Over the winter, I made a plan to stop shooting weddings. I announced that here on the blog at the end of January. I had started working on a new business plan and I was really excited to see where 2020 would take me. I went on vacation to Palm Springs during the first week of February, got sick the next week (was it? wasn’t it? we’ll never know) and when I finally felt better in March, the world shut down. And my new business plan was dead in the water. My industry is dead. My business plan relied heavily on the wedding and event industry, my industry, being busy.
And then, two weeks ago, my husband got a job offer in his hometown of Munich, Germany. This isn’t something that was unexpected. We had been making plans to move to Germany for a while now. But it was much sooner than expected, with a much faster timeline that we expected. And so we’re moving this fall! My husband leaves in a few weeks, the kiddo and I will follow after we get the house packed and ready to sell. And I really don’t know what is next.
Do I restart my business as a photographer in Munich? Do I pursue another self employed gig there? How do I even go about starting a business in Germany? Do I work remotely as an American company or for one? Do I find a full time job in Munich? That last one isn’t as bad as I first thought, if the benefits are anything like my husband’s job offering (6 weeks of vacation time, what?!). For now, I know that I need to finish the projects that are currently open in our house, pack up our belongings (and sell what we aren’t taking) and figure out where we’re living after the temp housing we’re booking. This site won’t go away, no matter what I do. Maybe I’ll blog about life abroad, or maybe I’ll spin it into something new. Who knows?
Over the past year, we’ve done most everything with the following question to guide us: does this move us closer to our goal, or further away? For us, the goal was moving to Munich. So, every big purchase, every choice we made, every house project, etc. was made with that in mind. It seems sudden to those who didn’t know what was happening behind the scenes. Just like it seems like a duck is gliding effortlessly across a like, all while paddling like mad under the surface.
I am endlessly grateful for the nine years I’ve had running this business. I’m leaving on a very, very strange note, but I am proud of the work I’ve done over the years. So! Work towards your goals. Live the life your heard desires. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and vote in every election.
While things will be slow here, you’ll be able to find updates about our new plans on Instagram at @wenzel.haus
Photo by The Leo Loves Photography in San Diego.
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.
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.
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. My job is frivolous. It is unnecessary.
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.
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.
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.