. I don’t work to change laws to make the world a better place. I simply photograph meaningful moments.┬áMy job is frivolous. It is unnecessary.

Church Wedding Photographer // Emily Wenzel Photography


After all, one does not need to have photographs – much less professional ones – to be married.

Yet, there is something to be said for the beautiful photograph. For that moment when you tear up as your partner promises to spend the rest of their life with you. For the moment when you see each other for the first time on your wedding day. Or the first day of your brand new baby’s life. Maybe it’s a simple moment at home, or as a family. Toddlers in all their glory and dogs and chaos and everyone grows so fast. It’s the last photo of you and your grandma, or maybe a photo of all your cousins together on your wedding day. Those college friends who flew in from all the corners of the world. It’s your dad dancing under the twinkle lights with your best friend from elementary school. Your mom embracing your new spouse. Those are the photos I strive to take.


Commellini Estate Spokane Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography


Telling that story matters. Remembering the good matters. My job – my industry – may be frivolous, but we cannot fight the terrible things in this world 24/7. We must take time to cherish the beautiful moments as well. I don’t know what the next year will bring. I hope it brings more peace and love. I know that I’m going to continue to work to bring good in this world. We cannot sit around and just hope for things to get better. We need to work for them. We need to find the light switch and turn on the lights. So, I want to keep photographing these beautiful moments of yours. I hope that my job, while not life saving, brings light into your life and into the lives of the people around you.


Spokane Newborn Fresh 48 Session // Emily Wenzel Photography

Maternity Leave — Personal Post // Spokane Wedding Photography

I had a great plan to write a detailed post about my maternity leave, and how I’m taking one as a small business owner. I was working on writing it, and getting it ready to post before my due date. But, then my baby girl went and arrived two weeks early – after everyone predicted I’d go past my due date – and I was left scrambling just to get an out of office message on my email. How’s that for real life for you?

I will be on maternity leave through March, soaking up as many newborn snuggles as I can get. Right now, I am responding to emails as quickly as I can, but it’s taking me some extra time to do so. I will be back to shooting sessions in March, and weddings in April.

Please follow along on Instagram to see what I’m up to this winter, as we navigate our newest adventure — parenthood — and try to keep the dog from kissing the baby. Happy Holidays to you and yours, I can’t wait to be a part of your wedding or session in 2017.



October & November — Recap // Personal Post

October & November — Recap // Personal Post

One of my goals for 2016 was to be more diligent in posting these recap posts, because I felt like each month was just flying past in a blur. I’m sure it’s only going to get crazier when baby Wenzel arrives this month!

We packed a lot of stuff into October and November. Once I ended my wedding season in September, I still had a bunch of editing and family sessions to do in October, plus we were working on the nursery like crazy. You guys, it’s almost done and I’m really hoping to share it with you very, very soon!!

October, oh October. You were full of rain. It was the rainiest month every recorded in Spokane, and I’ve lived through a couple rainy spring months in this town. Even my dog was sick of the rain (you can see how bored he was a few photos down)! He got to the point where he would pout at the window, because he didn’t want to go out in the rain. I didn’t blame him. I never track my fitbit data like I should, but I bet my October was super lazy, because neither of us wanted to go for walks. On the other hand, the weather was still warm enough for me to enjoy my favorite lunch – toast. I happened to score a perfectly ripe avocado, and after a bunch of disappointing ones, had to document that joy. The other slice is covered in cream cheese and homemade plum butter.Avocado Toast // Spokane Food Photography

Baby Wenzel’s upcoming arrival also gave me the chance to order some new thank you cards, so I designed these simple little ones. I’ve been sending out a lot of them lately! This blanket, from a past bride, and these books, from my cousin, were some of the first gifts to arrive. I’m pretty sure I owe my postman a large plate of Christmas cookies this year, because he’s been delivering quite a few packages this fall!

Custom Thank You Cards // Wenzel Haus Studios

I’ve been following Luisa on Instagram for ages, and it’s always been a double edged sword. I love seeing images of her life in Berlin, but it’s like looking into an alternate reality where we lived in Germany instead of the US. However, I was extremely thrilled when she announced her new cookbook, and H and I were both looking forward to the day it arrived. In fact, I had a streuselkuchen in the oven mere hours after its’ arrival! We’ve only made a few recipes so far, but it has earned a place on my cookbook shelf for good. I even used her streusel topping instead of my normal pie topping this Thanksgiving, and it got rave reviews!

Classic Germany Baking // German Cook Books

We finished off the month of October with the last of my mini sessions at Cannon Hill Park, and Halloween. We didn’t have nearly as many trick or treaters this year (I blame the rain and it being a Monday), so I ended up with tons of extra candy…and ate most of it myself. Oh boy. But at least our costumes were amazing this year!

Fall Family Sessions Cannon Hill Park // Spokane Family PhotographySuperhero Maternity Costume // Captain America Costume Maternity

November arrived and all of a sudden, most of my clothing didn’t fit anymore and I was scrambling to find a winter coat. I’ve been doing pretty good about going to yoga every week, and I can’t tell you how much I love my Sunday prenatal class at South Perry Yoga. But a couple weeks ago, I had to stop on my walk home, because even though I’ve seen this belly every single day, I’m still surprised sometimes by my reflection. When we went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, we ended up coming up with a lot of gifts for baby Wenzel, and Shadow got to sleep on the back seat. He was pretty thrilled, and slept the whole way home.

South Perry Yoga // Prenatal Yoga

It’s been great to see how much better Shadow is doing with this round of home renovation. Last year, we couldn’t do any work without him having to be in his crate. Now, he does a pretty good job of hanging out nearby, although sometimes he has to come in and lay down and let us know how boring we are, haha!

Slightly related: we ordered a few things for the nursery, and Amazon sent them to me in this giant box. Lola loves boxes, and hid inside this one. Shadow kept trying to find her in the box, and she would bat at his nose with her paws to keep him out, which provided me with a good half hour of entertainment before he figured out how to open the box enough to see her without getting smacked.

Dogs During Home Renovation // Wenzel Haus

And that was October & November…I really need to take more photos of Lola, but she’s been a bit cranky with me, since she doesn’t fit in my lap very well anymore, and has preferred H to me. What did you do in October or November?