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Student Spotlight

February 2021

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Welcome to a brand new installment of KJ Student Spotlight!! It’s always a good day on the blog when we get to introduce you to some of our students and share their wins and advice!!! These three students have taken courses, watched Youtube episodes, are KJ All Access members, use our templates and have invested in themselves time and time again in order to grow their businesses! They deserve this recognition!!!

Everyone, meet the very talented, Nowelle!!! One of my favorite parts of Nowelle’s KJ Education story is that she has put in the hard work and she’s seen how taking a chance on something can lead to crazy rewards!!! She recently did a Same-Day Slideshow… something that I teach about in my KJ Business Collection and also have a Youtube Channel about it HERE!  Nowelle’s work is beautiful and it’s an honor to get to feature her!! Don’t scroll too fast and miss her portrait in the bean field!! GORGEOUS! Nowelle is a KJ Trifecta student… which means she’s taken EVERY technical course that we offer!! She’s invested and put in the hard work and it shows! So excited for you, Nowelle!!!!!!

What has recently happened in your business that has made you step back and go “Oh my gosh! That just happened?!”

My most recent “oh my gosh” moment was after a wedding in September, I posted just a few of my favorites from the couple’s Same Day Slide Show. Within less than an hour, a magazine contacted me to ask about featuring not only that wedding but 3 other previous weddings. I didn’t have to seek anyone out- they were coming to ME asking to work together!  I have been turned down so many times that this moment almost made me cry. When I messaged the bride about it, she was just as excited as I was. It was amazing!

What part of your KJ Education experience has impacted you the most?

Yikes! This is a hard one. I would have to say either All Access or the Posing Course. I love being able to watch KJ on a real wedding and see her have the same hiccup moments that I experience. Or watching her take a “budget wedding” and make it look high end. The Posing Course though was my first KJ education and it was a game changer. I use to stumble all over myself trying to come up with a new pose or new idea or wondering what was next. Now I know what’s next and it’s second nature. Every year we do a fundraiser event for our previous 1492 couples and it is always so funny to watch them pose and just know what comes next or how to nuzzle like pros even years after their weddings! Oh, can I also add that I tend to be a much more vibrant/ colorful edit that a traditional KJ edit and yet, The Consistency Course still rocked my world! Okay, basically, having taken everything KJ touches has taken me from an $800 wedding photographer to over $3,500 per wedding in less than 3 years. 
Oh, and an added KJ bonus- I have become friends with several of the photographers in the group and one in particular is now one of my closet friends. We text and email almost daily and it is so awesome not only having a friend in the industry but someone that I know shares the same education so we can bounce things back and forth. Claire has been my favorite added perk to the KJ Education experience!

If you could sit down with a photographer that feels incredibly defeated and discouraged, what would you say to help them? Is there a story of overcoming and victory in your own story that you could share?

Gosh, I feel this one so deep because this was actually me less than 2 years ago. I was done. I was being passed up or ghosted constantly. I would see all of these other photographers shooting tons of stunning weddings and I was booking NOTHING. I actually sat down with a friend who is a wedding planner and told her I was quitting and going back to my career in healthcare. I was tired of working 60+ hours a week and feeling like nothing I did was showing that work. But I didn’t quit. I shot that very full wedding season and things all finally started to click. It didn’t happen overnight. Honestly, I’m still not there 100%. I have days where I wonder what in the world I think I’m doing asking couples to trust me to capture their biggest day. (Actually, when Katelyn emailed me to do this blog post, I instantly emailed her back bc I was sure it was a joke or that they had the wrong photographer.) The biggest difference though is that I KNOW that I have the skills and knowledge to create amazing work every single wedding or session. It’s there. Sometimes I just need to dig a little deeper to find it than I do on other days.
The other big thing that helps me is, when I feel like I’m in a rut, I shoot for myself. I create a styled shoot that is what I want with no in-put from anyone else. Something I dream up, create from start to finish and photograph however I want. I did this with an epic Halloween session this year and it just kind of restarted me. 

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Posing Course, KJ Consistency Course, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Email Templates & Sticky Situations Solutions Guide, KJ All Access 

FOLLOW NOWELLE: Website, Instagram

 

I’m so excited to introduce you to Jill! She’s a sweet friend of ours and we had the privilege of spending time with her and her sweet husband for a very misty anniversary shoot in combination with a coaching session years ago! It really seems like another lifetime! It’s been so amazing to see Jill’s incredible growth over the years! Her work, her business mindset, her family, etc. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job to get to be a small part of our student’s lives!! Jill has so much experience and knowledge to share! I’m thrilled to feature her this month!!!!! yay! Ps. Don’t scroll past her dusty road, glowy light shot! It’s STUNNING!

What has recently happened in your business that has made you step back and go “Oh my gosh! That just happened?!”

