Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Workshop Experience with Katelyn James

I have been following Katelyn James for some time now. Not only do I love her completely drool-worthy images that are romantic, clean, crisp, and sharp - I also admire her work ethic and Christian values. Her and her husband are a husband/wife duo who make their living off of shooting engagement sessions and weddings together. They are young and beautiful and, now that I've met them, I can also say they are warm, kind, genuine, positive, and supportive - of each other and of other aspiring photographers.

I made a goal last year that I wanted to attend a workshop sometime in 2014. I was very hesitant to do this, however, because I knew how expensive workshops could be and in my mind, that was money I could put toward new, fun equipment. I knew if I was going to do it, it had to be worth it. It had to be with someone who would inspire me, challenge me, and teach me. After reading about Katelyn's workshops, learning they are conducted in the comfort of her own home, watching the video she made to introduce them, and reading more about her story on her blog, I knew she was the one for me - especially because she was local.

Attending a workshop as a Mommy is very different from attending it as a single, full-time business owner. Not only did I have to worry about the cost of the workshop, the cost of traveling, and the cost of a hotel, I also had to worry about who was going to watch my son during the day as Adam couldn't take off the time from work. After much debate, and after seeing a super awesome deal on plane tickets, I decided to fly  my sister-in-law out from Provo to watch Axton while I was gone to the workshop. I would drive down the first morning and drive back late the second day so I would only have to spend one night away from them all. It worked out perfect.

Attending this workshop was such a leap of faith for me, mostly because it was just totally out of my comfort zone. I was less intimidated by Katelyn and more intimidated by the 11 other photographers who would be attending. What if I was totally out of league with the rest of them? Not that we were competing with each other, but....what if they just rolled their eyes at my Mommy-ness/pregnant-ness/lack of business skills-ness/lack of talent-ness?

But what I found when I stepped through the front door of Katelyn and Michael's home was total and complete acceptance - and friendship. Desire, from everyone, to help each other learn and grow from one another. It was such an open atmosphere. There were absolutely NO feelings of competition or one-upping each other or anything like that. It was so refreshing.

On top of all that, I learned SO much. I learned better ways of interacting with clients, making them feel comfortable in front of the camera, finding good lighting, natural posing. I also learned tons of great things about running a business - how and when to send contracts, how to deliver images, how to edit quickly and efficiently, what types of insurance I need, how to keep on top of "the chores," consistent blogging, and so much more. I came home completely and utterly exhausted, and with a long list of things to-do.

Katelyn also had a styled wedding shoot with gorgeous models to give a live demonstration of how she shoots on a typical wedding day. Plus, she took business headshots for each of us, as well as gave individual critiques on our blogs, websites, and branding/logos. I learned so much listening to everyone else's critiques, as well as my own.

Katelyn answered each and every question we had with complete honesty and openness. We got a glimpse into the way they run their business, but also the way they had a happy marriage, home, and life. We ate lunch and dinner in their homes; dinner was a home-cooked meal by their mothers! It doesn't get any cozier than that.

Because of Katelyn's workshop, I feel better equipped and more confident to go forward with my business. I really feel recharged and ready to work harder and faster than I ever have in the past. It means changing the way I have been doing a few things - it means getting a little uncomfortable and taking a few risks, but I have faith that doing so will take me to the next level of success and happiness in my business. looking for a few changes in the future! I promise they are coming!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a blast! As for being "talent-less," you're crazy, woman! There's no way I would have hired someone talent-less to do my wedding! Just so you know. :)