2014 Life Highlights

filed in:

I’ve actually never done this before! I’ve always done recaps of our images and of our year professionally but I have never taken the time to gather the personal highlights. After doing this, I’ve realized that I need to make this a “thing” each year! I got a little choked up last night when I was pulling these images. This year was INSANE….. in a good way. I honestly didn’t realize just how much we had accomplished…. how many dreams came to life…. how many places we had traveled too… how many incredible memories we made with sweet friends….. how much my family had changed!

I’m honestly just blown away. This was a GOOD year for us. It wasn’t just a good year because of what WE did… it was a good year because of what GOD did. If it was totally fine to share all about other’s personal stories, I would write out all of the things that God has done in 2014 and it would honestly blow your mind. Obviously, I’m not going to tell other people’s stories and but I will say this, I have seen God work more in this ONE YEAR than I have in all of our 6 years in business. I know He’s always been present and doing His thing but this year He allowed us to see what He was up to… right in front of us… annnnd now I’m crying. I don’t care how many places we mark off our bucket lists…. or how many beautiful weddings we shoot… or how many business projects we crank out… if God isn’t getting the glory, this is all worthless. It’s all HIS anyway. I’m SO thankful that 2014 wasn’t just a year about US. When I think back and try to remember 2014 memories, I hope I’m always reminded first of the people that came to know the Lord, the amazing conversations that I have been praying for for YEARS and the amazing relationships that God pieced together. After I remember all of that… THEN I can relive the trip to Alaska, Australia, and Hawaii. It’s only after I realize how God has used us that I can truly consider myself successful… and I mean that wholeheartedly. Everything else will pass away eventually…. what He has done will not…. and that gives me such hope!!!!

So, looking back on this year…. on a much light note…. we have some crazy statistics to share! In 2014, we really stepped up our traveling game. We covered over 61,000 miles in the air over the course of 44 flights!! whoa!! We also spent over 30 nights in Hampton Inns all over the country! That’s a MONTH! When Michael told me that, I cringed! But ya know what, they do have good little breakfast stations in the morning! :)

I think this year had an pretty equal amount of personal and professional memories and I’m feeling so sentimental going through this post! I’ll try to explain each memory so that you can follow along!!! Here’s to an incredible 2015!!!!!!