2020 started HARD. Everyone was hit with so many questions. At that point, I was well booked for weddings in 2020 and had 2 different rounds of students in my membership for moms learning to use their cameras. But I had 0…zero…2021 weddings booked…until April of last year. Typically, I am half booked by then. I also was very unsure of what the year would look like financially. Somehow, 2020 up being my MOST profitable year. Weddings began booking (I ended up fully booked for 2021 by December for what I want to take), and my membership welcomed a new year of students (some of whom found me through a challenge I ran during the time everyone was home in the spring to help moms “Make Magic from Mess” of what we were all dealing with). I also launched a new branch of the membership for students who had been with me for a while and learned how to photograph and wanted to turn it into a business, and exceeded my sign up goal. When things got very slow, I added front porch mini-sessions and also back to school mini-sessions that I hadn’t done before to meet some new families and just get a chance to SHOOT and serve my community (they were offered at a very discounted rate). It ISN’T about the bottom line for me. But after how 2020 began, it felt SO good to end it in a positive way money wise, to have made a lot of new connections, and to have some new projects going into 2021 that really light my heart on fire!!

What part of your KJ Education experience has impacted you the most?

Katelyn just gives and gives and GIVES. I’ve known it for years, but every year I see more and more of it in what she creates and produces (youtubepodcast…never ending) and it inspires me to do the same in my business…not to be afraid to give so so freely. I don’t follow anyone else who gives as much as she does. Even all of her paid courses and content have SO MUCH MORE value than many that cost twice as much. It makes it so that I almost don’t WANT to learn from anyone else, because no matter what I know the value and heart isn’t the same. I have learned so much from her about outsourcing (from my coaching session a million years ago!), posing (her efficiency is my favorite part of her posing- it changed my entire photography!), editing, and the way she loves on her clients (which I see every month in All Access)…but by far, her heart of giving away what she knows and has and has built has impacted me the most. Not just because of what I have learned from it- but because it inspires me to do the same.

If you could sit down with a photographer that feels incredibly defeated and discouraged, what would you say to help them? Is there a story of overcoming and victory in your own story that you could share?

I would tell them that we all have been there!! Most people get into photography because they LOVE taking photos (or are great at it). Most people do NOT know what they are in for business wise, and I think that makes it very hard as you get into it. My most discouraged moments were in feeling complete overwhelm in my business. I was at TOTAL capacity and my option was to pull back and serve and make less (which I did NOT want to do), or work more and have less time with my kids (who I stayed home with for half the week) which I did NOT want to do. That was the moment Katelyn’s council led me towards outsourcing. I felt like I was given PERMISSION to help myself in my business. And my entire business changed with that decision. After figuring out my whole process for outsourcing and getting it going, I suddenly had MARGIN and time in my business to grow it and add in the education side I had such a passion for. It changed the structure of my business and my life because suddenly I wasn’t working after the kids went to bed anymore instead of spending time with my husband…someone else was doing that simple work for me that didn’t need to be me. I was SO nervous about paying someone else to do work I “could” do but once I realized I couldn’t afford NOT to do it- to try to give myself the space to actually grow- and went for it, the decision payed off in so many ways. I had to decide to bet on myself- to trust that I could find ways to make up that money easily and effectively- and once I did, everything changed for me. I wasn’t a slave to my business, working all hours anymore…I got to do more fun parts of my business that I loved and give away the parts that I didn’t need to do. I don’t believe everyone who is super discouraged needs to outsource…but I believe there is a way to work through our barriers and issues in our business by taking deep breaths, listening to/investing good and wise council, and just FIGURING IT OUT. One foot and decision in front of the other until we get there.

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Consistency Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process, KJ Bridal Guide, KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course, Mini Guide Bundle, KJ Email Templates + Sticky Solutions Guide, KJ Pricing Kit

FOLLOW JILL: Website, Instagram

 

Everyone! Meet Keelan!!! How awesome is this headshot/portrait of him! I’m thrilled to introduce you to such a talented member of the KJ Community! Keelan is a KJ All Access member, KJ Consistency Course veteran and is utilizing several of the KJ templates that make every photographer’s life easier!!! Keelan’s work is amazing and his dedication to learning and growing and becoming the best business version of himself! It’s an honor to feature him!

What has recently happened in your business that has made you step back and go “Oh my gosh! That just happened?!”

I finally feel confident! I have learned to create an experience from the moment the bride books to even beyond the wedding day! To be recognized and thanked for the little details that go into making the experience memorable.

What part of your KJ Education experience has impacted you the most?

The KJ community has been wonderful! I love that we have such a supportive group that I can go to for any questions. I’ve always gotten very kind and prompt responses from the members. I’ve really really enjoyed the KJ All Access as well as the YouTube videos.

If you could sit down with a photographer that feels incredibly defeated and discouraged, what would you say to help them? Is there a story of overcoming and victory in your own story that you could share?

I’d actually tell them four things.
First I’d say give yourself grace along the journey. Secondly find areas where you could use help! Try to outsource or hire an assistant. Find a good work/life balance! That’s a real important one! And lastly not only create work for your clients but create for yourself! Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up with work that you need to produce to get the job done that you forget to create images for yourself as well. Get creative during the process and try new things.

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Consistency Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process, KJ Bridal Guide, KJ Groom’s Guide, KJ Email Templates + Sticky Solutions Guide

FOLLOW KEELAN: Website, Instagram

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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