January 1, 2020
2019 was definitely one of my slowest years ever with just 33 weddings and 3 elopements. After several years of working myself to the point of total burnout, it has been really nice to have a lighter workload. This slower pace has allowed me to travel more and it has given me time to work on the education side of my business. I was able to participate in more styled shoots this year, tackle home improvement projects around the house, invest in my own photography education by attending workshops and styled shoots myself, and maintain a much better work-life balance. I think the universe knew that I needed more “me” time than usual this year and for that, I am grateful. It’s been a really nice balance of busy enough, but not to the point of being totally consumed. It was just what I needed. Hopefully, 2020 will be a little bit busier so that I don’t have to worry so much about paying my bills haha!! Running a business is hard. It’s even harder when you’re single and have to live off of one somewhat inconsistent income!!
On a personal level, 2019 was a tough one for me. I started 2019 fresh off of a Christmas Eve breakup that I never saw coming and it took the better part of the year to really heal from it completely. It was honestly the single hardest thing I’ve ever gone through – and yes, that includes my divorce. It took a toll on my self-esteem and I struggled with a lot of self-doubt this year. I’ve gotten to the other side – thank goodness! I’m ending the year in a really great place, with a really solid understanding of who I am and what I want + need in my life moving forward. I’m very excited for 2020 and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me on a personal level.
On that note, I have to say thank you to my incredible team because, let’s be honest – I couldn’t do this alone. Sloan + Kelly… my squad… thank you hardly seems adequate. You both give so much of your time + energy to me and my clients… I’m so so lucky to have you guys on my team and by my side on most of my wedding days!! You guys keep me sane, help with my crazy workload, talk me off the occasional ledge, keep me hydrated + organized, give me SO MUCH peace of mind, and serve my clients so well. I am so appreciative of everything you do for me – you guys are seriously the best. To everyone else who second shot with me this year – Emily, Alyona + Anna – THANK YOU for stepping up and helping me on days when I needed strong, reliable second shooters. You all are so very talented and I can’t thank you enough for shooting beside me! Lindsay and Wesley … thank you both for assisting me this year, as well. Having an assistant there with us on the wedding day is a HUGE help and you guys have stepped in whenever I really needed someone!!
A HUGE thank you goes out to my AMAZING editor Emily Moore. I am SO GRATEFUL that I found you… you’ve been invaluable to me over the past few years and I can’t say thank you enough!! You’ve given me my life back and I don’t know what I’d do without you. To my amazing website designer/guru, Rachael Earl – THANK YOU for all of your help this year. I’m so glad I found you and I’m looking forward to working together for years to come!! To Alexa of Alexa B. Creative for always helping me with branding projects and everything InDesign. As always, lots of gratitude goes out to Wanda + Kristin, my fabulous bookkeepers; Elmo, my corporate accountant; Rebecca, my amazing contract lawyer; and the ladies at Align Album Design. Without their help, seriously… I’d be lost. This is a team effort here and these people are such a big part of Dana Cubbage Weddings.
This year, I traveled to Athens GA, Atlanta GA, and St Augustine, FL for weddings. I also went to NYC TWICE for engagement sessions and I’m starting to feel like a real “local” up there! I am so lucky to have clients who are willing to pay for me to travel for their big day… it’s such an incredible honor!! I absolutely LOVE destination weddings + engagement sessions, so I hope 2020 brings even more travel opportunities.
Notable milestones + highlights from this year include shooting my 282nd wedding… I’m so close to 300 in only 7 years of business, so that’s pretty mind-blowing!! I was nominated for the Post and Courier’s Charleston Choice awards as Best Photographer, and finished in 2nd place which was super exciting. My blog was chosen as one of the top 18 blogs in Charleston in 2019, which is fun. I won The Knot’s Best of Weddings award and WeddingWire’s Couples Choice Award for the 7th year in a row. This is always such an amazing honor because it’s based on my clients reviews… and serving my clients well is the most important part of my business.