We started off our year in HAWAII with Josh and Mandy! Trip of a LIFETIME!!! 
Our friends Buddy and Jill came to us in spring 2013 and asked us to pray with them about a potential move to Big Spring Farm! Well, it happened!! And we did our “couples retreat” there at the beginning of the year! The place has been a blessing to us in SO many crazy ways! A freezing WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE in February!!! Loved this group!! Our first big snow at the new house!!!  A random, snow getaway to Big Spring Farm was one for the books… mainly because of our sledding ramp video that Jill made!!! Hilarious!  I spoke at UNITED 2014 in Santa Barbara, California about Blogging!  It’s there that we met Jordan and Amy Demos for the first time! …. Yes, we haven’t even known them for a year yet! HOW is that possible?! They definitely win the “Best relationship surprise of 2014” award!!! We are so thankful that they walked up to us after the 5 minute fuel and introduced themselves! The rest is history!!! Oh and ps… that top left picture?! I will NEVER forget the amazing stuff that happened with that group of girls!!!! Love them all!!! On a much lighter and less important note…. I met Harry Conick Jr. in the LAX airport… and I had a random burst of confidence and asked him to take a selfie. He looks thrilled right? haha Also! Abby Grace took some AMAZING shots of us in Santa Barbara during that trip and I love them!!! (left) Abby, this will always be a fav!!!!  Then, I did something I NEVER thought I would do…. ever. I spoke at WPPI…. the large wedding and portrait photography conference in the country!  Thanks to Matt Kennedy for these!!!!! The best part of that trip? Our friend Bud and Jill flew in to support us…. and they came bearing “KJ KREW” tshirts!! hahahaha!!!!! We snuck out of the conference one day, rented a convertible and drove to the Hoover Dam!I had the opportunity to speak at the “Shoot and Share” both at the WPPI Tradeshow!! And Jill and Bud made the promo pass galleries!!!! It’s still surreal to see my images almost lifesize!  Then we got home from that big trip and drove to New Jersey with Michael’s mom and picked up Molly girl!!! I’m happy to say that these two have become friends!!!! YAY!!!Then the CONNECT retreat happened!!! And it was amazing! Michael and I spoke together for the first time ever!!And we made some very entertaining memories with some incredible people!  The April Workshop Experience!!! Love this group!  Then we were Bermuda Bound with Michael’s parents!! We loved this cruise with them! Then….. things REALLLLLY got crazy! My little sister got MARRIED to the most amazing guy!!!!! And I had the privilege (along with Jill and Annamarie) of shooting her wedding day. These will ALWAYS be my favorite images. Always.Emy and our Gran Gran! :) Emy and Daddy’s first look! Right after Emy and Joe’s wedding, we flew to Sarasota and shot a wedding! Then we came home and hosted our first “Small Business Social” for small business owners!!  Then…. this happened. We launched The Collection! This was supposed to be a 2015 project but we actually had two weddings cancel in 2014 so we made it happen sooner!! And we’re SO thankful we did!!!!! We love having this resource for photographers!  Fourth of July weekend was our first Camping trip with Bokeh boy in a real campground!!! He did great! :) Then we did a 4 day family vacation to Smith Mountain Lake and it was so much fun! I think the BEST part of this trip was that it was our first trip with Joe OFFICIALLY a part of the family!!! Then we randomly went on a sailing trip with Buddy’s family!! Best last minute trip ever!  Bokeh boy even went!!!Then things just got crazy! We planned a workshop in Australia! One of the BEST things that came from that trip was our relationship with this sweet girl! Gabrielle styled our shoot and we just LOVE her!!!!!! So amazing to have friends on the other side of the WORLD!  Our Australian workshop will probably always be our favorite workshop… I know we shouldn’t have favorites, but we just adored this guy, this setting and this shoot!!! THEN, we went to visit friends in Alaska and shot Tyler and Katie’s engagement session on a glacier! And I could have stopped shooting right then because I felt like I hit the pinnacle of my shooting locations… literally! :) Then we headed to Seattle for a wedding and had a day to spend with some of the sweetest people on the plant! Ike and Tash spent the entire day with us at the fair and we loved every minute of it!!! …. And little Wisdom is such a precious ball of joy!! I wish we lived closer so that we could babysit!  Workshop #3!!!!  Loved speaking in DC and also at two CLIC conferences as well!  This was such an upexpected highlight! My brother decided to SING with me…. in public!!! People, this is a MIRACLE!!! He doesn’t do stuff like this! We sang at my dad’s 25th anniversary at our home church and it was a shocker! My momma cried and cried!  Then we had a cookout with some sweet friends! Workshop #4!!! It included TWO proposals! What the heck?! amazing!!! Our last trip of the year was Party Barge 2014 and it was perfect! I wouldn’t have changed a thing!!! We loved our time with these friends!  Then I sang at Jazz Nativity 2014 and it was my favorite year to date!!THEN Matt and Carissa Kennedy came to visit and we worked on a special project… and met their new puppy! This special filming project was a two day affair but we rolled through it!!! Then I went to a retreat… not to lead anything… not to teach anything… I just went to NC to gather with these amazing ladies. We built each other up, prayed together, shared our stories and encouraged one another. It was something I didn’t know that I needed… but OH did I need it. What a gift! Thank you so much Lara and Nancy!!!Then I flew with my brother for the first time ever!!!! Then we hosted a Christmas Part for college students and loved every minute of it! And then I turned 27 on the side of a ski slope with great friends… and 2015 begin the next day! WHEW!!!!!! What a YEAR!!! I’m so very thankful that you have all been a part of it! I know I’ve taken a little break from blogging… but watch out world! When the new blog is live, you’re going to love it!!!!!!!! woohoo!!!!! Happy 2015!!!!!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Samantha + Evan Private Estate, Backyard Wedding

I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!


Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!


Nick + Katherine | Maternity Oatlands Historic Home and Gardens Portrait Session


KJ Student Spotlight October 2020

I’m so excited to share another addition of Student Spotlights from our KJ Education community! It’s so funny to us, but quite often, we find that our friends who know us in everyday life but aren’t in our industry really have no clue what we do! They think we shoot 10 weddings a year and that’s the extent of our work these days but oh… that couldn’t be further from the truth!


Jesse + Hope | Engaged A Fan District Engagement Shoot

When we first decide if we’re a good fit with our potential KJ Couples, we’re looking for a few things…. one of those things is that this couple keeps joyful! We’ve found over the years that couples what take themselves super seriously aren’t always the best fit for us! We love it when couples let their guard down and allow us to get to know them during their engagement session.


For some photographers, bridal details seem like a fun part of the wedding day… but for many others, it’s stressful. It’s the part of the day that throws them off, makes them wonder if they’re actually artistic and leaves them feeling flustered and panicked because they never get everything done in the time they have allotted for detail shooting. In my opinion, this is a REALLY tough way to start a wedding day.


How To Photograph Bridal Details KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course

Ask Anything

Jonathan+Melanie Grand Ivory Wedding

Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.




Unedited, unfiltered, real-life behind-the-scenes education delivered monthly! Come be our Virtual Third Shooter for FREE!

A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony

"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”


"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ


Join 10,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.


and none compare to what I get from KJ!"