I get to share my KJ workshop experience with you today! I’m still pinching myself wondering how I got lucky enough to attend the KJ workshop experience, and one of her very last ones nonetheless. If you don’t know Katelyn, she is an amazing wedding photographer, inspiring entrepreneur, and such a sweet person. She is exactly how she portrays herself online, which was very refreshing to see. However, what drew me to her the most was how open about her faith she is. It is inspiring to see everything she has gone through, and for her to still be so trusting in the Lord.
I spent two days in a perfectly styled living room cozied up with a blanket, puppy at my feet, twelve other amazing photographers and business ladies at my side as we soaked up the wisdom that KJ shared. She poured into us over 10 years of business and life lessons. I have admired and looked up to KJ for the past three years and it felt so surreal to be learning from her in person. I was especially excited to dive into how she runs her business with her husband. It seemed very similar to the way Greg and I wanted to run our business–together, but with me in lead. More than just an amazing photographer, Katelyn has been an amazing example of an entrepreneur. But even more so than that, she has been an amazing example of a woman who walks by faith.
While the workshop was two days, these were not just two 8-5 days. These were two intensive 10-12 hour days where we learned everything from how to find the right light, to how to love our clients best. As I reflect back onto the workshop, the thing that stuck with me the most was what a powerful job we have as photographers. Katelyn shared about what our images mean, and how being a wedding photographer is more than taking pretty styled images of details (although that can be very fun). Wedding photography is about documenting, celebrating, and cultivating relationships. It was something that stuck with me, because it is something so true, but also something so easy to lose sight of when your comparing your real life to other photographers highlight reels.
As thankful as I am for the workshop experience, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely nervous for it. I had invested A LOT of money into this workshop, and as it approached I began to let fear over take me a bit. I questioned myself, my decision, the investment. I mean, what if it was a dud? Why would she care about my business? Would she even be able to teach stuff that actually mattered, or would it be all on the surface? And then I started to think about the last workshop experiences we had (with a different photographer), it honestly wasn’t the best. So, I was second guessing myself BIG TIME.
This workshop wasn’t a last minute decision. I had originally signed up for the workshop OVER one year ago!! I was on maternity leave (just days before going back to the 9-5 job I had) and trying to figure out what the next steps for our business was. The workshop, which was originally scheduled for April was supposed to be a way to help me figure out what was next for our photography business. However, after it was rescheduled for October, I was hesitant to still attend.
All of the fears I mentioned above were creeping in. Also, because life honestly looks so different for us now, that this workshop was a huge financial investment and risk. In April, we were living in Southern California and Colorado wasn’t even on our radar. In April, I was working full-time at a 9-5, and photography was something I did in addition to working. In April, I would have went in with intentions very different than I did this time. So yeah, I was fearful going into the workshop.
But the moment I walked into Katelyn’s gorgeously styled house (I mean how does she NOT have a show on HGTV), I instantly felt welcomed and my fears were put to ease. Katelyn knew Makenna’s name, she knew what my work looked like, and what my goals were. She is not just a big-name photographer, she truly poured into us and cares about our business growing. She also had the most loving family surrounding her who we had an amazing time meeting. Her sister Emy made us delicious home cooked meals. Her husband Michael made sure everything ran smoothly. Even her mom and mother in law were there helping to watch the kids so she could focus on us. It was truly a surreal and worth it experience.
This workshops timing was a huge testament to the fact that God knows way better than we do about what we need and when we need it. I am so thankful for the experience, and excited to put into action what I learned.