In 2019, I saw my work featured in print in Charleston Weddings Magazine, Destination I Do Magazine, The Carolinas Magazine, Southern Bride, Southern Coastal Weddings, and The Celebration Society Weddings Southeast – where one of my images was even chosen for the COVER!!! It’s the second time my work has been featured on a magazine cover and it’s definitely a huge highlight of 2019!! I was also featured online on Style Me Pretty, The Wedding Row, Grey Likes Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings, HGTV.com, and Brides and Weddings Magazine.
My friend Taylor and I hosted the very first Charleston Styled Shootout at the Gadsden House in July. We had 16 photographers attend, some from as far away as Illinois and New Jersey, and it was an incredible experience! I also participated in three styled shoots this year, which was a nice change of pace. I photographed a gorgeous citrus-inspired shoot on Tybee Island with Tara Skinner Events in February, a beautiful tropical-inspired shoot at Merchants Hall with Carrie Hungerpiller in March, and then a beautiful fall-inspired shoot at Middleton Place with Alexandra Madison Weddings in October. I haven’t had the time in past couple of years to do any styled shoots, so it was nice to have some free time this year to be creative!
I also invested in my own education this year by attending a few workshops, which I truly believe is a must – no matter how long you’ve been shooting. I attended Rebecca Yale’s in-person workshop in January in Los Angeles and it was amazing! I flew up to Connecticut in April for Justin + Mary’s in-person lighting workshop, which was a good refresher for me. In December, I attended Julie Paisley’s one-day Charleston workshop and it was so much fun. No matter what, I am always able to take something away from any workshop I participate in!
Again… every single year, it always comes back to my amazing couples… the ones who allow me to live this dream and trust me to document their wedding day. I honestly can’t thank my #dcwbrides and #dcwgrooms enough. Thank you thank you thank you for being so incredibly fabulous and for trusting me to capture your beautiful wedding day. I love each and every one of you so very much!!! Here’s a look at all of my fabulous couples from 2019…
Jaye + John // January 20, 2019 // Rice Mill
Miranda + Brian // January 26, 2019 // Gadsden House
Hannah + Matt // February 2, 2019 // Boone Hall
Emmy + Josh // February 9, 2019 // Thomas Bennett House
Mandy + Daniel // February 16, 2019 // Rice Mill
Kaylee + Nick // February 23, 2019 // Sea Pines
Bridgitt + Hayden // March 9, 2019 // Cedar Room
Shelby + Larry // March 10, 2019 // Planter’s Inn
Natalie + Matthew // March 30, 2019 // Gadsden House
Claire + Luther // April 5, 2019 // Magnolia Plantation
Pamela + Jess // April 6, 2019 // Haig Point
Sarah + Patrick // April 13, 2019 // Magnolia Plantation
Taylor + Phil // April 27, 2019 // Boone Hall Plantation
Mary Fran + Ford // May 3, 2019 // Country Club of Charleston
Gabrielle + Cole // May 4, 2019 // Callawassie Island
Catherine + Will // May 9, 2019 // Magnolia Plantation
Taryn + Michael // May 10, 2019 // Boone Hall Plantation
Caitlin + Patrick // May 11, 2019 // Boone Hall Plantation
Abby + Greg // May 12, 2019 // Rice Mill
Jordan + David // May 18, 2019 // The Foundry
Aly + Patrick // May 25, 2019 // Wickliffe House
Betsy + Nick // May 31, 2019 // Palmetto Bluff
Brynne + Alex // June 1, 2019 // Gibbes Museum
Megan + Ray // June 2, 2019 // Magnolia Plantation
Mallory + Brian // June 8, 2019 // William Aiken House
Derrill + Will // June 29, 2019 // Private Yacht Club
Mallory + Jordan // August 10, 2019 // Middleton Place
Kelsey + Thomas // October 4, 2019 // Boone Hall Plantation
Maggie + Mike // October 12, 2019 // The Cedar Room
Emily + Jon // November 9, 2019 // The Treasury on the Plaza
Katelyn + JD // November 16, 2019 // Osprey Point at Kiawah
Thank you to everyone who has allowed me to live my dream for another year. I know I am so blessed to be able to do this full-time for another year and it’s all because of my amazing couples, fellow vendors, and the editors who continue to share my work. Thank you thank you – and here’s to another year of living the dream!
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