I got to fulfill one of my all-time dreams last week, and I still can't get over it. I have been saving, working hard, and dreaming big about the day I could attend a full photography workshop with one of my favorite photographers, and my dream finally became a reality!! (PSA: don't give up on your dreams!) Not only did I get to attend a workshop, but I got to attend a Katelyn James Workshop!!! The only downside was going back to my regular 9-5 job was a little sad after an amazing two days packed full of content and fun activities where Katelyn made us feel like we could conquer the world. She was seriously such an inspiration and so real with us. I think the fact that stuck out to me the most was that she started exactly where I did...running her business while she was in college. And she continued to teach herself mostly just by trial and error. She would admit to us many times, "I'm not the best at this." or "I'm definitely still learning in this area." And it helped me realize there is always room to grow no matter what stage of your business you're in. What an encouragement to see one of the leading photographers in the industry being so transparent with us! It's something I needed to hear and a big part of why I walked away with a refreshed perspective of my business. By the end of the workshop, I felt that I had not only learned a ton of valuable information, but I had also gained a new friend. Katelyn's spirit is so genuine. It's no wonder she is doing so well in this industry...it's all because of the way she serves her clients and strives to be a real part of their lives!! She encouraged us to seek our "why" for our business, and brought us all to tears as she closed out the two days with a heart-to-heart in her living room about focusing on what truly matters. I can't thank Katelyn and her family enough for hosting us in their brand new home, cooking delicious meals for us, and just spending time getting to know us. It's an experience I'll never forget, and if you ever get the chance to go, DO IT! You won't regret it! Enjoy some behind-the-scenes from the workshop and be on the lookout for a full post with all the pretty styled shoot images coming soon!
I got to road trip up to Virginia with my friend Christi who is also a photographer! Check out Kingsbridge Photography to see her amazing work. This girl has been killing it (especially on Instagram) ever since we got back from the workshop!!
Confession: I might have "fan-girled" a tiny bit when we pulled into Katelyn's driveway. I mean, just look at her house? It was so stunning inside and out, and Katelyn, Michael, and Evy greeting us on the first day at their front door was priceless.
The Alsops kept us WELL FED, and for a girl who likes to eat (and often) this is no easy task. I did not go a minute being hungry in this household. Katelyn's super sweet sister (Emily) and mom (Mrs. James :)) cooked amazing meals for us morning, noon, and night, and every so often we would be sitting in Katelyn's living room learning a module, and Emily would pop in with a SNACK TRAY filled with delicious goodies. I thought it was heaven!!
Of course I had to get sweet Bokeh Boy in some pics! The poor little guy was probably so tired of portraits by the end of it all!
Creating foregrounds during our styled shoot with Katelyn on Day #1! :)
Just a sneak peek of styled shoot images to come! How gorgeous is this setup?? And it was all staged right in Katelyn's living area in her home!
We got sweet little Evy in a picture too! She was all smiles and giggles the entire time. So sweet!
Look at how cute Christi is getting her new headshots! And how adorable is this little box of goodies Katelyn gifted us on the first day. Filled that notebook up so quick!!
Just a little sneak of our amazing models for the styled shoot. OOH, friends I cannot wait to show you the rest of the images from the styled shoot!! Check back soon for the full post!
Prior to my birthday this year, I had been using a makeshift camera bag (which I was pretty proud of at the time) that consisted of a faux leather Forever 21 bag and a cheaply made Amazon camera bag insert. It did the trick for a while...but then my equipment collection grew, and the strap broke during one of my shoots. Needless to say, my makeshift bag became a pain, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend time finding (or spending money on) a new camera bag when there were other things I felt like I needed to focus on in my business. Well, thank goodness for sweet people in your life who know what you need!
A few months ago I invited my boyfriend, Hunter, to come along to an engagement session with me for the first time. It was out of town in NC, the couple was bringing their adorable dog, and it was supposed to end up snowing, so we made a day trip out of it....
Being the thoughtful (and very generous!) guy that he is, he noticed and remembered the dilapidated bag at that photo-shoot and surprised me with a brand new, super nice leather designer camera bag on my birthday about a month later... from a brand that hadn't even been on my radar until I got this gift from him! (Does he have great taste/research skills or what?!) When I was first starting out in my business, I knew I was so curious about what gear to start investing in and also what I would need to bring along to shoot at my first session and eventually my first wedding, so I thought it might be helpful to share what I keep in my bag. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to photograph it! So I've broken this up into three sections: The Essentials, The Gear, and The Bag. Have something else I should add to my checklist to bring along to shoots and weddings? I'd love to know what's in your bag in the comments below!
THE ESSENTIALS - MORE THAN JUST TAKING PICTURES
THE GEAR - EQUIPMENT FOR EVERY OCCASION
THE BAG - FEATURES I LOVE MOST
Aaaaannnndddd my super cute Kelly Moore Westminster Hobo bag is on sale at a pretty good price right now! So if you need a new bag, check it out!!
I love travel and adventure. I love seeing things from new perspectives. I love to find good food in exciting places. And I love making moments last for as long as possible.
Follow along for behind-the-scenes on Instagram!