Michael & Jill’s 30th Birthday Celebration

In The Bahamas

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


Top Categories

Browse All

read more


Browse All


Browse All


A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony


Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

Most of you probably already know this…. but Michael turned 30 this past weekend! What you may not know is that our best friend Jill turned 30 as well! She was born one day before Michael in the SAME hospital 30 years ago and their parents were actually friends who went to the same church!! Soon after they were born, Michael’s parents moved away and they never saw one another again until freshman move-in day of COLLEGE!!! Michael and his parents saw Jill and her parents in their freshman dorm and they re-connected!!

I was the high school girlfriend who didn’t like my college-aged boyfriend meeting pretty blondes on move-in day and so I’m pretty sure that I had an attitude when I first met Jilly. Little did I know that when we fast forwarded 10 years, she would be one of my best friends!!! So, we obviously became closer and closer to Jill throughout our college years and during freshmen year we also met Buddy! Fast forward a couple of years and Jill and Bud are dating!!

During my Sophomore year we met a really cute couple named Josh and Mandy. They were freshmen and they dated in high school just like Michael and I! Mandy and I ended up living together during my senior year and we were right next door to Buddy’s house and Josh’s house was on the other side. Basically, these friends have been a part of our lives for a long time but it wasn’t until after college that all six of us really became close. Over the last several years we have had some really awesome opportunities to travel with one another. We went to Hawaii with the Poes and we did RV Vacay with the Powers. If you want to find out if you can really be GREAT friends with people and if you’re compatible…. rent a tiny apartment or RV and live together for a week!! After those experiences, we realized that we had found best travel buddies!

This trip was up in the air for so long and then just a week before leaving, we decided to change our plans last minute and head to the Bahamas!! We found a cruise that started at $378 and we booked it within one day! We flew down to Miami from the Connect Retreat and the Powers and Poes met us there! We boarded the ship on Friday and we headed to Nassua! We paid the to go to the Atlantis waterpark for the day and it was SO WORTH IT. We have been there at least 4 times now and it never gets old! I mean, how can you ever get tired of a never-ending lazy river with waves, waterfalls, rapids and SLIDES?! It was so much fun!!

The next day we headed to Stirrup Cay, a private island owned by Norwegian! We got a little cabana on the beach (so that the redhead wouldn’t fry!) and we floated in the crystal clear water all day! Every night we ordered double entrees and ate like kings! We’ll be spending some extra time in the gym because of the soft-serve machine and the crepe station! Even after all of the fun that we had, I still think that my favorite part was just being with these sweet friends. They are some of the greatest blessings in our life and having 3 days with them reminded me of just how much we love them. I’m grateful for our time together and we are so excited to do this again in the future!! Enjoy this video from Jill that recaps our trip perfectly!! The only thing that isn’t included is my karaoke debut where I forgot that “How Do I Live” had a key change and so it’s better left un-shared!! 😃 Jilly, thank you for our video memories!! This is just the best and I treasure these creations of yours!!! Ps. Don’t miss minute 1:20… cracks me up EVERY time!

We started our trip with a night in Miami!

bahamas cruise vacation_0635

Above: Jill met ANOTHER Jill who was celebrating her birthday at the table behind us and it was her 30th too!! AND it was our waiter’s birthday!!

bahamas cruise vacation_0636

Below : CSI Miami?! At our HOTEL?! Yikes.

bahamas cruise vacation_0637

Cruise Time!

bahamas cruise vacation_0638bahamas cruise vacation_0640

And we’re cruisin!!!

bahamas cruise vacation_0639

That cute Birthday boy tho!!!

bahamas cruise vacation_0641

Our day at Atlantis!

bahamas cruise vacation_0642bahamas cruise vacation_0644 bahamas cruise vacation_0643

Ps. These are all iPhone images BTW…. not too shabby right?!

bahamas cruise vacation_0672 bahamas cruise vacation_0646 bahamas cruise vacation_0648Bahamas vacation atlantis bahamas cruise vacation_0649 bahamas cruise vacation_0650 bahamas cruise vacation_0651 bahamas cruise vacation_0652 bahamas cruise vacation_0653

Some real pics from the big camera!

bahamas cruise vacation_0654 bahamas cruise vacation_0655 bahamas cruise vacation_0656

No idea what’s going on here!

bahamas cruise vacation_0657 bahamas cruise vacation_0658 bahamas cruise vacation_0659bahamas cruise vacation_0661 bahamas cruise vacation_0660 bahamas cruise vacation_0662bahamas cruise vacation_0674 bahamas cruise vacation_0663bahamas cruise vacation_0669 bahamas cruise vacation_0667bahamas cruise vacation_0668 bahamas cruise vacation_0670

And then our quick trip came to an end and we had like 5 hours before our flight and so naturally… we hung out at IKEA in Miami! That’s normal right?

bahamas cruise vacation_0671

Check out our Waco, TX Trip Here!

And The Epic Party Barge Trip!

To see other travel posts click here!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Ep. 11 | We Started A Micro School! Here's What We Learned After 2 Months!

Starting a school for our kids and community was going to be a big undertaking, we knew that! But we have learned so much alongside our kids that has made this endeavor all worth it.

The Katelyn James Podcast

It’s hard for me to remember the last time that I took portraits at the infamous Virginia Tech Duck Pond but I know it had to have been several years ago!


John + Lauren | Engaged Virginia Tech Duck Pond Engagement Portraits


Featured : BRIDES Magazine Paige + Nikhil's Wedding

It’s no surprise that this GORGEOUS wedding was picked up by BRIDES Magazine! Between the perfectly paired color scheme, beautiful florals, an amazing venue, the list goes on. The details that Paige + Nikhil thought about for their wedding day are simply stunning. 

I pushed my R6 to the limit

I Pushed My R6 to the Limit ISO up to 40,000!

I walked into the venue for the welcome dinner.. And I knew it was going to be dark.. But I didn’t think it would be THIS DARK! 


There are several seasons of starting a business and what it looks like to continue to grow and scale as the business changes! We’re on the last episode of the Startup Series and the stage of business that I’m still in.


Ep. 10 | The Start Up Series Pt. 3 Specializing and Scaling

The Katelyn James Podcast
Lens Review: Canon RF 50mm 1.8 vs. RF 50mm 1.2L

Lens Review: Canon RF 50mm 1.8 vs. RF 50mm 1.2L Is it worth the $2,000 price difference?

Can a professional photographer use the Canon RF 50mm 1.8 or is it necessary to have the high end Canon RF 50mm1.2L? We’re going to put them to the test to find out!



"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 65,000+ 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!"