January 17, 2019
Back in November of 2016, one month after deciding I wanted to peruse photography as a career, I came across a photographer named Katelyn James and invested in my first online educational content, the KJ Consistency Course. I wish I could remember how I came to find Katelyn. I guess I didn’t pay much attention because I had no idea how influential she would be to not only my business, but my life.
I knew, from that first day of enrolling in her consistency course, that I wanted to meet this woman and learn from her in person. She was incredibly knowledgeable about photography and seemed so sweet and genuine. I quickly started to research different types of education and mentoring she offered and soon found out I would have to wait a few years to be able to afford a spot at one of her in-person workshops. But I didn’t let the price tag deter me, it actually became one of my very first goals that I made for myself in my business.
Fast forward to this past July…I was just getting ready to leave work for the day when I saw I had an email from Katelyn that came in at 4:23pm. It was an email to all of the people who put their names on the Workshop Experience wait list because all of the 2018 dates had sold out. As I started to read the email, I could feel my heart start to beat faster and faster. The email said that due to their need to reschedule two dates, there were 7 spots that became available at two upcoming workshops in October and not only that, it would be the very last 2 day in-person workshops she would be hosting. EVER. I didn’t hesitate. I texted my husband telling him about the opportunity and then I booked my spot. I had the confirmation email in my inbox by 4:32pm, 9 minutes after reading her email. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I had no idea these two workshops in October would be the last ones ever. I was planning on booking a 2019 spot, but sometimes life has other plans and you just have to go with it.
I started counting down the days until the workshop immediately. I even lost sleep that night after booking my spot I was so excited. Think 7 year old on Christmas morning excited. I couldn’t believe it. I had called my mom right after booking and word-vomited my excitement and disbelief over the phone to her, so much so that she ended up calling me the next day to see if I had come back down to earth yet haha! NOPE 🙂
The days leading up to the workshop seemed to drag but eventually, Sunday, September 30th came and I boarded a plane heading to Richmond, Virginia to learn from my idol in person. It didn’t sink in what I was about to do until about 6pm Sunday night. All of the workshop attendees were invited to meet up at a local ice cream shop to not only meet each other, but Katelyn and her husband Michael as well in a relaxed “no-work” atmosphere. When I saw her walk in with this incredibly excited look on her face, I had the most surreal feeling. After having watched all of her online educational courses, it was weird to actually see her in person. I sound like a crazy fan, maybe I am…sorry not sorry…but Katelyn’s education has been so influential to my business thus far, I wouldn’t photograph or edit the way I do if it wasn’t for her guidance and willingness to teach!
Day 1 of the workshop experience was finally here and we all got ready and drove to Katelyn’s house which is BEAUTIFUL. Like magazine worthy stunning. I’m not kidding. This is a blog post she shared about her kitchen just to give you a peek. Monday was a full day of education, a beautiful styled shoot, and bonding over our business strengths and weaknesses. It was so nice being in a comfortable atmosphere, knowing everyone was there to learn and help when they could. There was absolutely no judgement, only support and advice. It was amazing. We left with full hearts, minds and sleepy eyes, but got up with enthusiasm to do it all over again the next day.
Day 2 was headshot day (you may have noticed the new headshots around my website – thank you Katelyn!) followed by #alltheeducation, and ended with individual website critiques. Guys, talk about nerve wracking!! My heart was POUNDING leading up to my critique but overall, Katelyn had mostly positive things to say about it so that made me pretty happy! I had read from previous workshop attendees that they laughed, cried, and made lifelong friends at these workshops and while I was so happy they had that experience, that’s not what I thought would happen to me. I was just going because I wanted to learn everything I could from Katelyn in person, but what I got was so much more than that. I laughed, I cried, and I made friends I still talk to to this day! You can learn a lot from someone by taking their online courses, but learning from them in person, in their own living room, next to peers who are learning and internalizing the information at the same time, is something entirely it’s own.
Wednesday came too fast, I didn’t want to leave but I was excited to see my husband and fur babies. I left feeling motivated, full of hope, and with new friends who I am so grateful for. It was so nice being surrounded by people who share the same passion as me for two whole days and totally surreal that I finally got to learn from Katelyn in person! I’m so glad I invested in the KJ Workshop, it was more than what I hoped for and I can’t wait to change some things up in the coming year.
If you clicked on this post to just see some pretty pictures and skipped to the bottom -I don’t blame you, this post ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated!- Enjoy my favorite images from my time at The Workshop Experience with Katelyn James!
Massive thanks to the following for making this styled shoot one for the books!
Planning: Dear Sweetheart Events
Florals & Silk Ribbon: Courtney Inghram
HMU: Glo-Out Glamour Bar
Paper Details & Calligraphy: Simply Jessica Marie
Rentals: Paisley & Jade
Cakes: Sorby Sweets
Bridal Gown: Bridal Impressions
Bridesmaid Dresses: Rent the Runway