Hello. If you've been a follower of Watassa/Emily for awhile, then you know that about a year ago, I announced that 2016 would be the final season for Watassa Wedding Photography. At the time, I was in the midst of selling our first house, teaching full time English, and feeling, in general, pretty overwhelmed and pretty tired. I had shot over 70 weddings in 2 years, traveled all across the country doing so, and was finding myself spending hours upon hours every weekend editing and taking care of business--I had no time for myself or for my family, and I was starting to resent being a small business owner. I was totally burnt out and not enjoying it at all anymore. So I said I was done. And I felt fine about that decision for about....2 months.
Fast forward to June 2016. It was the weekend of our Pop Up weddings in Leelanau County as part of our final bookings for the season, and I was surrounded by a team of people whom I loved and cherished--my husband, our good friends Josh and Andy, and, perhaps most importantly, my second shooter Briana (Beanie). Beanie had been second shooting with me off and on for a few months, and while I knew she was mad talented, I hadn't really taken into account the idea that we could become partners in the business. I had always run this business completely on my own, with Ian's occasional help, and I hadn't ever really wrapped my head around the idea that I could bring someone on as an associate or an assistant. Until Beanie.
After we shot a couple more weddings that summer together, and she continued to blow me out of the water with her camera skills, people skills and managerial skills, I had a quiet conversation with Ian where we talked about the idea of Beanie coming on as more of a partner, and he encouraged it (Ian was ready to be done second shooting with me, which is totally understandable considering I sort of forced him into that role 4 years ago). But Beanie was pregnant and expecting her 3rd child, so I didn't want to push it and put more pressure on her when she already had a mega full plate.
Fast forward to a beautiful October evening, where she gave birth to Minna and I had the amazing opportunity to photograph the birth for her and her husband Andy, and I finally felt we were at a point where we could consider becoming more of a partnership. We talked numbers and expectations, both agreed it would be a rockstar partnership and both both took a leap and have moved ahead with Watassa.
Beanie will take on more editing and website responsibilities throughout the next year, as well as being my full-time second shooter. Eventually I'd love to see her become a shooting associate and start booking her own clients, but for now, I am SO beyond hopeful and excited to share that Watassa is still open, we ARE accepting 2017 -18 wedding/elopement bookings and it is now being steered by 2 fierce, independent and powerful women.
By supporting Watassa you are supporting small businesses, women, educators, thinkers and feminists. We are stoked to be part of your life.
Interested in knowing a bit more about her? Well, here's Beanie with a bit more about herself:
Hello Watassa Patrons! You may have seen my name pop up on the blog as Emily’s second shooter and I’m so excited to be joining Watassa in greater capacity now!
I’m Beanie (also Briana), Michigan born and raised. I have an undying love for the beauty and wonder of Lake Michigan. I met my husband Andy in high school. He is crazy about all things bike, including commuting by bike year round. We made 3 super rad kids together. Birch, Bodie and Minna are some of the best human beings I know, lucky for me!
I’m a lover of being outdoors, especially if the beach or the woods are involved. I have yet to meet a sand dune I did not adore. At my core I’m a creator. I get great joy from knitting, which has brought on a perhaps unhealthy obsession with yarn. Capturing beauty and authenticity in photographs makes me unbelievably happy, and I’m looking forward to all of the coming opportunities to do just that with Watassa!
Thank you all. It's going to be fantastic. I am so excited to see what 2017 brings to us.