Owning a wedding business right now is certainly not as profitable as it used to be. With events postponing and cancelling and fewer new bookings coming in, many wedding industry entrepreneurs are looking at their finances wondering if it’s the time to get a “real job.” In this week’s episode of the This Week In Weddings podcast, we’re chatting with a wedding photographer who has done just that in order to sustain her family during the rough patch that is a pandemic. Listen is as she shares her story and gives advice on making this tough decision.

About our guest:

Tracy Autem is the owner and photographer of Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography.  She is often described as talkative, transparent, emotionally invested and joyful.  She lives in Texas with her hubby JW and their 3 kids: Alexander, Gideon, & Josephine.  She loves to go on adventures and her house is full of laughter (and noise!)

Her business is built on the value of relationships and lifting up those around her.  This passion is reflected in her photography, her interactions with clients and how she leads her studio. She is proudest of her team and the compassion they continue to show to each other and their couples. 

In addition to her business, Tracy has been teaching “continuing education” at the University of Texas at Arlington and served on industry boards.  This year, amidst the pandemic, she returned to the classroom to ensure the financial security of her family and allow for the success of her photography team in the future.

In this episode, listeners will hear about:

  • Tracy’s background and how she got started in wedding photography
  • The structure of Tracy’s photography business, which includes associate photographers
  • The analysis that Tracy did in her business that led her to decide to take on a full-time job outside the industry
  • How Tracy furloughed and restructured her team
  • Tracy’s approach to communicating her employment move to wedding planners, other vendors, and her clients
  • How Tracy manages working a full-time job while also maintaining her wedding business (all while being a parent!)
  • What entrepreneurs need to do before making the tough decision of getting outside employment

Want to connect with Tracy?



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