I'm Joelle, an international Lifestyle and Wedding Photographer based in St. Joseph, MI. I'm also an educator and Photo Editor for photographers interested in growing their business and living life more.
Photo by: Nicole Balsamo Photography
If you’ve been following along with me for awhile, chances are you’ve noticed that any time I market towards brides I’ll mention that I’m available for Friday or Sunday weddings. Or maybe you’ve never noticed!
In the entrepreneur/creative industry, one of the questions that repeatedly comes up is: what sets you apart from everyone else? The biggest thing that sets me apart from other wedding photographers is that I don’t photograph Saturday weddings. When people ask me this question and I tell them the honest truth, it’s always a shock for them. Saturday’s are the most popular day to get married!
When I made the decision to pursue wedding photography, I also decided *not* to photograph Saturday weddings. Obviously that’s a bit of a set-back, and a lot of people didn’t really understand it. But, for me it was a religious conflict because I go to church on Saturday’s and we get to spend time with our friends and families. Those two things are so important to me, and I didn’t want to let them go.
I felt convicted to stay true to my beliefs and values. So, I did. And, I’ll admit there have been a few times when it’s been *so hard* to turn a couple down because their date was on a Saturday! But the advantages have far outweighed the weddings that I’ve missed!
A few months ago I told myself that if I booked 10 weddings in a year, then I would share how good God has been throughout this journey. But, then I got to thinking and decided that putting a limit on it is just kind of silly. Because the truth is, God has taken this dream of mine further than I could have ever imagined – sooner than I ever dreamed!
Right now, I have 7 weddings booked this year. One of them is in Norway!! And I’ve already begun booking for 2019. I’ve had brides plan their wedding day around when *I* can photograph it, because they understand and respect that I don’t photograph on Saturday’s. And on top of that, they want to know what they can do to make the experience as good for me as for them. I mean, what on earth did I do to deserve that kind of love?!
There’s also been a big advantage for me in taking on fewer weddings. I’ve realized that I would rather book between 10-15 weddings in a year so that I can dedicate my best work to couples. And by photographing fewer weddings, I also have more time to book boudoir and to educate other photographers. Two things that I absolutely LOVE! Life feels more balanced and it’s so enjoyable.
Photographing primarily on Friday’s and Sunday’s also plays towards the couple’s advantage as well, since you can reserve a venue for almost half the cost on a Friday or Sunday compared to Saturday. You also have more dates to choose from since the majority of Saturday’s tend to be booked early on!
I know that there are a few people who wonder why I don’t photograph Saturday weddings, so I wanted to take the time to break it down for you! But, the real reason why I’m sharing my why with you is this: I know that it can be hard to stick to your beliefs and your values. More than that, I know just how *worth it*, it is. I also know there are other photographers who follow me + are going through this exact same dilemma. To you I just want to encourage that God’s got a bigger plan that you could ever dream. If you trust Him, there’s no telling where He’ll take you!
I saw this quote a couple weeks ago, and it pretty much sums all of my thoughts up: “Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway.”
I don’t know what I would do without God’s constant leading in my life & business. There have been plenty of times when I’ve turned to Him and been honest about struggling with turning down a couple, and then He would open up another door for me.
So stay true to your convictions. Do your best in everything, and trust God with the rest. He really is the best.
If you’re getting married this Fall or in 2019, on a Friday or Sunday, I would absolutely love to celebrate with you!! You can email me at JoelleElizabethPhotography@gmail.com for all of the details + availability.
To all of my couples, family, and friends: thank you so much for all of the love and support you’ve shown me as I pursue my dreams! You seriously mean the world to me.
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