About 11 years ago, I convinced my dear friend April to teach me the basics of one of her favorite hobbies- photography. I even narrowly convinced her to start a family photography business with me, only to let that flop shortly thereafter. She loved her hobby and wanted to keep it that way. But what she encouraged in me and cheered me on toward, was invaluable.
A little more than 10 years ago, I took a crazy leap and shot my first wedding. I was ruined for the ordinary and decided to start a photography business. I shadowed two of my friends, who were professional photographers, at a number of their weddings. Andrea & Renata (that’s right, “my” Renata!) were one of the best wedding photog teams in our area. Renata and Andrea were so gracious and fun to work with while I simultaneously kickstarted my own business. I signed up for various photography workshops and classes, learned how to run a business, made tax mistakes, and delivered my client’s images on CD-ROM. 😉 Soon I was busy most weekends with weddings or engagement sessions. I remember feeling a nervous excitement every time I’d get asked what I’m ‘up to these days’ and I would get to tell them, “I’m a wedding photographer!” Within 4 short years my camera took me across the country a few times for various weddings and more importantly connected me with so many incredible clients and their families. Meanwhile, Andrea & Renata were traveling the coast, or to Aruba, or in our very own hometown, documenting weddings. And then, just four years into my business, my first baby came along and our friend Andrea was ready to put her camera down.
And so, Renata and I officially launched Tara & Renata Photography in September 2015. It’s been the richest, most rewarding season of my business. We were friends first and business partners second, and what a blessing Renata’s friendship continues to be! In the last 6 years we’ve photographed, what I’m certain were, some of the best weddings in all of history. Getting to know and love our incredible couples, being invited into their most treasured moments- a front row seat to prayers and first dances that brought us to tears. Shooting a wedding for someone and then their sisters’ (or four sisters!) or bridesmaid’s weddings… What a high compliment and privilege. Small intimate ceremonies, to a grand helicopter arrival, to the biggest party you can imagine. Each one incredible. We photograph weddings but we also pray before each one, pin boutonnieres on groomsmen, wash dirt out of a bridal gown, or safety pin a broken bustle. We hold shoes, drinks, bouquets, and hands, we search our phones for an instructional YouTube video for the groom with the bow tie, & share bobby pins, chapstick or tissues. It’s one of the best jobs, to be sure. We are so forever grateful to every bride and groom who trust us to photograph their beginning of forever. “Thank you”, will never be enough.
So, it’s a bittersweet announcement to share, like Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail, we’re closing shop on our beloved business. We’re excited and honored to finish out our last few weddings but we won’t be taking on any new commissions. We’ve had a good run, as they say, and we are so at peace with this change. Our website will disappear in October, and that’s weird, you know? It feels like this really great thing that we’ve built will just be- gone. But then again that’s what is really incredible about photos. They’re moments & memories that get to stay. So print your photos, friends. 🙂
We love you all.
Until next time,
Tara & Renata