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The Katelyn James Podcast

Ep. 34 | How She is Booking 90+ Weddings a Year

And staying sane while doing it!

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Kelly Sea & Katelyn James

Kelly is an incredible wedding photographer who has been shooting 90 weddings a year. I know, it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true! Kelly’s success and the volume of work she handles is truly impressive.

 

 

Kelly has been a professional photographer for 13 years. What’s interesting is that for most of those years, she wasn’t involved in any photography networking groups or talking to other photographers. She was just doing her own thing, unaware that what she was doing was considered controversial in the industry! She doesn’t have an associate team, she doesn’t outsource her editing, she is doing it all!!

But HOW?! And WHY?!

But Kelly’s success wasn’t overnight. She started shooting weddings in 2012, and in her first year, she photographed two weddings. In 2016, Kelly decided to get serious about her photography business. From that point on, her numbers started to increase significantly and eventually, in 2019, Kelly made the leap to full-time photography and shot 45 weddings that year. This year she has 96 weddings booked! WOW!

The Challenges and Mindset Shifts

It’s important to note that Kelly’s journey wasn’t without its challenges. She had to overcome branding issues, consistency struggles, and a lack of style direction. But in 2016, Kelly had a mindset shift and decided to take her photography business seriously. She focused on branding, consistency, and delivering an exceptional experience to her clients.

One of the key factors in Kelly’s success is her ability to connect with people. She genuinely cares about her clients and goes above and beyond to make them feel comfortable and happy! She understands that she is in a service industry, and her focus is always on serving her clients and providing them with the best possible experience! And that is what we’re all about here, word of mouth marketing is the BEST and most inexpensive way to market yourself!

The Workload and Lifestyle

To any wedding photographer though.. this sounds crazy! How does Kelly manage shooting 90 weddings a year while maintaining a work-life balance?! It’s important to understand that Kelly’s background and previous work experiences have shaped her perspective on work. She worked a 9-to-5 job for 10 years, sacrificing a lot of her time for work! This background made her more willing to dedicate her time to her photography business.

Kelly’s approach to shooting weddings is methodical and efficient. She shoots with intention, focusing on capturing consistent images that align with her style. This allows her to limit overshooting and deliver remarkable galleries to her clients.

 

But how does she handle that many weddings?!

While Kelly acknowledges that her workload is demanding, she actually prefers shooting quad-header weekends (WOW!!). This allows her to have blocks of time without any weddings, providing her with a chance to rest and recharge. She also brings her laptop to weddings and does a same-day preview for her clients, showcasing some of the best images from the day! This added touch enhances the client experience and builds excitement!! We have always loved the personal touch of a same day slideshow!

I think you’ll be encouraged and challenged by this conversation! You can watch the YouTube Link above or click here to listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts!

 

Want to catch up on more episodes?! Listen below!

 

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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